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Sandia Labs News Releases

Category Archives: Energy / Environment / Water

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Four masked people look at a clear cube with ripples and a burnt center

Exploring explosives for expanding geothermal energy

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Why are scientists setting off small-scale explosions inside 1-foot cubes of plexiglass? They’re watching how fractures form and grow in a rock-like substance to see if explosives or propellants, similar to jet fuel, can connect geothermal wells in a predictable manner. Geothermal energy has a lot of promise as a renewable energy […]

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 […]

Woman and man talk with a colorful computer model on a screen behind them.

International collaboration compares geologic repository assessment tools

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Researchers from Sandia National Laboratories and partner national laboratories will compare their Geologic Disposal Safety Assessment software framework to the safety assessment software of international peers at a late-April workshop. The Sandia-led Geologic Disposal Safety Assessment framework is a computer modeling system designed to answer critical safety assessment questions about future disposal […]

Preserving the past

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — When archaeologist Christina Chavez surveys Sandia National Laboratories land and finds rusted tobacco tins, ceramic fragments, glass shards or rocks resting in deliberate formations, she documents and determines who at the Labs needs to know. “Archaeological resources are all around us, and even if most people don’t see them, there’s still a […]

Foreground: Two men, one passing a nickel-sized wafer. Background: A device for testing the diodes on the wafer and a computer screen showing an array of dots/diodes

Record-breaking, ultrafast devices step to protecting the grid from EMPs

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Scientists from Sandia National Laboratories have announced a tiny, electronic device that can shunt excess electricity within a few billionths of a second while operating at a record-breaking 6,400 volts — a significant step towards protecting the nation’s electric grid from an electromagnetic pulse. The team published the fabrication and testing results […]

Two men, one holding a shiny battery testing case, stand beside a beach-ball-sized, thick-metal testing instrument.

Safer, more powerful batteries for electric cars, power grid

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Solid-state batteries, currently used in small electronic devices like smart watches, have the potential to be safer and more powerful than lithium-ion batteries for things such as electric cars and storing energy from solar panels for later use. However, several technical challenges remain before solid-state batteries can become widespread. A Sandia National […]

Portrait of Babu Chalamala

Sandia engineer elected fellow of two prestigious national societies

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Babu Chalamala, an engineer and manager of Sandia National Laboratories’ energy storage group, was recently elected fellow of two prestigious national societies. On Jan. 26, he became a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. On Dec. 7, he became a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. According […]

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 […]

Two people walking beside a fence. A cooling stack of a nuclear facility is in the background.

Improved nuclear accident code helps policymakers assess risks from small reactors

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories recently updated the Maccs code to better aid the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the global nuclear industry in assessing the consequences of nuclear accidents. The Maccs code can also evaluate the potential health and environmental risks posed by advanced nuclear reactors and small modular nuclear reactors. Small modular reactors […]

Awardee Armijo

Great Minds in STEM celebrates two Sandia engineers

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories systems engineer Kenneth Armijo has been named a 2021 Most Promising Engineer Advanced Degree at the Hispanic Engineering National Achievement Awards Conference. Sandia mechanical engineer Michael Omana was named a 2021 Most Promising Scientist, Masters at the conference. Armijo, who holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering, leads molten salt, […]

Still from video from a container test

Sandia cooks material-storage containers to assess fire safety

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A team at Sandia National Laboratories has completed a series of tests on specially designed stainless-steel containers used by the Department of Energy for storage and transportation of hazardous materials. The engineers, technologists and project managers were surprised to find that the containers did not split open when heated to 2000 degrees […]

Remote high-voltage sensor unveiled at Sandia gamma ray lab

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Ever since the first human placed a bare hand on an uninsulated electric line, people have refrained from personally testing energetic materials. Even meters made of metal can melt at high voltages. Now, using a crystal smaller than a dime and a laser smaller than a shoebox, a Sandia National Laboratories team […]

Two men look at blue shipping container-like shelters. One points.

Sandia-operated Arctic measurement facility moves, research to continue

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — After eight great years of observations and research, a Sandia National Laboratories-operated atmospheric measurement facility moved from Oliktok Point, on the North Slope of Alaska, this summer. The mobile facility will be relocating to the southeastern United States; the exact location is still being decided. The Department of Energy Office of Science’s […]

Two people holding large hunks of pinkish salt. One is a cylinder the size of a basketball. The other is more rough, the size of a softball.

Underground tests dig into how heat affects salt-bed repository behavior

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Scientists from Sandia, Los Alamos and Lawrence Berkeley national laboratories have just begun the third phase of a years-long experiment to understand how salt and very salty water behave near hot nuclear waste containers in a salt-bed repository. Salt’s unique physical properties can be used to provide safe disposal of radioactive waste, […]

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