WEST FARGO, N.D. - Like thousands of his neighbors, Scott Roller woke up on Sunday morning to an alarming text message.
Roller, vice president of Diamond B Technology Solutions, ignored the warning and jumped into action.
With help from TechLink, Roller's company had just licensed the Local-Rapid Evaluation of Atmospheric Conditions, a real-time plume modeling software invented by a team of researchers (led by a meteorologist) at the Army Research Laboratory.
Using wind and weather data the application maps a smoke or chemical plume's distance and direction, showing emergency managers precisely which areas to evacuate during a crisis.
"I logged into our web-based app, set the incident location."
Using data from the public weather sensor at the nearby Hector International Airport in Fargo, Roller had an accurate plume model within five minutes.