Pulsed power

pulsed power photo

Complex molecular dynamics calculations based on first-principles density functional theory are increasingly being used to understand the properties of materials at high pressures and temperatures. The marriage between these efforts and high-quality data obtained on experimental facilities such as Sandia’s Z is allowing researchers to provide accurate equation-of-state tables for materials of interest to our NNSA customers. These materials include krypton, xenon, beryllium, quartz, high explosives, foam, and water. Some of the results are also of interest to planetary and astrophysical researchers. (1600, 1400, 2500) NW, ST&E

Z was prepared for high-priority plutonium experiments to ensure minimal risk of contaminating workers and the high-bay. Hardware to reduce the exposed volume of the central vacuum section and a novel negative-pressure tent system were designed, procured, and tested. The operations crew was trained in re-entry, disassembly, radiation-survey, and hardware-disposal procedures. Shots were conducted to assess the mechanical and vacuum integrity of the primary plutonium-containment chamber and to determine the required current pulse shape. The first Pu shot was conducted Nov. 18, 2010. (1600) NW, ST&E


Each citation is followed by the center numbers of centers that contributed most directly to the effort described. An acronym after each accomplishment indicates which of Sandia's strategic management units (SMUs) or strategic management groups (SMGs) the work most directly supported.

The SMG/SMU acronyms are:

  • NW: Nuclear Weapons SMG & SMU
  • DS & A: Defense Systems & Assessments SMU
  • IHNS: International, Homeland, and Nuclear Security SMU
  • ECIS: Energy, Climate, and Infrastructure SMU
  • IES: Integrated Enabling Services SMU
  • WFO: Work for Others