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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

Back to Lab News Labs Accomplishments index

Emerging threats

Reliable, autonomous mobility in difficult environments has previously eluded robot engineers. Intelligent System Sensors & Controls Dept. 15211's DARPA-funded work, developed a hopping machine that may soon give robots unprecedented mobility for exploring other planets, gathering war-fighting intelligence, and assisting police during standoff or surveillance operations. Most mobile robots are designed to steer directly to a spot and require expensive and complicated control systems. Over long distances you don't need as much precision, so semi-random mobility is sufficient for many applications. Jerry Langheim, grlangh@sandia.gov



Hopper co-developer Barry Spletzer shows how high the new hoppers can go. This one leaps 10-20 feet high on each jump. (Photo by Randy Montoya)

Sandia-developed Rapid Terrain Visualization (RTV) Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (IFSAR) is a revolutionary terrain-mapping radar capable of producing terrain elevation maps with height accuracies of 0.5m. The system provides the Army a two-hours-to-data mapping capability for regions of conflict and enables battlefield visualization. The system solves three key problems in interferometric mapping: 1) timeliness of data through real-time processing, 2) high-accuracy digital-elevation maps through innovative multipath reduction techniques, and 3) the elimination of phase unwrapping through multiple antenna baselines. RTV is the first program to demonstrate these capabilities. (2300, 5900). Gene Kallenbach, gakalle@sandia.gov

Gathering and transmitting measurements during explosive events is a difficult task requiring a broad radio frequency bandwidth. We successfully flight-tested a 33 megabits per second (Mbps), 16-symbol Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) High Explosive Radio Telemetry (HERT) that is designed to collect and transmit data during a high explosive detonation. The primary benefit of QAM is bandwidth reduction: To transmit a 33 Mbps rate, this system requires 10 MHz bandwidth compared to over 35 MHz using conventional telemetry. (2600, 8400) John Moser, jcmoser@sandia.gov

The first Explosives Destruction System (EDS) unit designed, fabricated, and quality-tested by Sandia for the US Army Non-Stockpile Chemical Materiel program closed out a campaign of engineering development tests carried out at the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) facility in Porton Down, England. World War I vintage mortar shells and artillery projectiles (7 filled with phosgene and 12 with mustard) were destroyed, as was a container filled with more than a pound of Sarin nerve agent. The chemical agents were consistently destroyed below detectable limits. (8100, 15300, 8700) Al McDonald, amcdona@sandia.gov

Following two years of planning and coordination, a series of chem/bio simulant release tests were performed at the San Francisco International Airport. The simulated chem/bio agents were released to experimentally characterize the response of the facility to a terrorist attack with these weapons of mass destruction. The experiments were a major milestone under the PROTECT Domestic Demonstration and Application Program funded by DOE, which is intended to demonstrate that DOE technologies can be successfully used to address the emerging chem/bio threat to critical national infrastructure. (9100, 8100, 6400, 6200) Richard Griffith, rogrif@sandia.gov

An advanced diagnostic tool, the line-imaging optically recording velocity interferometer system (Line-ORVIS), has been developed and demonstrated, under LDRD funding, to quantify material dynamic response at unprecedented temporal and spatial resolution. This diagnostic provides 1-D spatially- and temporally-resolved material response and/or provides single-time 2-D response data. Line-Orvis has been applied in collaborative computational "discovery" studies of energetic material mechanical response at the meso-scale, has provided data critical to stockpile materials, including PZT, ALOX, and HMX, and is a primary diagnostic for Z-pinch physics studies. (9100, 2500, 1600) Arthur Ratzel, acratze@sandia.gov

In July 2000, Sandia completed work on two royalty-bearing license agreements to commercialize Sandia's decontamination formulation for chemical and biological weapons agents. The formulation can be deployed in various ways: as a foam, fog, spray, mist or liquid. It is non-toxic to humans. The two separate licensee companies obtained nonexclusive rights under the agreements that allow them to supply emergency responders with technology that can mitigate the effects of a chemical or biological attack. Part of the royalty and fee revenues will support future Labs R&D endeavors. (11500) Russell Elliott, rusty@sandia.gov

We integrated and tested a fuel cell power system on a robotic vehicle, an industry first. The fuel cell combines hydrogen and oxygen at low temperature without combustion to produce electricity at high efficiency, potentially offering much greater operational range than batteries presently used. In collaboration with the Fuel Cell Propulsion Institute, Sandia combined an H-Power Corporation stack with a hydride bed hydrogen storage unit developed at Sandia/California. (15200, 6200) Jerry Langheim, grlangh@sandia.gov

Systems Reliability Dept. 6411's primary efforts during FY00 focused on the broad area of sustainment and readiness of weapon systems. Major programs were established with: Lockheed Martin in Support Enterprise Modeling and health monitoring for the Joint Strike Fighter and the F-16; Raytheon in Service Life Extension for the Advanced Cruise Missile and predictive reliability/maintenance for the Future Combat System; DARPA/Army in predictive reliability/maintenance and health monitoring for the Joint Virtual Battlespace; the Air Force in supply chain management and spares optimization for the F-22; and the Army in predictive reliability and retrofit optimization for the Apache helicopter. (6400) Jerry Langheim, grlangh@sandia.gov

The Laser Dynamic Range Imager (LDRI) sensor was developed for NASA/Johnson Spaceflight Center (JSC), which provided the funding for this project. The LDRI sensor, capable of capturing 3-D images at a rate of 7.5 Hz, was delivered to Kennedy Spaceflight Center in September and installed on the Endeavor space shuttle. A critical demonstration of the sensor was completed successfully during a November Shuttle mission. (2300, 5700, 9100, 14000, 15000) Jerry Langheim, grlangh@sandia.gov

The Short-Pulse Laser (SPL) Program made hallmark scientific discoveries in FY00. World's-first laser techniques for creation, sustainment, and control of 50 femtosecond "optical bullets" were developed, world record propagation distances were achieved, and new phenomenologies were demonstrated in the lab and in field trials. These successes secured a combined DoD/DOE FY01 funding increase of roughly 50 percent over FY00. The SPL team includes nationally recognized experts from Center 15300. Sandians from other divisions contribute to the program's success on an as-needed basis. (15300) Jerry Langheim, grlangh@sandia.gov

The Information Design Assurance Red Team (IDART) has continued to analyze advanced information systems for DARPA with the intent to help designers rethink traditional system design approaches. Major accomplishments in FY00 include the definition and characterization of adversary models that range in sophistication from novice to foreign intelligence and the development of a training curriculum in the IDART methodology. The team trained new "Red Teamers" at Sandia and DARPA to analyze systems from an adversarial point of view to demonstrate how a cyber terrorist for instance might exploit vulnerabilities. (6500, 2600, 5800, 9300) Jerry Langheim, grlangh@sandia.gov

Last modified: January 31, 2001


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