Archives :: 2009 ACCOMPLISHMENTS
- FBI's Anthrax Investigation
- After seven years of investigation, Sandia was released from nondisclosure agreements with the FBI regarding a project in which the Labs applied advanced microanalysis tools, developed for nuclear weapons work, to determine the distribution of elements in anthrax spore materials mailed in 2001 to several news media offices and two US senators. Highly detailed analyses were conducted on hundreds of samples, showing that the spore materials in the letters most likely came from the same source and that no chemical additives were used to make the spores more dispersible.
- Advanced Simulation & Computing
- To assess the threat of onboard explosions from terrorist bombs, the Advanced Simulation & Computing program produced visual assessments of airplane damage in response to detonations. Computational modeling offers simulation-based confidence for explosive threats and myriad factors affecting structural vulnerability that cannot be determined solely from empirical tests. Hydrodynamic blast models were linked to finite-element structural-response models to generate blast effects. The Transportation Security Administration will use this work to revise requirements for future aviation security explosives detection technology.
- Precision Aim Team
- The Precision Aim Team developed and fielded a system to precisely identify, target, and disable internal components of an improvised explosive device (IED) while dramatically reducing an operator’s time on target and preserving forensics evidence. The system is quicker, easier to use, and less expensive than existing systems and can be used by federal, state, and local emergency responders. It combines Sandia-developed technologies, including visual tracking, pose estimation, stereo X-ray targeting, graphical model building, and model-based collision detection.