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Assessment of the detection abilities of monitoring networks for passive tracers at local and regional scales

Abstract : We propose a method to evaluate the detection abilities of networks used for protection purposes. Such networks are designed for the detection of nuclear, biological or gaseous emissions, without constraint on the source location. Their assigned goal is to have the best chance to detect a threatening emission located anywhere in the vicinity of a domain to protect. Two sensors siting applications are addressed: sensors placed in the surroundings of a facility to protect, or sensors carried by people scattered within a small area. A network protection ability is related both to its detection scope, and to its response time. To assess the performance of such networks, two statistical indicators are therefore designed: the detection probability, computed on a large number of possible source locations, and the saturation time, which is the time when the maximum detection probability has been reached. Simulations are then carried out with the Polyphemus air quality modeling system for many emission scenarios, including 961 possible source locations, various emitted species, and a few representative meteorological situations. This allows to assess the performance of single sensors as well as full networks, and their sensitivity to parameters like meteorological conditions and source characteristics. The emitted quantity and meteorological dispersion are found to be important parameters, whereas the species type does not significantly influence the results. Two network design methods are considered: (1) networks composed of a given number of the “best” sensors according to an indicator, and (2) sensors placed in circles around the protected domain. The networks built with respect to the detection probability show good results with a limited number of sensors, while the saturation time is not reliable enough to build networks. The networks based on circles also show a good performance in the studied cases, provided there is a sufficient number of sensors.
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I. Korsakissok, Vivien Mallet, Bruno Sportisse. Assessment of the detection abilities of monitoring networks for passive tracers at local and regional scales. Atmospheric environment, Elsevier, 2010, 44 (3), pp.408-420. ⟨10.1016/j.atmosenv.2009.10.022⟩. ⟨inria-00543191⟩

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