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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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).
One of the most promising new kinds of battery to power electric cars is called a lithium-air battery. But progress has been slow. Researchers have used transmission electron microscope (TEM) imaging to observe, at a molecular level, what goes on during a reaction called oxygen evolution as lithium-air batteries charge; this reaction is thought to be a bottleneck limiting further improvements to these batteries.
A Sandia engineer who trained U.S. soldiers to avoid improvised explosive devices (IEDs) has developed a fertilizer that helps plants grow but can’t detonate a bomb. It’s an alternative to ammonium nitrate, an agricultural staple that is also the raw ingredient in most of the IEDs in Afghanistan. Sandia has decided not to patent or license the formula, but to make it freely available in hopes of saving lives.
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.
Technology used in downhole applications—such as geothermal or oil-well monitoring—must endure punishing conditions, from very high temperatures to tremendous pressures. Finding a solder material that can perform in these harsh environments is a constant challenge. Researchers have recently repurposed a solder alloy once intended defense applications that has all the right properties for well tasks.
Sandia National Laboratories researchers Lisa Deibler and Arthur Brown had a ready-made problem for their computer modeling work when they partnered with the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Kansas City Plant to improve stainless steel tubing that was too hard to meet nuclear weapon requirements.
Researchers have successfully measured reaction rates of a second Criegee intermediate, CH3CHOO, and proven that the reactivity of the atmospheric chemical depends strongly on which way the molecule is twisted. The measurements will provide further insight into hydrocarbon combustion and atmospheric chemistry.