Publications / Conference Poster

FEMA asteroid impact tabletop exercise simulations

Boslough, Mark B.; Jennings, Barbara J.; Carvey, Brad; Fogleman, William

We describe the computational simulations and damage assessments that we provided in support of a tabletop exercise (TTX) at the request of NASA's Near-Earth Objects Program Office. The overall purpose of the exercise was to assess leadership reactions, information requirements, and emergency management responses to a hypothetical asteroid impact with Earth. The scripted exercise consisted of discovery, tracking, and characterization of a hypothetical asteroid; inclusive of mission planning, mitigation, response, impact to population, infrastructure and GDP, and explicit quantification of uncertainty. Participants at the meeting included representatives of NASA, Department of Defense, Department of State, Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the White House. The exercise took place at FEMA headquarters. Sandia's role was to assist the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in developing the impact scenario, to predict the physical effects of the impact, and to forecast the infrastructure and economic losses. We ran simulations using Sandia's CTH hydrocode to estimate physical effects on the ground, and to produce contour maps indicating damage assessments that could be used as input for the infrastructure and economic models. We used the FASTMap tool to provide estimates of infrastructure damage over the affected area, and the REAcct tool to estimate the potential economic severity expressed as changes to GDP (by nation, region, or sector) due to damage and short-term business interruptions.