Sandia Labs News Releases

Category Archives: Homeland security

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Computer code may help speed up airport security

LIVERMORE, Calif. — Imagine moving through airport security without having to take off your shoes or belt or getting pulled aside while your flight boards — while keeping all the precautions that ensure the safety of passengers and flight crews. This is the challenge tackled by a team including researchers from Sandia National Laboratories — […]

A U.S. Penny on a black background next to a few small white grains.

Common ‘Core’: Using molecular fragments to detect deadly opioids

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have developed a method to detect trace amounts of synthetic opioids. They plan to combine their approach with miniaturized sensors to create a hand-portable instrument easily used by law enforcement agents for efficient detection in the field. Fentanyl is a fast-acting, opioid-based pain reliever that is 80 […]

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 […]

New Sandia EOC

Equipped for crises

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Shovels symbolically speared the ground today at the site of Sandia National Laboratories new $42.5 million Emergency Operations Center. The 25,000-square-foot complex located on Kirtland Air Force Base is expected to be operational by spring 2023. The center will house National Nuclear Security Administration and Sandia emergency management staff offices, the 24/7 […]

Sandia National Laboratories physicist Will Johnson demonstrates the potential capabilities of the new radiation portal monitor design.

Redesigning radiation monitors at U.S. ports

LIVERMORE, Calif. — Every day at ports of entry, hundreds of thousands of vehicles and containers cross into the country. Since 9/11, all incoming vehicles and containers at land crossings, rail crossings, mail facilities and shipping terminals are scanned by Customs and Border Protection officers to detect potential threats, including radiation. It is now time to […]


Imaging tool under development exposes concealed detonators — and their charge

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Behold the neutron, the middle child of subatomic particles. At times overshadowed by its electrically charged siblings the proton and the electron, neutrons quietly play important roles in national security. They start nuclear reactions for weapons and power plants. They bombard materials for nuclear safety tests. And now they have a new […]

nuclear security education

Students of nuclear security have a problem. Here’s how to help them.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Radioactive materials are attractive targets to thieves and other bad actors. These are rare finds, valuable on the black market and relatively easy to weaponize. New security professionals rarely learn practical skills for protecting these targets until they are on the job at nuclear power plants, research reactors, processing plants and other […]

Picture of mobile guardian transport

Successful crash test meets major milestone for nuclear deterrence program

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A full-scale crash test involving a semitruck impacting the side of the first prototype of a new weapons transporter successfully took place at Sandia National Laboratories this summer. Using the labs’ sled track, rockets propelled the semitractor-trailer at highway speeds into the prototype, an over-the-road Mobile Guardian Transporter conceptualized and built from […]

Sandia to receive Fujitsu ‘green’ processor

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — This spring, Sandia National Laboratories anticipates being one of the first Department of Energy laboratories to receive the newest A64FX Fujitsu processor, a Japanese Arm-based processor optimized for high-performance computing. Arm-based processors are used widely in small electronic devices like cell phones. More recently, Arm-based processors were installed in Sandia’s Astra supercomputer, […]

Nick Myllenbeck, a materials scientist at Sandia National Laboratories, examines glowing plastic used to detect radioactive material. (Photo by Lloyd Wilson) Click on the thumbnail for a high-resolution image.

Radiation-detecting plastic gets ingredient to stay in the clear

LIVERMORE, Calif. — Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have identified a straightforward change to the formula for radiation-detecting plastic. The change prevents “fogging,” which reduces the lifetime of the plastics used to detect nuclear material transiting through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s radiation detectors. The change also fits well into existing manufacturing processes for […]

Power Grid

Sandia initiatives to protect US energy grid and nuclear weapons systems

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — To deter attempts to disable U.S. electrical utilities and to defend U.S. nuclear weapon systems from evolving technological threats, Sandia National Laboratories has begun two multiyear initiatives to strengthen U.S. responses. One is focused on defending large U.S. electrical utility systems from potential attacks by hostile nations, as well as from damage […]

Making Bioweapons Obsolete: A Summary of Workshop Discussions, released by Sandia National Laboratories and the Council on Strategic Risks addresses recommendations for significantly reducing and ultimately eliminating biothreats.

Can the US make bioweapons obsolete?

LIVERMORE, Calif. — As the threats posed by bioterrorism and naturally occurring infectious disease grow and evolve in the modern era, there is a rising potential for broad negative impacts on human health, economic stability and global security. To protect the nation from these dangers, Sandia National Laboratories has partnered with the Council on Strategic […]

Identify, track, capture

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories robotics experts are working on a way to intercept enemy unmanned aircraft systems midflight. They successfully tested their concept indoors with a swarm of four unmanned aircraft systems that flew in unison, each carrying one corner of a net. Acting as a team, they intercepted the flying target, trapped […]

Graphic for ARIAA

AI center to combine hardware, software for practical gains

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington, and the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta are launching a research center that combines hardware design and software development to improve artificial intelligence technologies that will ultimately benefit the public. AI is an emerging field with eventual applications ranging from autonomous […]

Peter Maunz and Ojas Parekh

Quantum computing steps further ahead with new projects at Sandia

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Quantum computing is a term that periodically flashes across the media sky like heat lightning in the desert: brilliant, attention-getting and then vanishing from the public’s mind with no apparent aftereffects. Yet a multimillion dollar international effort to build quantum computers is hardly going away. And now, four new projects led by […]

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