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Sandia Labs News Releases

Category Archives: Nuclear Weapons

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Launch Photo

Major upgrade to HOT Shot rocket program culminates in successful launch

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories announced that a major upgrade to the National Nuclear Security Administration’s HOT Shot sounding rocket program culminated in a successful launch on Saturday at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. HOT Shot, short for High Operational Tempo Shot, collects scientific data that benefits aerospace research and informs future […]

Drop test for W88 Alt 370

With redesigned ‘brains,’ W88 nuclear warhead reaches milestone

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories and its nuclear security enterprise partners recently completed the first production unit of a weapon assembly responsible for key operations of the W88 nuclear warhead. “The arming, fuzing and firing assembly is the brains of the warhead,” said Dolores Sanchez,  senior manager of the W88 Alteration 370 for Sandia. […]

Nuclear weapons testing photo.

New weapons testing capability produces richer data, saves time, cost

LIVERMORE, Calif. — A team of Sandia National Laboratories engineers developed a new testing capability in support of its nuclear weapons mission. The team completed their first combined-environments test on a full-scale weapons system at the Sandia Superfuge/Centrifuge complex in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In a successful test, weapons engineers simulated three environments — acceleration, vibration […]

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 […]

EIML Bo Song

Experimental Impact Mechanics Lab at Sandia bars none

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — There’s a tiny hidden gem at Sandia National Laboratories that tests the strength and evaluates the impact properties of any solid natural or manmade material on the planet. From its humble beginnings as a small storage room, mechanical engineer Bo Song has built a singular Experimental Impact Mechanics Lab that packs a […]

Laura McGill, Sandia deputy labs director

Sandia names new leader of nuclear deterrence programs

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories has named a new deputy labs director to lead its nuclear deterrence programs as part of a reorganization that supports the labs’ continued excellence in assuring the safety, security and reliability of the nation’s nuclear arsenal. Laura McGill, who joins Sandia after more than 30 years in the defense […]

Rodney Wilson

Global security and cooperation leader recognized by NNSA for leadership, service

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Rodney Wilson, former director of Sandia’s Center for Global Security and Cooperation, received the National Nuclear Security Administration Administrator’s Distinguished Service Gold Award in recognition of his leadership and service to advance NNSA programs. The plaque, signed by former Administrator Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty, recognized Wilson’s contributions to programs focused on improving the […]

An F-35A drops a B61-12 over Sandia

Flight tests to show B61-12 will work on Air Force’s newest fighter jet

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A mock B61-12’s strike in the dusty Nevada desert successfully completed the first in a series of flight tests with the U.S. Air Force’s newest fighter jet, demonstrating the bomb’s first release from an internal bomb bay at greater than the speed of sound. The flight test of the B61-12 with the […]

F-35A fighter jet in flight

Virtual support from Sandia enabled B61-12 flight test on F-35A jet fighter

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Overcoming COVID-19 pandemic challenges through virtual means, teams from Sandia National Laboratories and the U.S. Air Force under the guidance of the National Nuclear Security Administration performed a critical B61-12 flight test aboard the F-35A Lightning II jet fighter. The flight test at Edwards Air Force Base in the California desert took […]

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 […]

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 […]

Expanding testing capacity for Sandia weapons modernization programs

LIVERMORE, Calif. — Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty, administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration and Department of Energy’s under secretary for nuclear security, joined Sandia National Laboratories Deputy Labs Director Dori Ellis and other Sandia leaders today for a tour of the newest facility in nuclear weapons systems engineering at Sandia’s California site — the Sandia […]

Cognitive safeguards

How to multitask when nuclear nonproliferation is on the line

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New cognitive science research from Sandia National Laboratories shows that while maps can help someone identify landmarks while being escorted, using one also limits situational awareness and knowledge of surroundings not highlighted on the map. This finding is one of several coming from a three-year project that paired cognitive scientists and international […]

Photograph of Sandia technologists Curt Tenorio and Jessie Fowler install instrumentation on a B61-12 test unit for a vibration and shaker-shock test.

Sandia weapons program meets safety, design requirements

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories has successfully completed another milestone in the B61-12 gravity bomb refurbishment program, demonstrating the labs is meeting important nuclear safety and use-control requirements. “The Combined Engineering Judgment is an important step toward ensuring the B61-12 Life Extension Program is on track, and Sandia is meeting design and development requirements […]

Photo of Sandia National Laboratories Tonopah Test Range

Flight tests show B61-12 compatible with F-15E Strike Eagle

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Dropped from above 25,000 feet, the mock B61-12 nuclear gravity bomb was in the air for approximately 55 seconds before hitting and embedding in the lakebed, splashing a 40- to 50-foot puff of desert dust from the designated impact area at Sandia National Laboratories’ Tonopah Test Range in Nevada. That strike was […]

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