Archives :: 2009 ACCOMPLISHMENTS
- Satellite Payloads
- Working closely with NNSA and the US Air Force, a joint Sandia/Los Alamos National Laboratory team develops and launches satellite payloads supporting the nation’s nonproliferation and treaty verification programs. Since 1983 the team has launched nuclear detonation detection payloads into orbit on the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite. This year the team launched three payloads on GPS, including the 50th payload in March 2008. This program involves hundreds of scientists and engineers from Sandia and Los Alamos and is the backbone of the nation’s nuclear detonation detection system.
- National Security Space Applications
- A multidisciplinary engineering team identified architectural approaches to a national security space application. To explore the relevant trade space, the team adapted established modeling and simulation capabilities, and combined it with newly created application-specific models. The modeling system was used to develop and refine an architectural solution to the specific problem. By combining Sandia’s inherent modeling and simulation strengths with constellation-level system design skills, Sandia was able to explore critical trade space and identify previously overlooked options for solving critical national needs.
- Focal Plane Arrays
- Sandia and Teledyne Imaging Sensors have developed and produced 2,000-by-2,000-pixel focal plane arrays. These focal planes, BTB-2K, are among the first with onboard analog-to-digital conversion of electrical signals and represent a significant milestone in achieving higher levels of conversion efficiency. This technology advance will enable greater sensitivity in signature collection, pushing the state of the art for large area arrays.
- Seismic Velocity Distribution
- To meet emerging treaty monitoring requirements, Sandia’s ground-based nuclear explosion monitoring team has developed a system to produce realistic three-dimensional models of the Earth’s seismic velocity distribution based on the tomographic inversion of millions of seismic travel-time observations. Calculations are performed with a distributed computing platform based on the Java Parallel Processing Framework, providing a unique capability for this community. The system utilizes a dedicated set of multicore servers, as well as desktop machines, enabling researchers to exploit more than 200 processor cores.
- Sandia TriSAR
- The Sandia “TriSAR” program is a multiagency, multicorporation effort to develop a series of small, low-cost, high-performance space-based imaging radar systems to support lunar missions to find ice/water for manned space flight to the moon. Sandia delivered software and flight qualified hardware of the Digital Receiver and Quadrature Waveform Synthesizer to NASA and the Johns Hopkins University Advanced Physics Laboratory. Time magazine named the NASA-sponsored Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) number three of the 100 top inventions for 2008. LRO is scheduled for launch in April 2009.
- Human Psycholinguistic Mechanisms
- Real-time high-consequence systems require fluid, terse, intuitive communications among team members to maximize system performance. Extensive observation of ongoing intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) R&D activities at Sandia yielded evidence and theory showing how ISR systems harness human psycholinguistic mechanisms to process situational context and mission goals. This empirical research in real mission environments provides original insights into ISR collaborative situational awareness and reasoning. Results have been shared with operations crews, managers, engineers, and policymakers, generating interest and accolades, and establishing a new design basis for future collaborative systems.