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Nuclear Energy in Space

August 28, 2013 9:51 am | Award Winners

Numerous space probes have taken advantage of radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) powered by plutonium. However, the end of the Cold War has brought about a shortage of plutonium. In collaboration with NASA Glenn Research Center and National Security Technologies, Los Alamos National Laboratory has developed an alternative type of nuclear reactor, one that uses plentiful uranium as its fuel source.

Compact, Lightweight X-ray Scans

August 28, 2013 8:10 am | Award Winners

X-ray scanners are, even after decades of development, bulky, heavy, expensive and not always reliable. Los Alamos National Laboratory, with the help of several industry experts in optics, has introduced an x-ray device, MiniMAX that overcomes these limitations.

3-D Earth model accurately pinpoints source of earthquakes, explosions

August 22, 2013 7:58 am | News | Comments

During the Cold War, U.S. and international monitoring agencies could spot nuclear tests and focused on measuring their sizes. Today, they’re looking around the globe to pinpoint much smaller explosives tests. Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory have partnered to develop a 3-D model of the Earth’s mantle and crust called SALSA3D, with the purpose to assist in locating explosions.


LANL announces Express Licensing program

August 6, 2013 9:41 am | News | Comments

With the launch of a new “Express Licensing” program, access to innovative technology invented at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) has gotten easier. The new licensing alternative was announced by David Pesiri, Dir. of LANL’s Technology Transfer Div.

Van Allen probes pinpoint driver of speeding electrons

July 25, 2013 7:08 pm | News | Comments

After studying data from a pair of NASA probes roaming the harsh space environment within the Van Allen radiation belts, researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory believe they have solved a lingering mystery about how electrons within Earth’s radiation belt can suddenly become energetic enough to kill orbiting satellites.

Los Alamos lab upgrades Powerwall Theater with visualization projection

July 25, 2013 11:53 am | News | Comments

The Powerwall Theater (PWT) at Los Alamos National Laboratory is an innovative facility that enables researchers to view the complex models and simulations they have created using some of the world’s fastest supercomputers. Recently, PWT was upgraded with 40 double-stacked Christie Mirage 3-D LED projectors that will provide seamless, integrated 3-D visualization.

Decision Sciences, LANL win 2013 R&D 100 Award

July 24, 2013 12:49 pm | News | Comments

Decision Sciences International Corp. and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) announced they have been recognized by R&D Magazine as a 2013 R&D 100 award winner for their Multi-Mode Passive Detection System Technology.

Auto industry steel project to boost efficiency, safety

July 11, 2013 10:36 am | News | Comments

Higher-strength, lighter-weight steels could be coming to a car near you in the near future as part of a DOE advanced manufacturing initiative. Researchers are lending their expertise to a three-year, $1.2-million project to develop a new class of advanced steels for the automotive industry, materials that will be produced using cleaner manufacturing methods.


B&W applauds NNSA sites selected for 2013 R&D 100 Awards

July 11, 2013 9:01 am | News | Comments

Three National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) sites where The Babcock & Wilcox Co. (B&W) operates have been selected as recipients of R&D Magazine's 2013 R&D 100 Awards. Sites honored include the Y-12 National Security Complex, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Los Alamos National Laboratory.

X-ray imaging, spacecraft nuclear fission, cosmic ray contraband detection score R&D 100 Awards

July 9, 2013 12:22 pm | News | Comments

Three technologies from the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory and its partners were honored with 2013 R&D 100 Awards. MiniMAX is a battery-powered, digital x-ray imaging system that is completely self-contained, lightweight, compact and portable. KiloPower uses a nuclear fission system as a heat source that transfers heat via a heat pipe to a small power convertor to produce electricity from uranium.

Research team creates highly portable x-ray imaging system

June 26, 2013 1:03 pm | News | Comments

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and Tribogenics, a developer of x-ray solutions, have recently partnered to create a unique, lightweight, compact, low-cost X-ray system that uses LANL’s MiniMAX (miniature, mobile, agile, x-ray) camera to provide real-time inspection of sealed containers and facilities. The innovative technology will be featured at an upcoming International Atomic Energy Agency conference.

Less is more: Novel cellulose structure requires fewer enzymes to process biomass to fuel

June 19, 2013 4:49 pm | News | Comments

Improved methods for breaking down cellulose nanofibers are central to cost-effective biofuel production and the subject of new research from Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center. Scientists are investigating the unique properties of crystalline cellulose nanofibers to develop novel chemical pretreatments and designer enzymes for biofuel production from cellulosic—or non-food—plant derived biomass.

Metamaterial flexible sheets could transform optics

June 6, 2013 8:38 am | News | Comments

New ultrathin, planar, lightweight and broadband polarimetric photonic devices and optics could result from recent research by a team of Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists. The advances would boost security screening systems, infrared thermal cameras, energy harvesting and radar systems.


Catalyst could jumpstart e-cars, green energy

June 4, 2013 1:08 pm | News | Comments

Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists have designed a new type of nanostructured-carbon-based catalyst that could pave the way for reliable, economical next-generation batteries and alkaline fuel cells, providing for practical use of wind- and solar-powered electricity, as well as enhanced hybrid electric vehicles.

Sequoia supercomputer transitions to classified work

April 18, 2013 8:05 am | News | Comments

The National Nuclear Security Administration announced that its Sequoia supercomputer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has completed its transition to classified computing in support of the Stockpile Stewardship Program, which helps the United States ensure the safety, security, and effectiveness of its aging nuclear weapons stockpile without the use of underground testing.

Antibody evolution could guide HIV vaccine development

April 6, 2013 3:25 pm | News | Comments

Observing the evolution of a particular type of antibody in an infected HIV-1 patient has provided insights that will enable vaccination strategies that mimic the actual antibody development within the body. Spearheaded by Duke University, the multi-institution study included analysis from Los Alamos National Laboratory and used high-energy X-rays from the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory.

Scientists get inside look at how AIDS virus grooms its assault team

April 1, 2013 1:20 pm | News | Comments

A new study by a team of scientists defines previously unknown properties of transmitted HIV-1, the virus that causes AIDS. The viruses that successfully pass from a chronically infected person to a new individual are both remarkably resistant to a powerful initial human immune-response mechanism, and they are blanketed in a greater amount of envelope protein that helps them access and enter host cells.

End of the line for Roadrunner supercomputer

April 1, 2013 11:00 am | by Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press | News | Comments

Still among the 25 fastest supercomputers in the world, the $121 million Roadrunner at Los Alamos National Laboratory was decommissioned Sunday. Roadrunner, constructed with the help of IBM, was the first to break the petaflop barrier in 2008, and was unusual at the time for being entirely built out of commercially available parts. Its replacement is smaller, cheaper, and faster.

Quantum cryptography put to work for electric grid security

February 15, 2013 11:25 am | News | Comments

Recently, a Los Alamos National Laboratory quantum cryptography (QC) team successfully completed the first-ever demonstration of securing control data for electric grids using quantum cryptography. The project, says experts, shows that quantum cryptography is compatible with electric-grid control communications, providing strong security assurances rooted in the laws of physics, without introducing excessive delays in data delivery.

Metamaterials provide active control of slow-light devices

February 13, 2013 10:49 am | News | Comments

Wireless communications and optical computing could soon get a significant boost in speed, thanks to “slow light” and specialized metamaterials through which it travels. Researchers have made the first demonstration of rapidly switching on and off “slow light” in specially designed materials at room temperature. This work opens the possibility to design novel, chip-scale, ultrafast devices for applications in terahertz wireless communications and all-optical computing.

New process speeds conversion of biomass to fuels

February 8, 2013 8:57 am | News | Comments

Scientists made a major step forward recently towards transforming biomass-derived molecules into fuels. The team led by Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers elucidated the chemical mechanism of the critical steps, which can be performed under relatively mild, energy-efficient conditions.

DOE, NASA demonstrate simple, robust fission reactor

November 27, 2012 11:18 am | News | Comments

A team of researchers have built a new type of nuclear reactor that is reliable enough to be used on space flights. The prototype, which has been used to generate 24 W of electricity, relies on heat pipe technology developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1983. The fluid-based cooling system requires no moving parts and the reactor itself is based on a simply closed-loop Stirling engine.

Laser research shows promise for cancer treatment

August 20, 2012 9:25 am | News | Comments

Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have observed, for the first time, how a laser penetrates dense, electron-rich plasma to generate ions. The process has applications for developing next generation particle accelerators and new cancer treatments.

ChemCam laser sets its sights on first Martian target

August 17, 2012 10:08 am | News | Comments

Members of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover ChemCam team have received the first photos from the instrument's remote microimager. The successful capture of ChemCam's first 10 photos sets the stage for the first test bursts of the instrument's rock-zapping laser in the near future.

Research provides new insights into actinide electronic structure

August 10, 2012 5:20 am | News | Comments

A team of researchers studying the fundamental properties of the actinide elements has significantly advanced the understanding of the electronic structure of elements that have electrons occupying f-orbitals.

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