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The Republic of Senegal Disaster Preparedness and Response Exercise was held from June 2-6, 2014, in Dakar, Senegal. The goal was to assist in familiarizing roles and responsibilities within 3 existing plans and to update the National Disaster Management Strategic Work Plan.
There were 60 participants in the exercise, which was driven by a series of evolving disaster scenarios. During the separate Disaster Management Strategic Work Plan review, participants refined a list of projects, including specific tasks to provide a “road map” for completing each project, project timelines, and estimated resource requirements. Project staff administered a survey to conference participants.
A total of 86% of respondents had improved knowledge of Senegal disaster plans as a result of the exercise. A total of 89% of respondents had a better understanding of their ministry’s role in disaster response, and 92% had a better understanding of the role of the military during a pandemic. Participants also generated ideas for disaster management system improvement in Senegal through a formal “gap analysis.”
Participants were in strong agreement that the exercise helped them to better understand the contents of their disaster response plans, build relationships across ministerial lines, and effectively enhance future disaster response efforts. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:183–189)
At the summit of the Antarctic plateau, Dome A offers an intriguing location for future large scale optical astronomical observatories. The Gattini Dome A project was created to measure the optical sky brightness and large area cloud cover of the winter-time sky above this high altitude Antarctic site. The wide field camera and multi-filter system was installed on the PLATO instrument module as part of the Chinese-led traverse to Dome A in January 2008. This automated wide field camera consists of an Apogee U4000 interline CCD coupled to a Nikon fisheye lens enclosed in a heated container with glass window. The system contains a filter mechanism providing a suite of standard astronomical photometric filters (Bessell B, V, R) and a long-pass red filter for the detection and monitoring of airglow emission. The system operated continuously throughout the 2009, and 2011 winter seasons and part-way through the 2010 season, recording long exposure images sequentially for each filter. We have in hand one complete winter-time dataset (2009) returned via a manned traverse. We present here the first measurements of sky brightness in the photometric V band, cloud cover statistics measured so far and an estimate of the extinction.
Despite the absence of artificial light pollution at Antarctic plateau sites such as Dome A, other factors such as airglow, aurorae and extended periods of twilight have the potential to adversely affect optical observations. We present a statistical analysis of the airglow and aurorae at Dome A using spectroscopic data from Nigel, an optical/near-IR spectrometer operating in the 300–850 nm range. The median auroral contribution to the B, V and R photometric bands is found to be 22.9, 23.4 and 23.0 mag arcsec−2 respectively. We are also able to quantify the amount of annual dark time available as a function of wavelength; on average twilight ends when the Sun reaches a zenith distance of 102.6°.
We studied the early stages of polymerization of CO under pressure. We performed DFT simulations of 128 and 432 atom models. Structures of random networks found at zero temperature were used for equilibration at 100 K by employing first principles MD. We found that the polymerization begins at 7 - 8 GPa and slightly depends on the size of the model. It turned out that there are several metastable phases of the extended CO solid, corresponding to different compression pressures from 7 - 8 GPa to 15-18 GPa with different numbers of CO fragments, not connected to the random network. We also found that the transition to the phases is irreversible which results in hysteresis loops. Random network structures obtained, say, under 18 GPa could exist at 3 GPa, whereas compression to 3 GPa results in the delta phase of CO crystal, with intact CO fragments and minor distortion of the cubic phase. To analyze the random structure fragments we calculated normal modes and IR intensities using the dipole approximation. Contributions from the main motifs of the random network are identified and compared with experimental IR measurements.
Anodized Aluminum Oxide (AAO) based micro-channel plates (MCP) are fabricated in order to develop economical large-area photodetectors. Commercially available glass capillary array has a limitation to reach channel diameter below ~10 microns. However, smaller channel diameter is desired for better spatial and fast timing resolution. AAO based MCP is a good candidate to produce channel diameter less than 10 um by taking advantage of the nano-scale intrinsic pores during etching process. In this study, various channel diameters are fabricated with use of lithographic patterning techniques and wet etching; and characterized with optical, atomic force, and scanning electron microscopies. The channel diameter, channel length and related aspect ratio, as well as the open area are varied in order to maximize the MCP photon amplification.
Studies of selective adhesion of biological molecules provide a path for understanding fundamental cellular properties. A useful technique is to use patterned substrates, where the pattern of interest has the same length scale as the molecular bonding sites of a cell, in the tens of nanometer range. We employ electrochemical methods to grow anodic alumina, which has a naturally ordered pore structure (interpore spacing of 40 to 400 nm) controlled by the anodization potential. We have also developed methods to selectively fill the alumina pores with materials with contrasting properties. Gold, for example, is electrochemically plated into the pores, and the excess material is removed by backsputter etching. The result is a patterned surface with closely separated islands of Au, surrounded by hydrophilic alumina. The pore spacing, which is determined by fabrication parameters, is hypothesized to have a direct effect on the spatial density of adhesion sites. By attaching adhesive molecules to the Au islands, we are able to observe and study cell rolling and adhesion phenomena. Through the measurements it is possible to estimate the length scale of receptor clusters on the cell surface. This information is useful in understanding mechanisms of leukocytes adhesion to endothelial cells as well as the effect of adhesion molecules adaptation on transmission of extracellular forces. The method also has applications in tissue engineering, drug and gene delivery, cell signaling and biocompatibility design.