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The Lead

Pocket-sized anthrax detector aids global agriculture

April 18, 2014 8:36 am | by Stephanie Holinka, Sandia National Laboratories | News | Comments

A credit-card-sized anthrax detection cartridge developed at Sandia National Laboratories and recently licensed to a small business makes testing safer, easier, faster and cheaper. Bacillus anthracis, the bacteria that causes anthrax, is commonly found in soils all over the world and can cause serious, and often fatal, illness in both humans and animals.

Clearing up cloudy understanding on solar power plant output

March 19, 2014 8:15 am | by Stephanie Hobby, Sandia National Laboratories | News | Comments

Sandia National Laboratories engineers have been studying the most effective ways to use solar...

Magnetically stimulated flow patterns offer strategy for heat-transfer problems

March 6, 2014 11:17 am | by Sue Holmes, Sandia National Laboratories | News | Comments

Sandia National Laboratories researchers Jim Martin and Kyle Solis have what Martin calls “a...

Computer power clicks with geochemistry

January 28, 2014 8:10 am | News | Comments

Sandia National Laboratories is developing computer models that show how radioactive waste...

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Sandia conducts first impact test in years of B61 nonnuclear components

January 15, 2014 3:59 pm | News | Comments

A ground-penetrating bomb, minus its nuclear components, rammed through a target at the remote Coyote Canyon test range last month in Sandia National Laboratories’ first such rocket-driven impact test in seven years. Engineers said the Sandia components on the weapon performed as expected.

Fusion instabilities lessened by unexpected effect

January 9, 2014 8:08 am | News | Comments

A surprising effect created by a 19th-century device called a Helmholtz coil offers clues about how to achieve controlled nuclear fusion at Sandia National Laboratories’ Z machine. A Helmholtz coil produces a magnetic field when electrified. In recent experiments, two Helmholtz coils, installed to provide a secondary magnetic field to Z’s huge one, unexpectedly altered and slowed the growth of the magneto-Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities.

Added molecules allow MOFs to conduct electricity

December 5, 2013 3:54 pm | News | Comments

Scientists from NIST and Sandia National Laboratories have added something new to a family of engineered, high-technology materials called metal-organic frameworks (MOFs): the ability to conduct electricity. This breakthrough—conductive MOFs—has the potential to make these already remarkable materials even more useful, particularly for detecting gases and toxic substances.

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Converting natural gas to liquid transportation fuels via biological organisms

November 18, 2013 8:17 am | News | Comments

Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories will use their expertise in protein expression, enzyme engineering and high-throughput assays as part of a multiproject, $34 million effort by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy aimed at developing advanced biocatalyst technologies that can convert natural gas to liquid fuel for transportation.

Plasmonic crystal alters to match light-frequency source

October 30, 2013 8:25 am | News | Comments

Gems are known for the beauty of the light that passes through them. But it is the fixed atomic arrangements of these crystals that determine the light frequencies permitted passage. Now a Sandia National Laboratories-led team has created a plasmonic, or plasma-containing, crystal that is tunable. The effect is achieved by adjusting a voltage applied to the plasma.

Study could help improve nuclear waste repositories

September 19, 2013 8:39 am | News | Comments

Here’s the question faced by a team of Sandia National Laboratories researchers: How fast will iodine-129 released from spent nuclear fuel move through a deep, clay-based geological repository? Understanding that process is crucial as countries worldwide consider underground clay formations for nuclear waste disposal, because clay offers low permeability and high radionuclide retention.

Harnessing the sun’s energy with tiny particles

September 17, 2013 8:43 am | News | Comments

Engineers at Sandia National Laboratories, along with partner institutions Georgia Institute of Technology, Bucknell Univ., King Saud Univ. and the German Aerospace Center, are using a falling particle receiver to more efficiently convert the sun’s energy to electricity in large-scale, concentrating solar power plants.

Report: Quality of science, engineering at National Security Labs is solid

September 11, 2013 11:38 am | News | Comments

The science and engineering capabilities that underpin the nuclear weapons stockpile stewardship and nonproliferation missions at the nation’s three national security laboratories are “healthy and vibrant,” says a new report from the National Research Council.  The committee that wrote the report found no problems with the quality of science and engineering that would prevent certification of the stockpile.

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Researching new detectors for chemical, biological threats

September 6, 2013 8:47 am | News | Comments

Sandia National Laboratories scientists are thinking small, building on decades of sensor work to invent tiny detectors that can sniff out everything from explosives and biotoxins to smuggled humans. Their potential seems unlimited. The military needs to find low concentrations of chemicals, such as those used in roadside bombs or chemical warfare agents, before they hurt anyone.

Arizona State, Sandia Labs sign renewable energy agreement

September 3, 2013 4:36 pm | News | Comments

A formal partnership agreement to encourage collaborative research, build educational and workforce development programs and inform policy endeavors regarding renewable energy efforts has been signed by Sandia National Laboratories and Arizona State Univ. The move will facilitate multidisciplinary collaborations and help them secure research funding.

Micrometer-scale 3-D, Simplified

August 29, 2013 1:35 pm | Award Winners

The semiconductor industry has provided developers with a set of tools to create sub-micrometer 2-D electronics. However, development of complex 3-D sub-micrometer-scale structures have been hampered by the lack of equipment that isn’t oriented to 2-D constructs. Developers at Sandia National Laboratories believe that their Membrane Projection Lithography (MPL) technology bridges the gap by allowing the creation of micrometer-scale 3-D metallo-dielectric structures using standard microfabrication materials and equipment.

Miniapps Pick Up the Pace

August 29, 2013 1:17 pm | Award Winners

Computers process information quickly, but they perform sequentially. Because clock speeds have stalled, future performance gains come almost solely from running sets of instructions concurrently. This will force fundamental changes for all computer components, making co-design (collaborative, simultaneous development of all system components) essential. Developed by a team led by Sandia National Laboratories, Mantevo Suite 1.0 is a promising approach to co-design.

Google Maps for Solar Glare

August 29, 2013 12:15 pm | Award Winners

Federal and local agencies have identified solar glare reflected from photovoltaic (PV) modules as a potentially significant health and safety hazard, resulting in new policies and regulations to prevent adverse impacts of glare from these solar energy installations. However, none of the time-consuming conventional tools that predict where and when glare will occur can predict visual impacts. Sandia National Laboratories has developed a Web-based Solar Glare Hazard Analysis Tool (SGHAT) that addresses these new regulations.

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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.

Low-temperature combustion enables cleaner, more efficient engines

August 14, 2013 8:45 am | News | Comments

As demand climbs for more fuel-efficient vehicles, knowledge compiled over several years about diesel engines and a new strategy known as “low-temperature combustion” (LTC) might soon lead auto manufacturers and consumers to broader use of cleaner diesel engines in the U.S.

Radiation detection to go

August 14, 2013 8:32 am | News | Comments

A Sandia National Laboratories team completed acceptance testing on an enormous mobile scanner that makes smuggling radiological materials more difficult, the eighth such unit that Sandia has deployed worldwide. The Mobile Radiation Detection and Identification System (MRDIS) enables scanning of containers that are in transit from one cargo ship to another.

Ready-to-sign license speeds up tech transfer

July 31, 2013 8:15 am | News | Comments

Sandia National Laboratories is building a portfolio of intellectual property (IP) that can be licensed by businesses in as little as an hour. Sandia’s goal is to get more of the national laboratories’ innovations into the hands of small businesses and entrepreneurs. Sandia has about 1,300 patents available for licensing.

Professor announces new supercomputer benchmark

July 10, 2013 9:33 am | News | Comments

Since 1993, Jack Dongarra, professor of computer science at the Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, has led the ranking of the world's top 500 supercomputers. But Dongarra says Linpack and the TOP500 ranking hasn't kept pace with supercomputing needs and must be updated. He and a colleague are developing a new benchmark that is expected to be released in time for the next TOP500 list release in November.

Sandia wins three 2013 R&D 100 Awards

July 9, 2013 4:43 pm | News | Comments

Sandia National Laboratories researchers captured three 2013 R&D 100 Awards. R&D Magazine presents the awards each year to researchers whom its editors and independent judging panels determine have developed the year’s 100 most outstanding advances in applied technologies. The Sandia winners are: Membrane Projection Lithography, Mantevo Suite 1.0 and the Solar Glare Hazard Analysis Tool.

Improving the reliability, resiliency of Hoboken’s electric grid

July 3, 2013 7:57 am | News | Comments

Sandia National Laboratories will help East Coast communities devastated by Hurricane Sandy boost the resiliency of their electric grids, so they can be better prepared to deal with natural disasters in the future. Sandia’s Energy Surety Design Methodology is a quantitative, risk-based assessment approach that has been applied at more than 25 sites nationwide in cooperation with more than 20 local and regional utilities.

Power for seaports may be the next job for hydrogen fuel cells

June 27, 2013 8:01 am | News | Comments

Hydrogen fuel cells are already powering mobile lighting systems, forklifts, emergency backup systems and light-duty trucks, among other applications. Now, researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have found that hydrogen fuel cells may be both technically feasible and commercially attractive as a clean, quiet and efficient power source for ships at berth, replacing on-board diesel generators.

Detecting homemade explosives, not toothpaste

June 13, 2013 7:52 am | News | Comments

Sandia National Laboratories researchers want airports, border checkpoints and others to detect homemade explosives made with hydrogen peroxide without nabbing people whose toothpaste happens to contain peroxide. That’s part of the challenge faced in developing a portable sensor to detect a common homemade explosive called a FOx mixture, made by mixing hydrogen peroxide with fuels.

“Popcorn” particle pathways promise better lithium-ion batteries

June 11, 2013 7:59 am | News | Comments

Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have confirmed the particle-by-particle mechanism by which lithium ions move in and out of electrodes made of lithium iron phosphate (LFP), findings that could lead to better performance in lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles, medical equipment and aircraft.

Sandia, SRI International sign pact to advance hydrogen gas research

May 30, 2013 7:50 am | News | Comments

Sandia National Laboratories and SRI International will join forces to explore, test and evaluate a broad range of hydrogen and natural gas fuel systems and components for transportation applications under a new agreement. The five-year memorandum of understanding is the first agreement in Sandia’s new Center for Infrastructure Research and Innovation, an alternative fuel research and innovation facility.

Army Ground Combat Systems adopts Sandia tool

May 21, 2013 11:35 am | News | Comments

Sandia National Laboratories has developed key components of a software tool to help the Army's PEO GCS analyze countless what-if scenarios that can be manipulated as technology advances and the global environment, the federal budget, or other factors change. Sandia calls this advanced combination of modeling, simulation, and optimization decision support software the Capability Portfolio Analysis Tool (CPAT).

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