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ARAC’s Radiological Support of the Cassini Launch

The Atmospheric Release Advisory Capability (ARAC) program at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) was the U.S. Department of Energy atmospheric modeling resource used for the contingency of potential radiological releases during the launch of the Cassini mission. Having the ARAC system up and running was one of the launch criteria during the
countdown. The ARAC Center at LLNL forecasted detailed weather conditions and delivered
consequence assessments for potential accident scenarios to NASA before and during launch operations. A key aspect of ARAC’s support was to acquire a variety of meteorological data for use in both forecast and real-time model calculations. ARAC acquired electronically two types of
real-time observed meteorological data: 1) the set of on-site tower and profiler data via the Cape Canaveral Air Station (CCAS) Meteorological Interactive Data Display System (MIDDS), and 2) routine regional airport observations delivered to the ARAC Center from the Air Force Weather
Agency. We also used two forecasted data sources: 1) the U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron at CCAS forecasted soundings for launch time, and 2) the Navy Operational Regional
Atmospheric Prediction System (NORAPS) prognostic model which ARAC ran over the Cape. The NORAPS runs produced detailed 24-hr forecasts of 3-D wind fields. ARAC used default
radiological accident source terms involving the potential destruction of CassiniÕs Radioisotope
Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) during 3 phases: 1) before the launch, 2) during the first 5
sec after ignition, and 3) from 5 to 143 sec after ignition. ARAC successfully developed and delivered dose and deposition plots at 24 hours, 3 hours, and 30 minutes before each of the launch windows.

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Date Of Record Release 2009-06-16 13:13:23
Description The Atmospheric Release Advisory Capability (ARAC) program at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) was the U.S. Department of Energy atmospheric modeling resource used for the contingency of potential radiological releases during the launch of the Cassini mission. Having the ARAC system up and running was one of the launch criteria during the
countdown. The ARAC Center at LLNL forecasted detailed weather conditions and delivered
consequence assessments for potential accident scenarios to NASA before and during launch operations. A key aspect of ARAC’s support was to acquire a variety of meteorological data for use in both forecast and real-time model calculations. ARAC acquired electronically two types of
real-time observed meteorological data: 1) the set of on-site tower and profiler data via the Cape Canaveral Air Station (CCAS) Meteorological Interactive Data Display System (MIDDS), and 2) routine regional airport observations delivered to the ARAC Center from the Air Force Weather
Agency. We also used two forecasted data sources: 1) the U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron at CCAS forecasted soundings for launch time, and 2) the Navy Operational Regional
Atmospheric Prediction System (NORAPS) prognostic model which ARAC ran over the Cape. The NORAPS runs produced detailed 24-hr forecasts of 3-D wind fields. ARAC used default
radiological accident source terms involving the potential destruction of CassiniÕs Radioisotope
Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) during 3 phases: 1) before the launch, 2) during the first 5
sec after ignition, and 3) from 5 to 143 sec after ignition. ARAC successfully developed and delivered dose and deposition plots at 24 hours, 3 hours, and 30 minutes before each of the launch windows.
Classification
Resource Type
Format
Subject
Source National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center
Keyword Atmospheric releases, Radiological releases, Cassini, Weather forecasts, Assessment, Meteorological, Models, Cape Canaveral Air Station (CCAS), 3-D,
Selector Stith
Date Of Record Creation 2009-06-16 13:04:50
Education Level
Date Last Modified 2009-06-16 13:13:23
Creator R.L. Baskett, J.C. Pace
Language English
Date Record Checked: 2009-06-16 00:00:00 (W3C-DTF)

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