The Chemical and Biological National Security Program (CBNP) within the National Nuclear Security Agency (NNSA) of the Department of Energy (DOE) sponsored a meteorological and tracer field campaign to study the urban environment and ultimately its effect on atmospheric dispersion. This field campaign, known as URBAN, was conducted in Salt Lake City in October 2000, and was coincident with the DOE's Vertical Transport and Mixing Experiment (VTMX), a region-wide meteorological and tracer experiment. URBAN was unique, with experiments conducted to investigate transport and diffusion around a single downtown building, within and through the downtown area and into the greater Salt Lake City urban area. The results of the urban field experiments will be used to understand the meteorological and fluid dynamical processes governing dispersion in urban areas and will be used to evaluate and improve the atmospheric dispersion models developed by CBNP researchers.
Project Leadership of the CBNP urban studies was shared by Pacific Northwest, Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos National Laboratories. The NOAA Air Resources Laboratory Field Research Division, Brookhaven National Laboratory, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Dugway Proving Ground, the Army Research Office, the United Kingdom's Defense Evaluation and Research Agency, Vaisala Corporation, Litton industries, Indiana University and Coherent Technologies were key participants in the study.