A software-based tool, developed by Sandia National Laboratories
for managing the collection, visualisation and analysis of
environmental sampling data, is now available to potential
Sandia’s Building Restoration Operations Optimisation
Model (BROOM) software system was developed to help decision
makers - during the planning phase and throughout actual cleanup
operations - to speed up reoccupation and return to service
of contaminated buildings and facilities.
The tool provides an efficient and scientifically defensible
approach to planning and executing sampling and cleanup
To date, there has been no comprehensive system for
handling and assisting with this process.
Originally developed for use during cleanup of facilities
following a bioterrorism attack, BROOM is easily adapted to
other spatial domains where accurate and efficient data tracking,
management, optimisation and analysis of samples are needed.
Possible users and/or applications of BROOM include -
- Environmental cleanup (including Superfund sites)
- Remediation companies
- Industrial hygiene
- Forensics/crime units
- Incident characterisation
- Decontamination contractors
- Health agencies
- Airports, subways
- Government buildings
- Ports of entry
- Water utilities
- Gas and electric utilities
- Chemical plants - and
- Other critical infrastructure facilities.
BROOM’s integrated data collection, fast and efficient data
management and easy-to-use visualisation software, provides
the ability to manage information needed to help assess contamination
within a facility, most effectively - and efficiently plan
operations to remediate that contamination, complete the clean
up and restore the facility to operation.
BROOM improves the efficiency of cleanup operations, minimises
facility downtime and provides a transparent basis for reopening.
The last factor is critical in gaining public and regulatory
acceptance for declaring a facility to be “clean” and
safe to reoccupy.
The centerpiece of BROOM is a handheld device, which
looks like a typical PDA, but packs a large amount of
data and information.
The device uses sophisticated algorithms to generate
contamination maps and layouts of the location where
the responders are collecting samples and to develop
statistically based sampling plans and a barcode scanner
to track tagged samples.
It also maintains chain-of-custody records and electronic
forms to capture information - such as the sample type, surface
type and texture, collection method and other important data
that is collectively managed by the BROOM software.
During time-sensitive events when sampling data is needed
quickly, information can be wirelessly transmitted to a PC
or central command station outside the contaminated area in
a secure manner. The results can be displayed on a map on
both the handheld device and the PC - allowing decision makers
to determine if an area is truly clean and to reopen facilities
as quickly as possible.