I never really thought about what it would be like to not see well or not at all. The closest I have ever been to blind was while finding my way through the touch tunnel at New Jersey’s Liberty Science Center, which, quite frankly, freaked me out. In fact, upon being given the question of choice, in a game of “Would You Rather”, between losing my hearing or my sight, I chose hearing hands down because any aesthetic pleasure would be taken away from me without being able to see.
The Precision Robotic Assembly Machine for Building Nuclear Fusion Ignition Targets, invented at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Livermore, Calif.) is able to piece together a small, but complex assembly that requires micrometer clearances.
The Spectral Sentry—Protecting High-Intensity Lasers from Bandwidth-Related Damage, developed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Livermore, Calif.), is a device that inspects each individual laser pulse generated by the laser it is protecting and determines if the pulse meets the minimum bandwidth requirements to avoid self-destruction when amplified.
The Laser Beam Centering and Pointing System (LBCAPS) from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Livermore, Calif) enhances precision laser beam alignment.
Decades after armed conflicts end, hidden land mines continue to maim and kill thousands of innocent civilians. Today, 79 countries are plagued by mine fields, with limited resources to remove them. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (Livermore, Calif.) Land Mine Locator is a humanitarian aerial land mine detection platform designed to identify what today’s metal detectors can not.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (Livermore, Calif.) FemtoScope is a “time microscope” that uses a single-shot, real-time process to stretch out the waveform and capture rare events that are difficult to reproduce.
The upcoming changes in government leadership will create temporary issues in the government’s network of research labs until new strategies are defined and funded.
Many materials and biological processes occur far too quickly for a high-end microscope to witness, let alone the human eye. Observation of these phenomena, which can occur under extreme temperature and applied pressure, requires a tool like the Dynamic Transmission Electron Microscope (DTEM), developed by researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Livermore, Calif.) and JEOL USA, Inc (Peabody, Mass.). The DTEM captures images with a high spatial resolution of less than 10 nm, using a laser-driven electron source to produce an extremely brief but intense pulse of 109 electrons.
The Autonomous Alignment Process for Laser Fusion Systems (AAPLF), developed by scientists and engineers at LLNL (Livermore, Calif.), is a revolutionary system of software, signal and image processing, sensors, and actuated optical devices that autonomously directs and aligns all 192 NIF laser beams.
More than 200 million cargo containers are used every year to transport 90% of the world’s cargo on trains, ships, and trucks. Ensuring the security of these containers has led researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to create SecureBox: National Security Through Secure Cargo, a monitoring system for protecting cargo containers from unauthorized entry attempts.
Researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Livermore, Calif.), in conjunction with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) and the Space Sciences Laboratory, at the Univ. of Calif. at Berkeley (Berkeley, Calif.), have developed a way to rapidly search large areas for illicit radioactive materials with the Large Area Imager for Standoff Detection (LAI).
Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Livermore, Calif.), in conjunction with researchers at The Zygo Corp. (Middlefield, Conn.) and QED Technologies (Rochester, N.Y.), have developed Large-Aperture Continuous Phase Plate (CPP) Optics Manufactured Using Magnetorheological Finishing (MRF). MRF combines interferometry, precision equipment, and computer control to arrive at a highly versatile and precise process for polishing surface topography into optical surfaces.
Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Livermore, Calif.) and Field Forensics Inc. (St. Petersburg, Fla.) have developed a new, compact way to screen for explosives. The E.L.I.T.E. (Easy Livermore Inspection Test for Explosives), Model EL100 card is a shirt-pocket-sized trace explosives test that is robust, cheap, and simple enough to be used by security forces everywhere. It is self-contained, requiring only a small auxiliary heating system such as a butane lighter or battery-powered heater.
Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Livermore, Calif.), working jointly with researchers at Crystal Photonics, Inc. (Sanford, Fla.), have developed a Wavelength Converter for High-Average-Power Lasers. This novel technology efficiently changes the color of laser light, enabling large-aperture, high-average-power lasers to operate at wavelengths different than the wavelength set by the laser medium.
From anti-terrorism to traffic enforcement, surveillance technologies continue to play a vital role in protecting/securing the world’s citizens. Engineers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Lux Solis, LLC, Logos Technologies, and SequoiaTek Corp. have offered a new variant on existing surveillance systems with the Sonoma Persistent Surveillance System. Expressly designed for nonproliferation applications, Sonoma is an end-to-end systems approach to monitoring a large field of view, with sufficient resolution and frame rate to track all moving objects in a given field.
Technology remains at the frontline in the U.S.’s ongoing war against terror. Among the technologies currently being used are transportable nuclear material detectors. Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Livermore, Calif.) and VeriCold Technologies GmbH (Ismaning, Germany) have offered a new variant of these systems with the UltraSpec, a portable, high-resolution spectrometer that can be configured to quickly characterize and identify gamma-ray and neutron sources.
NanoFoil is a nanoengineered heat source that enables lead-free soldering and brazing of materials at room temperature. Developed by Reactive NanoTechnologies (RNT) in Hunt Valley, Md., with support from researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Calif., and Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, Md., the NanoFoils are manufactured by vapor depositing hundreds of nanoscale layers that alternate between elements, such as aluminum and nickel.
Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, Calif., along with Global FIA, Fox Island, Wash., have developed a detection device, Autonomous Pathogen Detection System (APDS), that continuously and automatically monitors the environment for up to 100 deadly agents per sample.
Conceived by physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Calif., the Inductrack Magnetic Levitation System uses a new type of maglev technology to create its levitating fields. Under development by General Atomics, San Diego, Calif., the prototype of this system uses Halbach arrays (a special configuration of neodymium, iron, and boron magnets) located beneath train cars.
Developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Calif., the Diode-Pumped Pulsed Laser for Mine Clearing (DP-PLMC) can reduce the risk of injury or death to military and humanitarian groups by offering them the opportunity to disable a mine without actually exposing it. By using high energy pulses (average power 10,000 W) from an array of high energy diodes pumping a crystalline Gadolinium Gallium Garnet doped with Neodymium (Nd:GGG) medium, the laser is able to trigger explosive vaporization of moisture, organics, and even soil above the buried land mine.
Developed by an alliance between Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Calif., and Metal Improvement Co., Inc., Paramus, N.J., the Lasershot Precision Metal Forming System: A Revolution in Modern Aircraft Manufacturing is a technique that uses a pulsed solid-state laser system to apply a deep level of residual stress into specified metal or alloy surfaces.
The Ion Beam Thin-Film Planarization Process, developed by Paul Mirkarimi at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Calif., uses a thin-film coating and ion beam etching technique with silicon-based films to generate nearly perfect surfaces. The primary application of this technique is to fabricate components for the next generation of lithography tools used in the manufacture of ICs.
An electro-optic crystal—a crystal with a voltage-dependent refractive index that is also known as a Q-switch—can exhibit response times as short as one ns. The High Average Power Electro-optic Q-switch from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Calif., removes the thermal limitations of large-aperture electro-optic switches allowing, for the first time, a high-average power laser to use the switching capability of the electro-optic switch without altering the beam shape to a 10:1 ratio in a slab laser architecture.
On rare occasions, government and industry collaborate on large development programs with discernible commercial end results. The Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography (EUVL) Full-Field Step-Scan System for Patterning Future Generations of Microelectronics is one of those programs. The system is the world's only full-field semiconductor lithography tool that satisfies production-scale requirements for patterning microelectronics, with unprecedented circuit feature resolution of 50 nm.
Diode pump arrays for solid-state lasers hinge upon the cost and performance of the arrays. Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Calif., developed the SiMM (Silicon Monolithic Microchannel) Cooled Laser Diode Array. The SiMM package—developed by Barry Freitas of LLNL—accomplishes both effective cooling of semiconductor devices and high power output in a form that is specifically designed for building up large arrays.