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Sandia Labs News Releases

Category Archives: Space / Astronomy

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Thomas Bradshaw inspects a computer board

Build-a-satellite program could fast track national security space missions

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Satellites equipped with remote sensing technology execute many critical national security missions, from detecting explosions to tracking sea ice, but until now it could take a team years to move from a concept to a deployable space system. Valhalla, a Python-based performance modeling framework developed at Sandia National Laboratories, uses high-performance computing […]

An illustration with solar panels and a dome on the moon with another base further away and the Earth in the sky.

Powering the moon: Sandia researchers design microgrid for future lunar base

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories is well-known for designing reliable and resilient microgrids for military bases and vital city services. Now, Sandia researchers are working with NASA to design one for the moon. This is not the first time Sandia has partnered with NASA to power equipment on the moon. In fact, Sandia provided […]

Guangping Xu employs a digital optical microscope

Seashell-inspired Sandia shield protects materials in hostile environments

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Word of an extraordinarily inexpensive material, lightweight enough to protect satellites against debris in the cold of outer space, cohesive enough to strengthen the walls of pressurized vessels experiencing average conditions on Earth and yet heat-resistant enough at 1,500 degrees Celsius or 2,732 degrees Fahrenheit to shield instruments against flying debris, raises […]

Sandia Labs BEYA winners

Black engineer awards distinguish Sandia Labs

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Ten Sandia National Laboratories engineers received Black Engineer of the Year Awards this year, including Most Promising Scientist in Government, Research Leadership, Science Spectrum Trailblazers and Modern-Day Technology Leaders. Honorees include Sandia mechanical, electrical, civil, aerospace and aeronautical engineers who excel in their respective fields. From the abstract to the technical, each […]

Powerful Sandia machine-learning model shows diamond melting at high pressure

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A Sandia National Laboratories supercomputer simulation model called SNAP that rapidly predicts the behavior of billions of interacting atoms has captured the melting of diamond when compressed by extreme pressures and temperatures. At several million atmospheres, the rigid carbon lattice of the hardest known substance on Earth is shown in SNAP (Spectral […]

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 […]

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