Pulsed Power

Key Research Facilities

Pulsed-Power Facilities

Sandia is home to many of the world’s most powerful and efficient pulsed-power facilities

Saturn image

Z Accelerator

Sandia’s Z machine is Earth’s most powerful pulsed-power facility and x-ray generator. Z compresses energy in time and space to achieve extreme power and intensity found nowhere else on Earth. The Z accelerator is an integral part of Sandia’s Pulsed Power Program.

Z-Beamlet Laser

The Z-Beamlet Laser (ZBL) is a large aperture, high energy laser at Sandia National Laboratories. The laser is routinely used as a source of x-rays for backlighting experiments at the Z accelerator facility. When not supporting Z experiments, Z-Beamlet is used for developing Z diagnostics and for independent, laser-driven, High Energy Density Physics (HEDP) experiments.

Thor Accelerator

There's a new star rising in Tech Area IV and its name is Thor.  Its aim is to study materials at extreme pressures and its novel features may foreshadow future renovation in Z, the world's largest and most powerful pulsed-power accerlerator.

RITS Accelerator

The Radiographic Integrated Test Stand (RITS) is an Inductive Voltage Adder (IVA) accelerator developed at Sandia for driving high brightness flash x-ray radiographic sources. RITS provides a reliable test-bed for power flow research and radiographic diode development.

Ursa Minor

The Ursa Minor is a 2-MV Linear Transformer Driver (LTD) for Electron Beam Diode Research and is also used to evaluate LTD technology at a system level.

Saturn and HERMES III Accelerators

The Saturn accelerator, Sandia’s workhorse pulsed-power machine, works primarily to produce x-rays that test the effectiveness of the countermeasures that are developed to protect against x-ray radiation from nuclear weapons. The High-Energy Radiation Megavolt Electron Source (HERMES) III accelerator is the world's most powerful gamma simulator, chiefly used to demonstrate the effect of gamma radiation. These two extraordinary pulsed-power machines are utilized to test the nation’s defenses against atomic weapons.

STAR Facility

The Shock Thermodynamic Applied Research (STAR) facility is specifically desinged, staffed and used by professionals in the technical disciplines of High Temperature/High Pressure Condensed matter Physics; Shock Physics and Dynamic Material Properties.