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[Sandia Lab News]

Vol. 53, No. 2        January 26, 2001
[Sandia National Laboratories]

Albuquerque, New Mexico 87185-0165    ||   Livermore, California 94550-0969
Tonopah, Nevada; Nevada Test Site; Amarillo, Texas

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Arms control and nonproliferation

On 12 March, the USAF launched the Multispectral Thermal Imager (MTI) satellite into polar orbit aboard an Orbital Sciences Taurus rocket. MTI is a Sandia-led, multilaboratory R&D project sponsored by DOE's Office of Nonproliferation and National Security. Its objective is to develop, demonstrate and evaluate multispectral and thermal imaging and related technologies for a broad range of national security civilian applications. Brian Brock, bcbrock@sandia.gov



MTI satellite image showing the San Rafael Bridge north of Oakland and San Francisco, Calif. Vegetation shows up as bright red.

We have designed, fabricated, and demonstrated prototypes of two portable chemical analysis systems tailored to the rapid detection and analysis of toxic agents that might be released during a terrorist attack. Extensive testing of these prototypes with targeted agents (one for chemical warfare agents and one for biotoxins) has demonstrated that our devices can detect specific agents with extremely high sensitivity in very short times. Furthermore, our tests have shown that these systems are not affected by common chemicals that could potentially serve as interferrants. (1700, 8100, 8300) Duane Lindner, dllindn@sandia.gov

The Advanced Modular Tag (AMT) is a miniature, LPI/LPD (Low Probability of Intercept/Low Probability of Detection) communicator and tracking device intended for use by special operations and other DoD forces. This work is funded by the Air Force Space Warfare Center; and, Centers 5700 and 2300 have teamed with Lockheed Martin in this development. Recently, the AMT successfully passed a critical series of laboratory and field tests required for full certification and use with US assets. (2300, 5700) Michael Murphy, mbmurph@sandia.gov

The first in a series of Operation: America training workshops for bomb squads was held in San Diego, Calif., Sept. 18-22. The program focuses on advanced disablement technologies to render-safe complex terrorist type devices. Several more five-day workshops are planned, each hosted by a different US city and involving bomb techs from the neighboring region. The San Diego workshop was hosted by the San Diego County Sheriffs Office and the US Navy and taught primarily by Sandians. The Operation: America series is sponsored by the National Institute of Justice. (5900) Chris Cherry, crcherr@sandia.gov

Sandian's best friend may be the newly developed HoundTM -- that is, if you need contraband detection capabilities. The HoundTM is a portable sampling/preconcentration system fitted to a commercial portable detector to improve sensitive and sampling efficiency. This portable sampling/preconcentrator system is a direct outgrowth technology from the explosives detection portal (EDP) developed by Sandia for the Federal Aviation Administration. The EDP and the HoundTM are capable of detecting vanishingly (parts per trillion) faint odors of explosives and other chemicals. (5800) Kevin Linker, 844-6999, 5848, kllinke@sandia.gov

Mayak Production Association is a major Russian nuclear enterprise involving numerous plants that process and store large quantities (estimated to be more than 100 metric tons) of plutonium and uranium for both weapon and civilian uses. Under the sponsorship of the DOE Material Protection, Control, and Accounting (MPC&A) Program, the Mayak Project has provided an initial design for large steel-clad, steel-reinforced concrete blocks to cover canisters of plutonium dioxide in order to increase the time required for a thief to gain access to the canisters. An agreement was recently signed that establishes the foundation for initiation of security upgrades at another of Mayak's plants in which extremely large quantities of weapons grade plutonium and uranium are processed and stored. (5300, 5800) Jim Chapek, jfchape@sandia.gov

DOE's AURA (Advanced UV Remote-Sensing Applications) program completed a successful engineering flight test deployment to Dugway Proving Ground, Utah last October. The AURA payload, an advanced ultraviolet laser induced fluorescence lidar, was installed in the Altus UAV (Unmanned Aerospace Vehicle) and completed 6 successful flights. All science goals were met or exceeded. A second flight test deployment is set for September 2001. The September test will represent the first demonstration of an operational lidar for the detection of WMD proliferation effluents. (Sandia centers that support the AURA program include 1100, 2300, 5700, 6100, 8100, 8300, 8400, 8900, and 15400.) Al Lang, alang@sandia.gov

The Cooperative Monitoring Center is collaborating with nuclear physics institutes in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan in a waterborne radionuclide monitoring experiment on the major rivers in Central Asia. Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, these countries have been pursuing independent courses, and cooperation on any issue has been extremely difficult. These republics contributed greatly to the Soviet nuclear weapons program, from uranium mining and processing to nuclear weapons testing. (5300) Dave Barber, dsbarbe@sandia.gov

India and Pakistan have come together at the Cooperative Monitoring Center (CMC) to collaborate on issues of common regional concern. A CMC-sponsored water quality project shared data among India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Workshops at CMC and overseas were conducted with the Department of State, Stanford University, and the Regional Center for Strategic Studies on cooperative monitoring to enhance regional security. Visiting scholars from India, Pakistan, and the US published papers on South Asian nuclear doctrines and agreements, potential for regional naval cooperation, and border security. (5300) Kent Biringer, klbirin@sandia.gov

US/Russian Arms reduction treaties require verification that nuclear materials from dismantled weapons are not returned to weapons use. The Trilateral Initiative of the United States, Russian Federation, and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is developing a model verification agreement and exploring verification technologies. Sandia provides a senior technical advisor and leads a group of technical experts for the US delegation to develop inventory monitoring systems and approaches for verification that are acceptable to all parties. (5300, 5800, 6500) Dennis Mangan, dlmanga@sandia.gov

Mission Analysis and Simulation Dept. personnel, using the Sandia Data Analysis and Display System, performed detailed mathematical and statistical analyses of the more than 20,000 sensor events collected during the Nuclear Detonation Detection System Characterization Test sponsored by the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. Radio frequency illumination of the electromagnetic pulse sensors, onboard Global Positioning System satellites, was accomplished using the Stanford Research Institute pulser located at Algonquinn Radio Observatory in Ontario, Canada. A comprehensive report was completed in August of 2000. (6500) Bill Richard, bdricha@sandia.gov

Sandia delivered Release 4.0 of the Nuclear Explosion Monitoring Knowledge Base to the US National Data Center (US NDC). This Knowledge Base improves the ability of the US NDC to detect, locate, and identify clandestine nuclear tests. It does this by providing detailed knowledge of the earth's structure and signal propagation characteristics developed at DOE's national labs. Sandia-developed information management systems, applications interfaces, and user interfaces integrate the Knowledge Base with the 24-hour-a-day operations at the NDC. (6500, 6100, 5700) Ralph Keyser, rgkeyse@sandia.gov

Mission Analysis and Simulation Dept. personnel developed an improved method for evaluating the performance of an inter-satellite communications system used by the constellation of Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites. The method, while collecting large amounts of data without significantly impacting either space or ground operations, provided new insights into possible error sources. This in turn led to the development of new error reduction techniques, and subsequently influenced the design of future GPS satellites. (2600, 5700, 6500) Bill Richard, bdricha@sandia.gov

Sandia has completed two projects demonstrating technologies vital to protection of major US facilities against chemical and biological agent attacks. One project has deployed chemical agent detectors and supporting information systems into a testbed in the Washington DC subway system to provide operational data that addresses the long-term reliability and false alarm characteristics of detection systems. A second project has focused on the release of tracers in the San Francisco International Airport to characterize attacks and to evaluate the potential of air handler responses to mitigate effects. Both projects are sponsored by the DOE Chemical and Biological National Security Program. (8100, 2200, 8900, 6400, 6200) Larry Brandt, lbrandt@sandia.gov

A Chemical Defense Assessment Team was formed at the direction of Gen. Eugene Habiger to study defenses against the possible use of lethal chemical agents to attack the people guarding SNM (Special Nuclear Material) at DOE sites. This Sandia-led team assessed three of the most critical sites this past year and wrote, with the aid of experts from Sandia and DoD's Edgewood Chemical Biological Command, A Guide to Defending SNM Facilities Against Chemical Attacks. (8100, 5800, 9100) John Vitko, jvitko@sandia.gov

Last modified: January 31, 2001


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