The MESA Complex integrates the numerous scientific disciplines necessary to produce functional, robust, integrated microsystems and represents the center of Sandia's investment in microsystems research, development, and prototyping activities.
Microsystems & Engineering Sciences Applications (MESA)
MESA Makes It Real
The Microsystems & Engineering Sciences Applications (MESA) Complex represents the essential facilities and equipment to design, develop, manufacture, integrate, and qualify microsystems for national security needs that cannot or should not be made in industry— either because the low volumes required for these applications are not profitable for the private sector, or because of stringent security requirements for high-consequence systems.
MESA continues to pioneer new technologies that have impact on the nation: Sandia’s
and microfabrication techniques to produce solar cells as small as 3-20 microns
thick and 100- 1000 microns wide. Moving to micro-scale PV cell sizes results in
distinct benefits at cell, module, and system levels, including reducing the amount of expensive semiconductors by 30 times while still achieving high efficiencies.
MESA Continues Sandia’s Long Tradition of Delivering Custom National Security Hardware
Sandia has developed and delivered custom, radiation-hardened microelectronics to the nuclear stockpile and other national security customers since 1975. Sandia-built integrated circuits have assured that our nuclear deterrence could not be defeated by hostile nuclear environments from potential adversaries maintaining the safety, security, and use control of our nuclear stockpile.
Beyond its support for the nuclear stockpile, Sandia provides microelectronics and microsystems for satellite payloads that monitor the earth for non-proliferation activities, specifically the Global Nuclear Burst Detector that flies on Global Positioning Satellites (GPS). MESA provided the first fully space-qualified MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) to control the temperature of nanosatellites while functioning in the radiation of space.
MESA continues Sandia’s long tradition of developing and delivering custom national security hardware. Sandia has been awarded 40 microelectronics and microsystems related R&D 100 Awards since 1986.Emerging nano technologies are transforming microsensor research and development, a key enabler of Sandia’s national security mission. By emphasizing handheld and autonomous technology, Sandia is developing novel
In partnership with industry, Sandia contributed significantly to the development of a
Sandia also is engaged in research in
The benefits of MESA extend beyond mere hardware. As Tom Hunter’s vision stated,
From the first use in the Minuteman II missile to the proliferation of consumer products today, microelectronic circuits have dramatically improved performance, functionality, and reliability, while reducing cost and decreasing volume.
Today researchers pursue advanced concepts that integrate not only electronics at the micro scale, but embody sensors, photonics and MEMS components.
At Sandia National Laboratories, as part of the Microsystems and Engineering Sciences Applications (MESA) Complex, the Microsystems organization has the mission to develop beyond leading edge trusted microsystems technologies to enable new and increasingly powerful macro-system capability and functionality for critical national security platforms.
Extensive scientific and engineering expertise in areas such as material growth and process development for silicon and compounds, device and product design, advanced packaging technologies for 3-D integration, reliability, and failure analysis makes possible the custom trusted solutions we deliver to the nation today.
Areas of Expertise
"Trusted Microsystems" encompasses the entire product development cycle. Sandia’s Microsystems Center affords access to trusted people and facilities for research and development, design, layout, fabrication, characterization, packaging, and test.
The MESAFab complex develops and maintains core semiconductor processing capabilities and capacity that enable our customers to build differentiating Microsystems products.
Sandia provides photonics technology based solutions (science, technology, microsystems, subsystems, turn-key systems) for National Security customers.
At Sandia National Laboratories, numerous teams and disciplines are engaged in attempting to move significantly closer to the actualization of quantum information processing.
Sandia’s Microsensor and Sensor Microsystem effort develops sensors and sensor arrays for chemical, physical and biological detection.
The MEMS Technology Department conducts research and development for advanced micro- electromechanical systems that push the technology envelope for national security applications and develops and maintains a core set of MEMS fabrication processes and technologies.
Power electronics is the application of solid-state electronics for routing, control, and conversion of electrical power.