Sandia National Laboratories

April 8, 2020
By Maryann Lawlor
Sandia National Laboratories scientists developed a pocket-sized anthrax detector that it later licensed to a New Mexico company. The Rapid Technology Deployment Program is offering the business sector free access to more than 1,000 technologies and software programs to help jumpstart the economy, which COVID-19 is adversely affecting. Photo by Randy Montoya

Sandia National Laboratories has a fast-track licensing program to rapidly deploy technology to the commercial sector. The move is designed to support businesses facing widespread often-technical challenges resulting from the COVID-19 effects on companies. Under the program, more than 1,000 Sandia-patented technologies are temporarily eligible for any U.S. person to use commercially for free; licenses are valid through December 31.

March 23, 2020
Sandia National Laboratories’ Saturn accelerator, viewed through an artistic lens, tests countermeasures used to protect electronics against X-ray radiation from nuclear weapons. Laboratory officials have announced two new initiatives, one to protect the electrical grid, and another to help maintain a nuclear edge. Photo by Randy Montoya

To deter attempts to disable U.S. electrical utilities and to defend nuclear weapon systems from evolving technological threats, Sandia National Laboratories has begun two multiyear initiatives to strengthen U.S. responses.

February 26, 2020
By Maryann Lawlor
Sandia National Laboratories researchers leading the MARCUS project are developing a system to capture small unmanned aircraft systems then fly them away from crowds or sensitive areas such as government buildings. Photo by Randy Montoya

An unmanned aircraft system tracks and follows Sandia National Laboratories researcher David Novick, who is leading a project to identify, track and capture enemy UAS during flight.</body></html>

November 5, 2019

Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, California, has appointed Andrew McIlroy the new associate laboratories director.

October 21, 2019
Posted by George I. Seffers
Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories search for ways to protect satellites from a variety of threats, including missiles, lasers and electronic warfare. Credit: Shutterstock/Andrey Armyagov

Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories launched a seven-year mission campaign this month to develop the science, technology and architecture needed for autonomous satellite protection systems.

October 7, 2019
Posted by Kimberly Underwood
Sandia National Laboratories is pursuing a heartbeat-based technology for a security application. Credit: Shutterstock/LuckyStep

Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico is testing security applications that depend on a user’s heartbeat. Under a recently signed Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), Albuquerque-based Aquila Inc. will create and test a wearable prototype that issues a real-time identifying signature based on the electrical activity of the user’s heart, according to a report from Sandia.

The electrocardiogram signals are sent from the wearable technology—which could be a wristband or a chest strap—to identify a person and grant them access to facilities or other security applications. 

September 27, 2019
Students from the Autonomy New Mexico program at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque developed drone platforms in order to test hypersonic system applications. Credit: Vince Gasparich

As part of Sandia National Laboratories' quest to develop hypersonic solutions, a group of university students working at the labs this summer developed autonomy and artificial intelligence capabilities for hypersonic flight systems. They tested the capabilities on unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs.

September 16, 2019
Posted by: George I. Seffers
Sandia National Laboratories researchers are ready to commercialize a nanoantenna-enabled detector on an assembled focal plane array for a thermal infrared camera. The gold nanoantennas are too small to be visible on top of the detector array.    Photo courtesy of Sandia National Laboratories

Sandia National Laboratories researchers are ready to commercialize tiny, gold antennas to help cameras and sensors deliver clearer pictures of thermal infrared radiation for everything from stars and galaxies to people, buildings and items requiring security, lab officials announced today. In a Laboratory Directed Research and Development project, a team of researchers developed a nanoantenna-enabled detector that can boost the signal of a thermal infrared camera by up to 3 times and improve image quality by reducing dark current, a major component of image noise, by 10 to 100 times.

August 6, 2019

Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico, has named D.E. "Dori" Ellis as deputy director.

January 10, 2019
By George I. Seffers
A new online wargame will help researchers study data associated with nuclear proliferation. Credit: Razvan Ionut Dragomirescu/Shutterstock

Later this month a team of researchers plans to release an online wargame that will use machine learning and data analytics to study nuclear conflict escalation and the strategic stability of nations in an artificial world.

January 7, 2019
Posted by George I. Seffers
Research at Sandia National Laboratories may help shape the future of quantum computing. Credit: TheDigitalArtist/Pixabay

Four newly announced projects led by Sandia National Laboratories aim to advance quantum computing technology, according to an announcement from the laboratories.

The efforts include: a quantum computing testbed with accessible components on which industrial, academic and government researchers can run their own algorithms; a suite of test programs to measure the performance of quantum hardware; classical software to ensure reliable operation of quantum computing testbeds and coax the most utility from them; and high-level quantum algorithms that explore connections with theoretical physics, classical optimization and machine learning.

July 11, 2017
By Breann Pendleton
Sandia National Laboratories researcher Patrick Feng (l), holds a trans-stilbene scintillator and organic chemist Joey Carlson holds a scintillator made of organic glass.

Sandia National Laboratory researchers have discovered a cost-effective and simpler way to detect nuclear material. Their research makes use of organic glass scintillators that, when employed, could make it harder to smuggle nuclear materials though U.S. ports and borders. 

The team of researchers created a scintillator—a device used to detect nuclear threats—out of an organic glass material instead of relying on the standard material called trans-stilbene, crystalline in the form of a molecule, according to a Sandra Lab press release.

May 18, 2017
By Breann Pendleton
2015 Robot Rodeo: Bomb squads from across the country saddled up their robots and duked it out at the ninth annual Western National Robot Rodeo at Sandia National Laboratories. Photo by Randy Montoya

This isn’t their first rodeo.

Sandia National Laboratories hosts its 11th annual Western National Robot Rodeo next week, an event where police and military bomb squads can practice using robots to defuse dangerous situations. 

Ten teams from around New Mexico will compete in 10 events testing robots’ speed and security in simulated yet realistic scenarios, according to a laboratory news release. While the top three teams will receive trophies, participants mainly are vying for bragging rights, says Jake Deuel, Sandia’s robotics manager and rodeo coordinator.

May 17, 2017
By Breann Pendleton
Sandia National Laboratories researchers Amanda Kohler and Ken Sale study the bacteria they used to produce LigM. Photo by Dino Vournas

There is good waste and there is bad waste. Sandia National Laboratories found some very good waste.

Recently, scientists discovered the potential of biofuel waste and the competition it could bring for petroleum.

While fuel made from plants can cost more than petroleum-based fuel, using a product called lignin offers a cost-saving benefit. Lignin is plant waste left over from biofuel production. While it can be burned to produce electricity, often it is left unused due to lack of knowledge on how to convert it into useful products, such as renewable plastics, fabrics, nylon and adhesives.

April 20, 2017
By Julianne Simpson
Paula Austin, a Sandia systems engineer within International Biological and Chemical Threat Reduction group, stands outside an Ebola treatment unit in Sierra Leone. (Image courtesy Sandia National Laboratories)

Nearly 60 employees of Sandia National Laboratories have been recognized by the Department of Energy (DOE) for their work during the 2014 Ebola epidemic. Dmitri Kusnezov, chief scientist and senior adviser to the secretary of energy, visited Sandia earlier this month to honor the lifesaving efforts of the Sandians and the work of the Technology Convergence Working Group.

The working group was established in 2015 to provide technical insight and assess the nation’s emerging biological technologies. It is made up of representatives from DOE headquarters and Sandia, Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos national laboratories.

March 27, 2017
By George I. Seffers
Researchers from Sandia and Lewis Rhodes labs examine the Neuromorphic Cyber Microscope, a small processor that can replace multiple racks of traditional systems used for cybersecurity. Photo by Randy Montoya

Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories helped develop a potentially game-changing cybersecurity system that mimics the human brain’s ability to analyze data, and they are now testing the technology on the labs’ highly targeted networks.

February 13, 2017
By George I. Seffers
Sandia scientists Marlene and George Bachand show off their new method for encrypting and storing sensitive information in DNA. Digital data storage degrades and can become obsolete, and old-school books and paper require lots of space. (Photo by Lonnie Anderson)

Behind the Science is an occasional series of blogs focusing on the people advancing science and technology.

George and Marlene Bachand, a married couple working at Sandia National Laboratories, have partnered on more science projects than they can recall.

February 1, 2017
By George I. Seffers
Researchers have developed a technique for encoding text within synthetic DNA that they say would take an infinite number of random, brute-force attacks to break.

Scientists at Sandia National Laboratories are searching for partners to apply technology for encrypting text within synthetic DNA. The encryption is far stronger than conventional technology and practically impossible to break, researchers say.

In September, the Sandia team wrapped up a three-year effort titled Synthetic DNA for Highly Secure Information Storage and Transmission. The project developed a new way of storing and encrypting information using DNA. The work was funded through Sandia’s internal Laboratory Directed Research and Development program. 

February 14, 2017
By Maryann Lawlor
Tam Le (l) and Todd Noel, computer scientists at Sandia National Laboratories, demonstrate how augmented reality assists in nuclear material protection training.

Sandia National Laboratories scientists have adapted serious gaming technology and methods to enhance nuclear materials physical security training. Using prerelease stand-alone augmented reality headsets, the approach could revolutionize nuclear security engineering training.

November 2, 2016
By Julianne Simpson
Sandia National Laboratories will oversee the brain-replication work of three teams who aim to map, understand and mathematically recreate visual processing in the brain.

Over the next five years, Sandia National Laboratories will oversee the brain replication work of three university-led teams who aim to close the computer-human gap in object recognition. An advanced computer may beat experts in chess, but a computer algorithm trained only on pictures of red apples cannot recognize that a green apple is still an apple.