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Sandia Labs News Releases

Category Archives: Space / Astronomy

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Look who’s turning 25

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories is celebrating 25 years of research conducted at its Z Pulsed Power Facility — a gymnasium-sized accelerator commonly referred to as Z or the Z machine. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only a limited number of former leaders of the pulsed power program at Sandia will gather Friday to share […]

Setting gold and platinum standards where few have gone before

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Like two superheroes finally joining forces, Sandia National Laboratories’ Z machine — generator of the world’s most powerful electrical pulses — and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s National Ignition Facility — the planet’s most energetic laser source — in a series of 10 experiments have detailed the responses of gold and platinum at […]

Largest aerospace society names Sandia researcher ‘Engineer of the Year’

ALBUQUERQUE, NM — Humberto “Tito” Silva III, a Sandia National Laboratories researcher, has been named Engineer of the Year by the world’s largest aerospace technical society, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Selected by a committee of his peers, Silva was cited for improving failure-rate predictions of aerospace flight systems as they reenter Earth’s […]

Super-Earth atmospheres probed at Sandia’s Z machine

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The huge forces generated by the Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories are being used to replicate the gravitational pressures on so-called “super-Earths” to determine which might maintain atmospheres that could support life. Astronomers believe that super-Earths — collections of rocks up to eight times larger than Earth — exist in the […]

Record neutron numbers at Sandia Labs’ Z machine fusion experiments

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— A relatively new method to control nuclear fusion that combines a massive jolt of electricity with strong magnetic fields and a powerful laser beam has achieved its own record output of neutrons — a key standard by which fusion efforts are judged — at Sandia National Laboratories’ Z pulsed power facility, the most […]

Sandia establishes collaborative research facility for low-temperature plasmas

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —  Sandia National Laboratories is setting up a collaborative facility to help researchers worldwide study low-temperature plasmas, the most pervasive state of matter in the universe. The 5-year, $5.5 million project, called the Sandia Low Temperature Plasma Research Facility, is sponsored by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. Participants will be selected […]

STARCS photo

Armoring satellites to survive and operate through attacks

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Satellites do a lot of things — they help people navigate from one place to another, they deliver television programming, they search for new stars and exo-planets and they enable the U.S. nuclear deterrence strategy. But until recently, one thing they haven’t done — or needed to do — is defend themselves. […]

Michael Goldflam, Sandia National Laboratories

Seeing infrared: Sandia’s nanoantennas help detectors see more heat, less noise

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —  Sandia National Laboratories researchers have developed tiny, gold antennas to help cameras and sensors that “see” heat deliver clearer pictures of thermal infrared radiation for everything from stars and galaxies to people, buildings and items requiring security. In a Laboratory Directed Research and Development project, a team of researchers developed a nanoantenna-enabled […]

Sandia experiments at temperature of sun offer solutions to solar model problems

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Experimenting at 4.1 million degrees Fahrenheit, physicists at Sandia National Laboratories’ Z machine have found that an astronomical model — used for 40 years to predict the sun’s behavior as well as the life and death of stars — underestimates the energy blockage caused by free-floating iron atoms, a major player in […]

HOT SHOT

HOT SHOT findings could save defense tech developers time and money

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An early milestone for developing missile technologies is to show they can work in computer-simulations or large-scale field tests that shake and spin components without falling to pieces. “Screws can back out; things can break,” said Greg Tipton, a structural dynamics engineer at Sandia National Laboratories. Similar tests are performed in the […]

Danny Bowman holding a stryofoam box (left) Sarah Albert holding an infrasound sensor (right) with a bright blue sky as background

New Sandia balloon-borne infrasound sensor array detects explosions

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sheets of plastic similar to that used for garbage bags, packing tape, some string, a little charcoal dust and a white shoebox-size box are more than odds and ends. These are the supplies Danny Bowman, a Sandia National Laboratories geophysicist, needs to build a solar-powered hot air balloon for detecting infrasound. Infrasound […]

Aerospace test at Sandia goes green with alternative to explosives

Hopkinson bar technology applied to gas gun shot to test rocket part ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories has successfully demonstrated a new, more environmentally friendly method to test a rocket part to ensure its avionics can withstand the shock from stage separation during flight. The new method — called the Alternative Pyroshock Test — […]

Black hole models contradicted by hands-on tests at Sandia’s Z machine

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A long-standing but unproven assumption about the X-ray spectra of black holes in space has been contradicted by hands-on experiments performed at Sandia National Laboratories’ Z machine. Z, the most energetic laboratory X-ray source on Earth, can duplicate the X-rays surrounding black holes that otherwise can be watched only from a great distance and then theorized […]

Dick Spalding

Origin of spooky meteor noises reappraised by Sandia researchers

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — When a meteor is about to conk your neighborhood and gives fair warning by emitting sizzling, rustling and hissing sounds as it descends, you might think that the universe is being sporting. But these auditory warnings, which do occur, seem contrary to the laws of physics if they are caused by the […]

AIAA Best Paper

Sandia researchers win ‘best paper’ award from AIAA

Paper focuses on scramjet engines used for supersonic flight LIVERMORE, Calif. — The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) has recognized Sandia National Laboratories researchers Joe Oefelein and Guilhem Lacaze with a best paper award for their work on scramjet engine simulations. The paper, “A Priori Analysis of Flamelet-Based Modeling for a Dual-Mode Scramjet […]

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