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National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center taps PNNL to support DHS Program

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Posted October 27, 2015
Data intensive visual analytic tools are needed to address unique challenges in creating simulations aimed at safeguarding the nation's infrastructure. PNNL's capabilities in data and visual analytics will support the Department of Homeland Security's National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center.

Data intensive visual analytic tools are needed to address unique challenges in creating simulations aimed at safeguarding the nation’s infrastructure. PNNL’s capabilities in data and visual analytics will support the Department of Homeland Security’s National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center.

The Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has been named a supporting Laboratory to the National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center. NISAC is a Department of Homeland Security program that addresses the potential vulnerabilities and consequences of disruption of our nation’s critical infrastructure.

NISAC coordinates scientific computational capabilities, and modeling and analysis expertise to discover relationships and develop insights about infrastructure vulnerabilities in the case of natural disasters, and both intentional and accidental manmade events.

“NISAC recognizes PNNL’s in depth analytic capabilities in critical infrastructure,” said Alan Berscheid, NISAC principal investigator at PNNL. “The expertise can be used to simulate events ranging from hurricanes to terrorist attacks and to predict and track potential impacts to critical facilities and the economy.”

PNNL will contribute advanced computer modeling and simulation capabilities to look at the dependencies, interdependencies, vulnerabilities, and complexities of important critical infrastructure sectors such as dams, water, transportation, energy and information technology.

PNNL’s expertise in visual analytics also will assist NISAC analysts by creating more dynamic representations of threats, vulnerabilities and consequences of disruptive events.

“The establishment of PNNL as a NISAC laboratory is indicative of PNNL’s ongoing commitment to DHS’s mission to protect and defend our nation’s critical infrastructure by aiding decision makers in the areas of policy analysis, investment and mitigation planning, education and training and near real-time assistance to crisis response organizations,” said PNNL program director Tim McPherson.

McPherson was recently hired to expand the application of PNNL’s capabilities in this area. He has been working in critical infrastructure analysis for more than 15 years with federal partners in the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense. Alan Berscheid recently joined the laboratory with more than 20 years of experience in infrastructure analytics.

Source: PNNL

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