Weather delays tests on system to detect chemical weapons

Friday, January 16th 2004, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Rainy weather and fog Friday delayed planned tests by Army scientists who are trying to create a computer system that would be able to detect a chemical weapons attack.

In the tests, scientists planned to have a single-engine Cessna 182A plane fly at different altitudes over portions of the city to test whether two radar systems functioned together correctly.

Eventually, scientists hope the 3-D technology will allow them to detect when a substance is released from an aircraft.

The experiment, which was to run through Tuesday, will start when weather permits.

The tests are the fourth in a series of experiments by a team from the Army, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Scientists did not plan to release any chemicals during the weekend experiment.

In earlier tests, harmless chemicals were released in Oklahoma City and central Oklahoma to trace their spread using radar equipment.

More tests are planned in February and March, said Army spokeswoman Cynthia Smith.