|Research type||National security, nuclear science|
|Director||James S. Peery (January 1, 2020–) |
Stephen Younger (May 2017–December 2019)
|Location||Albuquerque, New Mexico; Livermore, California.|
|Campus||8,699 acres (35.20 km2)|
|Sandia Mountains in the Albuquerque metropolitan area|
|National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia, under the direction of Honeywell International (since May 1, 2017)|
The Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) is one of three National Nuclear Security Administration research and development laboratories in the United States, managed and operated by the National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia (a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell International). Their primary mission is to develop, engineer, and test the non-nuclear components of nuclear weapons and high technology. Headquartered on Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico, it also has a campus in Livermore, California, next to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and a test facility in Waimea, Kauai, Hawaii.
It is Sandia's mission to maintain the reliability and surety of nuclear weapon systems, conduct research and development in arms control and nonproliferation technologies, and investigate methods for the disposal of the United States' nuclear weapons program's hazardous waste. Other missions include research and development in energy and environmental programs, as well as the surety of critical national infrastructures. In addition, Sandia is home to a wide variety of research including computational biology, mathematics (through its Computer Science Research Institute), materials science, alternative energy, psychology, MEMS, and cognitive science initiatives. Sandia formerly hosted ASCI Red, one of the world's fastest supercomputers until its recent decommission, and now hosts ASCI Red Storm, originally known as Thor's Hammer. Sandia is also home to the Z Machine. The Z Machine is the largest X-ray generator in the world and is designed to test materials in conditions of extreme temperature and pressure. It is operated by Sandia National Laboratories to gather data to aid in computer modeling of nuclear guns. In December 2016, it was announced that National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia, under the direction of Honeywell International, would take over the management of Sandia National Laboratories starting on May 1, 2017.
Sandia National Laboratories' roots go back to World War II and the Manhattan Project. Prior to the United States formally entering the war, the U.S. Army leased land near an Albuquerque, New Mexico airport known as Oxnard Field, to service transient Army and U.S. Navy aircraft. In January 1941 construction began on the Albuquerque Army Air Base, leading to establishment of the Bombardier School-Army Advanced Flying School near the end of the year. Soon thereafter it was renamed Kirtland Field, after early Army military pilot Colonel Roy C. Kirtland, and in mid-1942 the Army acquired Oxnard Field. During the war years facilities were expanded further and Kirtland Field served as a major Army Air Forces training installation.
In the many months leading up to successful detonation of the first atomic bomb, the Trinity test, and delivery of the first airborne atomic weapon, Project Alberta, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Director of Los Alamos Laboratory, and his technical advisor, Hartly Rowe, began looking for a new site convenient to Los Alamos for the continuation of weapons development – especially its non-nuclear aspects. They felt a separate division would be best to perform these functions. Kirtland had fulfilled Los Alamos' transportation needs for both the Trinity and Alberta projects, thus, Oxnard Field was transferred from the jurisdiction of the Army Air Corps to the U.S. Army Service Forces Chief of Engineer District, and thereafter, assigned to the Manhattan Engineer District. In July 1945, the forerunner of Sandia Laboratory, known as "Z" Division, was established at Oxnard Field to handle future weapons development, testing, and bomb assembly for the Manhattan Engineer District. The District-directive calling for establishing a secure area and construction of "Z" Division facilities referred to this as "Sandia Base" , after the nearby Sandia Mountains — apparently the first official recognition of the "Sandia" name.
|James S. Peery||January 2020–|
|Stephen Younger||May 2017|
|Jill M. Hruby||July 2015|
|Paul Hommert||July 2010|
|Thomas Hunter||April 2005|
|C. Paul Robinson||August 1995|
|Irwin Welber||February 1986|
|George C. Dacey||August 1981|
|Morgan Sparks||October 1972|
|John A. Hornbeck||November 1966|
|Siegmund P. "Monk" Schwartz||September 1960|
|Julius Molnar||October 1958|
|James W. McRae||September 1953|
|Donald A. Quarles||March 1952|
|George Landry||October 1949|
Sandia Laboratory was operated by the University of California until 1949, when President Harry S. Truman asked Western Electric, a subsidiary of American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T), to assume the operation as an "opportunity to render an exceptional service in the national interest." Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Western Electric, was formed on October 5, 1949, and, on November 1, 1949, took over management of the Laboratory.The United States Congress designated Sandia Laboratories as a National laboratory in 1979. In October 1993, Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) was managed and operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin. As of May 2017, management of Sandia National Laboratory transitioned to National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia, a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell International, covering government-owned facilities in Albuquerque, New Mexico (SNL/NM); Livermore, California (SNL/CA); Tonopah, Nevada; Shoreview, Minnesota; and Kauai, Hawaii. SNL/NM is headquarters and the largest laboratory, employing more than 6,600 employees, while SNL/CA is a smaller laboratory, with about 850 employees. Tonopah and Kauai are occupied on a "campaign" basis, as test schedules dictate.
Sandia led a project that studied how to decontaminate a subway system in the event of a biological weapons attack (such as anthrax). As of September 2017, the process to decontaminate subways in such an event is "virtually ready to implement," said a lead Sandia engineer.
Sandia's integration with its local community includes a program through the Department of Energy's Tribal Energy program to deliver alternative renewable power to remote Navajo communities, spearheaded by senior engineer Sandra Begay.
On February 13, 2007, a New Mexico State Court found Sandia Corporation liable for $4.7 million in damages for the firing of a former network security analyst, Shawn Carpenter, who had reported to his supervisors that hundreds of military installations and defense contractors' networks were compromised and sensitive information was being stolen – including hundreds of sensitive Lockheed documents on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter project. When his supervisors told him to drop the investigation and do nothing with the information, he went to intelligence officials in the United States Army and later the Federal Bureau of Investigation to address the national security breaches. When Sandia managers discovered his actions months later, they revoked his security clearance and fired him.
In 2014 an investigation determined Sandia Corp. used lab operations funds to pay for lobbying related to the renewal of its $2 billion contract to operate the lab. Sandia Corp. and its parent company, Lockheed Martin, agreed to pay a $4.8 million fine.
SNL/NM consists of five technical areas (TA) and several additional test areas. Each TA has its own distinctive operations; however, the operations of some groups at Sandia may span more than one TA, with one part of a team working on a problem from one angle, and another subset of the same team located in a different building or area working with other specialized equipment. A description of each area is given below.
TA-I operations are dedicated primarily to three activities – the design, research, and development of weapon systems; limited production of weapon system components; and energy programs. TA-I facilities include the main library and offices, laboratories, and shops used by administrative and technical staff.
TA-II is a 45-acre (180,000 m2) facility that was established in 1948 for the assembly of chemical high explosive main charges for nuclear weapons and later for production scale assembly of nuclear weapons. Activities in TA-II include the decontamination, decommissioning, and remediation of facilities and landfills used in past research and development activities. Remediation of the Classified Waste Landfill which started in March 1998, neared completion in FY2000. A testing facility, the Explosive Component Facility, integrates many of the previous TA-II test activities as well as some testing activities previously performed in other remote test areas. The Access Delay Technology Test Facility is also located in TA-II.
TA-III is adjacent to and south of TA-V [both are approximately seven miles (11 km) south of TA-I]. TA-III facilities include extensive design-test facilities such as rocket sled tracks, centrifuges and a radiant heat facility. Other facilities in TA-III include a paper destructor, the Melting and Solidification Laboratory and the Radioactive and Mixed Waste Management Facility (RMWMF). RMWMF serves as central processing facility for packaging and storage of low-level and mixed waste. The remediation of the Chemical Waste Landfill, which started in September 1998, is an ongoing activity in TA-III.
TA-IV, located approximately 1/2 mile (1 km) south of TA-I, consists of several inertial-confinement fusion research and pulsed power research facilities, including the High Energy Radiation Megavolt Electron Source (Hermes-III), the Z Facility, the Short Pulsed High Intensity Nanosecond X-Radiator (SPHINX) Facility, and the Saturn Accelerator. TA-IV also hosts some computer science and cognition research.
TA-V contains two research reactor facilities, an intense gamma irradiation facility (using cobalt-60 and caesium-137 sources), and the Hot Cell Facility.
SNL/NM also has test areas outside of the five technical areas listed above. These test areas, collectively known as Coyote Test Field, are located southeast of TA-III and/or in the canyons on the west side of the Manzanita Mountains. Facilities in the Coyote Canyon Test Field include the Solar Tower Facility (34.9623 N, 106.5097 W), the Lurance Canyon Burn Site and the Aerial Cable Facility.
In the 1970s, the Sandia, Los Alamos, Air Force Weapons Laboratory Technical Exchange Committee initiated the development of the SLATEC library of mathematical and statistical routines, written in FORTRAN 77.
Today, Sandia National Laboratories is home to several open-source software projects:
In addition, Sandia National Laboratories collaborates with Kitware, Inc. in developing the Visualization Toolkit (VTK), a cross-platform graphics and visualization software suite.This collaboration has focused on enhancing the information visualization capabilities of VTK and has in turn fed back into other projects such as ParaView and Titan.
On January 30, 2012, Sandia announced that it successfully test-fired a self-guided dart that can hit targets at 2,000 m (2,187 yd). The dart is 4 in (100 mm) long, has its center of gravity at the nose, and is made to be fired from a small-caliber smoothbore gun. It is kept straight in flight by four electromagnetically actuated fins encased in a plastic puller sabot that fall off when the dart leaves the bore. The dart cannot be fired from conventional rifled barrels because the gyroscopic stability provided by rifling grooves for regular bullets would prevent the self-guided bullet from reliably turning towards a target when in flight, so fins are responsible for stabilizing rather than spinning. A laser designator marks a target, which is tracked by the dart's optical sensor and 8-bit CPU. The guided projectile is kept cheap because it does not need an inertial measurement unit, since its small size allows it to make the fast corrections necessary without the aid of an IMU. The natural body frequency of the bullet is about 30 hertz, so corrections can be made 30 times per second in flight. Muzzle velocity with commercial gunpowder is 2,400 ft/s (730 m/s) (Mach 2.1), but military customized gunpowder can increase its speed and range. Computer modeling shows that a standard bullet would miss a target at 1,000 m (1,094 yd) by 9.8 yd (9 m), while an equivalent guided bullet would hit within 8 in (20 cm). Accuracy increases as distances get longer, since the bullet's motions settle more the longer it is in flight.
List of supercomputers that have resided at Sandia:
Los Alamos National Laboratory is a United States Department of Energy national laboratory initially organized during World War II for the design of nuclear weapons as part of the Manhattan Project. It is a short distance northwest of Santa Fe, New Mexico, in the southwestern United States.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is a federal research facility in Livermore, California, United States, founded by the University of California, Berkeley in 1952. Originally a branch of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Lawrence Livermore laboratory became autonomous in 1971 and was designated a national laboratory in 1981.
The National Ignition Facility (NIF), is a large laser-based inertial confinement fusion (ICF) research device, located at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California. NIF uses lasers to heat and compress a small amount of hydrogen fuel with the goal of inducing nuclear fusion reactions. NIF's mission is to achieve fusion ignition with high energy gain, and to support nuclear weapon maintenance and design by studying the behavior of matter under the conditions found within nuclear weapons. NIF is the largest and most energetic ICF device built to date, and the largest laser in the world.
The Tonopah Test Range (TTR) is a restricted military installation located about 30 miles (48 km) southeast of Tonopah, Nevada. It is part of the northern fringe of the Nellis Range, measuring 625 sq mi (1,620 km2). Tonopah Test Range is located about 70 miles (110 km) northwest of Groom Lake, the home of the Area 51 facility. Like the Groom Lake facility, Tonopah is a site of interest to conspiracy theorists, mostly for its use of experimental and classified aircraft. As such, it is not generally the focus of alien enthusiasts, unlike its neighbor. It is currently used for nuclear weapons stockpile reliability testing, research and development of fusing and firing systems, and testing nuclear weapon delivery systems. The airspace comprises restricted area R-4809 of the Nevada Test and Training Range and is often used for military training.
Sandia Base was the principal nuclear weapons installation of the United States Department of Defense from 1946 to 1971. It was located on the southeastern edge of Albuquerque, New Mexico. For 25 years, the top-secret Sandia Base and its subsidiary installation, Manzano Base, carried on the atomic weapons research, development, design, testing, and training commenced by the Manhattan Project during World War II. Fabrication, assembly, and storage of nuclear weapons was also done at Sandia Base. The base played a key role in the United States nuclear deterrence capability during the Cold War. In 1971 it was merged into Kirtland Air Force Base.
Kirtland Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located in the southeast quadrant of the Albuquerque, New Mexico urban area, adjacent to the Albuquerque International Sunport. The base was named for the early Army aviator Col. Roy C. Kirtland. The military and the international airport share the same runways, making ABQ a joint civil-military airport.
The United States Department of Energy National Laboratories and Technology Centers are a system of facilities and laboratories overseen by the United States Department of Energy (DOE) for scientific and technological research. Sixteen of the seventeen DOE national laboratories are federally funded research and development centers administered, managed, operated and staffed by private-sector organizations under management and operating (M&O) contract with DOE.
Stockpile stewardship refers to the United States program of reliability testing and maintenance of its nuclear weapons without the use of nuclear testing.
The Z Pulsed Power Facility, informally known as the Z machine or Z pinch, is the largest high frequency electromagnetic wave generator in the world and is designed to test materials in conditions of extreme temperature and pressure. Since its refurbishment in October 1996 it has been used primarily as an inertial confinement fusion (ICF) research facility. Operated by Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, it gathers data to aid in computer modeling of nuclear weapons and eventual nuclear fusion pulsed power plants.
The Advanced Simulation and Computing Program is a super-computing program run by the National Nuclear Security Administration, in order to simulate, test, and maintain the United States nuclear stockpile. The program was created in 1995 in order to support the Stockpile Stewardship Program. The goal of the initiative is to extend the lifetime of the current aging stockpile.
The Visualization Toolkit (VTK) is an open-source software system for 3D computer graphics, image processing and scientific visualization.
Curtis Bruce Tarter is an American theoretical physicist. He was the director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory from 1994-2002. As director emeritus he recently published the first comprehensive history of the laboratory.
ITK is a cross-platform, open-source application development framework widely used for the development of image segmentation and image registration programs. Segmentation is the process of identifying and classifying data found in a digitally sampled representation. Typically the sampled representation is an image acquired from such medical instrumentation as CT or MRI scanners. Registration is the task of aligning or developing correspondences between data. For example, in the medical environment, a CT scan may be aligned with an MRI scan in order to combine the information contained in both.
The Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center (AFNWC) is a USAF Named Unit, assigned to the Air Force Materiel Command at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. The AFNWC operates at the Center level of the AFMC. It is currently under the command of Major General Anthony W. Genatempo.
ParaView is an open-source multiple-platform application for interactive, scientific visualization. It has a client–server architecture to facilitate remote visualization of datasets, and generates level of detail (LOD) models to maintain interactive frame rates for large datasets. It is an application built on top of the Visualization Toolkit (VTK) libraries. ParaView is an application designed for data parallelism on shared-memory or distributed-memory multicomputers and clusters. It can also be run as a single-computer application.
Kitware, Inc. is a technology company headquartered in Clifton Park, New York. The company specializes in the research and development of open-source software in the fields of computer vision, medical imaging, visualization, 3D data publishing and technical software development. In addition to software development, the company offers custom solutions, technical support and training, and books.
The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History is a national repository of nuclear science information chartered by the 102nd United States Congress under Public Law 102-190, and located in unincorporated Bernalillo County, New Mexico, with an Albuquerque postal address. It is adjacent to both the Albuquerque city limits and Kirtland Air Force Base.
The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is a United States federal agency responsible for safeguarding national security through the military application of nuclear science. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile; works to reduce the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the United States Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the United States and abroad.
ATLAS-I, better known as Trestle, was the codename for a unique electromagnetic pulse (EMP) generation and testing apparatus built between 1972 and 1980 during the Cold War at Sandia National Laboratories near Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The renovation of the nuclear weapon arsenal of the United States is the modernization, refurbishment and rebuilding of the nuclear arsenal of the United States of America.
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