Honors Gallery

CT-Analyst® - Air Plume Contamination Crisis Management System

Award: Excellence in Technology Transfer

Year: 2017

Award Type:

Region: Mid-Atlantic

U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL)

The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has developed an instantaneous crisis management system that provides more timely and readily comprehensible information to emergency responders. This Navy-patented system, known as Contaminant Transfer Analyst (CT Analyst®), uses detailed urban geometry and airflow data that can be computer-manipulated to predict the potential impact of urban air plume contamination more quickly than other similar modeling systems. Chemical, biological, or radiological (CBR) explosions can release toxic gas plumes, whether by accident or as a result of terrorism. Statistically, three-fourths of fatalities result from the direct exposure to CBR contaminants within the first 15 minutes of an event, making emergency response times critical. If an effective response begins within 3 to 5 minutes, an estimated 85 percent of those fatalities could be avoided.

CT-Analyst® gives first responders a key advantage, allowing them to spend less time calculating response needs and more time saving lives. The system’s database “imagines” every possible scenario, including where you are on the street, where the fire trucks are headed and, more importantly, where you can set up a triage zone or whatever else is needed. It anticipates where the contaminant plume is likely to travel and what zones will be free of contaminants.

The NRL team responsible for the successful transfer initially met in 2010 to coordinate and intensify transfer strategies, responding to growing interest in the product outside the Navy laboratory. This effort included the CT-Analyst® inventors from NRL’s Laboratory for Computational Physics and Fluid Dynamics, NRL's Technology Transfer Office, and NRL's Office of General Counsel. A partially exclusive patent license agreement was signed in 2013 with Safe Environment Engineering (SEE) of California. Under the SEE agreement, CT-Analyst® has been transferred to a number of first responder communities worldwide, including the city of Los Angeles and countrywide in Kuwait. 

In addition, NRL executed two Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) with the University of Hamburg in 2010 and 2014. Most recently, another was executed in May 2016 with the University Graduate Center (UNIK) in Norway. The three CRADAs enabled operational demonstrations of CT-Analyst® in the cities of Hamburg and Oslo. To make the Navy technology available to a wider variety of consumers, NRL’s Office of General Counsel has navigated export control issues and entered CT-Analyst® into multiple customized Work for Others Agreements. Onsite demonstrations have consistently substantiated the Navy-patented technology’s utility in urban settings. Two examples are the demonstrations during preparations for the 2006 Super Bowl in Detroit and Washington’s 2013 presidential inauguration, when the federal government’s All-Hazards Center used CT-Analyst® to provide an initial assessment of airborne contaminant threats.


  • Amanda Horansky-McKinney

  • Kendra Flowers

  • Patricia Doutriaux

  • Adam Moses

  • Dr. Gopal Patnaik

  • Keith Obenschain

  • Cameron Childs

  • Dr. John Dennis 

Contact: Amanda Horansky-McKinney, (202) 767-1644, [email protected]