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[Sandia Lab News]

Vol. 54, Special Issue        February 2002
[Sandia National Laboratories]

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

Back to Lab News Sandia Labs Accomplishments 2002 index

Emerging threats

Sarin-filled bomblets discarded long ago were discovered in October 2000 at Rocky Mountain Arsenal near Denver. Sarin, a deadly nerve agent, posed a threat to nearby communities. The US Army responded with a rapid deployment of the Sandia-developed Explosive Destruction System (EDS), promptly moving an EDS unit from England where it was undergoing engineering development tests. During two campaigns at the arsenal, ten bomblets were opened explosively inside the EDS containment system, and the Sarin agent was chemically neutralized without incident. (8100, 15300, 8700) Al McDonald, amcdona@sandia.gov

Of the 26,000 people killed or maimed by landmines each year, 8,000 are children. Landmine detection using chemical sensing methods (e.g., dogs and electronic sensing technologies) is challenged by the ultra-low levels of explosive vapors emitted by buried devices. Sandia has combined laboratory testing and numerical simulation of the transport of chemical signatures emitted from landmines to determine optimal conditions for locating buried landmines. Sponsors have included the DARPA Dog Nose Program, the US Army, and the Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining. (6100, 2500) James Phelan, jmphela@sandia.gov

The successful launch of Target Test Vehicle 2 from Kauai Test Facility on Jan. 25, 2001, marked a major event in an effort aimed at presentation of development test targets for Navy Theater Wide Missile Defense. This launch of an Orbital Sciences rocket system involved the Navy, Army, Air Force, and their respective support contractors in addition to Sandia rocket and range personnel. An interceptor missile was launched from an Aegis cruiser to observe the target in a deliberate near-miss scenario. (15400) Richard Hay, rghay@sandia.gov

The Sandia Short-pulse Laser Group achieved revolutionary physics breakthroughs in understanding propagation of high-intensity femtosecond lasers. The exceptional utility of femtosecond optical pulses originates from their short duration and wide coherent spectral bandwidth, creating unique measurement opportunities in both the frequency and time domains. Experiments and modeling (sponsored in part by by LDRD funds) identified new enabling strategies for advanced directed-energy, communication, and remote-sensing technologies. High levels of interest are indicated by recent briefings to Vice President Cheney and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. (15300) Guillermo Loubriel, gmloubr@sandia.gov

Detecting explosives in vehicles is a major concern at airports, military bases, government facilities, and border crossings. Department 5848 has developed and successfully tested a prototype vehicle portal that detects trace amounts of common explosives. The system uses Sandia-patented sample collection and preconcentrator technology. The Technical Support Working Group and DOE Office of Safeguards and Security funded this research. (5800) John Parmeter, jeparme@sandia.gov

The Sandia targets team continued to provide successful target objects for the Ground-Based Midcourse Segment of the Ballistic Missile Defense System. A Sandia target reentry vehicle was successfully intercepted over the Pacific Ocean on July 14, 2001. In addition to the reentry vehicle, the target object suite included a new balloon decoy designed and developed by the Sandia team. All Sandia-provided objects and support equipment performed as expected. All data from the target reentry vehicle was retrieved and provided the required insights into the performance of the missile defense system elements participating in the test. (2300, 2600, 15400) Eric Reece, ewreece@sandia.gov

Sandia produced radar maps with unprecedented fidelity for the site of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Park City, Utah; Washington D.C.; Fort Bragg, N.C.; and South Korea. These 3-dimensional maps are generated in real time by an interferometric synthetic aperture radar on a DHC-7 turboprop airplane as part of a program sponsored by the Joint Precision Strike Demonstration Project Office of the US Army. Customers for these maps include the DoD, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and law enforcement agencies. (2300, 5900) Brett Remund, blremun@sandia.gov

Recent events have propelled hard and deeply buried target (HDBT) defeat to the forefront of national security challenges. Detailed functional characterization of subsurface structures is essential for effective attack, but is a formidable challenge. With funding from DARPA, Sandia has combined expertise in advanced sensors, geophysical modeling, and signal processing to develop a prototype integrated model that uses passive seismic, acoustic, and electromagnetic signals for HDBT characterization. The model combines site-specific geological information and sophisticated finite-difference modeling tools to predict machinery and other HDBT-specific signatures observable at the earthšs surface. (6100, 15300) Marianne Walck, mcwalck@sandia.gov

The Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module provides the next-generation cryptography and enhanced security for the Precise Positioning Service used by all military GPS users. Sandia has delivered the NSA-approved secure Key Data Processor (KDP) design and operational software that implements the cryptographic and selective availability algorithms that provide the anti- spoofing modulešs capabilities, including support for black key and Over-The-Air-Rekey operations. The module significantly advances military GPS capabilities and security for the NAVSTAR Global Positioning System (GPS) Joint Program Office. (1700, 2300, 2600, 6500, 12300) Debby Jensen Kill, dljense@sandia.gov

Last modified: February 28 , 2002


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