Sandia LabNews

TCR Phase 2 to begin next year with Area 1 complex

TCR Phase 2 to begin next year with Area 1 complex

Design efforts will begin next year on Phase 2 of Sandia’s Test Capabilities Revitalization (TCR) project, which will overlap the Phase 1 work now under way. Phase 2 will involve improvements to the Labs’ thermal, vibration, acoustic, shock, centrifuge, structural mechanics, and rocket sled test facilities.

Perhaps the most visible part of Phase 2 will be the construction of the Experimental Sciences Complex (ESC) in Area 1. Current plans call for a 67,000-square-foot structure that will bring together workspaces, some 15 labs including characterization and specialty labs, radiographic diagnostic tools equipment, wind tunnels, and supporting shops. The ESC will consolidate research, development, and testing to develop tools to move from test-based certification to validated modeling and simulation certification, planners say.

The functions of these labs include model and simulation development, characterizing material properties and performance, measuring structural or system response to a test environment, development of diagnostics, and other research and science-based engineering activities. New diagnostics will be needed to study the test environments that weapons are subjected to and for quantifying weapon system performance.

Some of the ESC labs will play an important role in weapons component certification. The ESC staff will include new employees, visiting researchers, students, and Labs researchers to be relocated from Bldgs. 860, 865, and 880.

Among the plans for Phase 2:

  • Upgrades of the rocket sled track target handling area,
  • Enhanced thermal-vibration capabilities for system-level tests,
  • Doubling of shock and vibration system spectrum for sub-system level testing,
  • A new "vibrafuge" capability at Sandia’s indoor centrifuge, and
  • A variety of upgrades to improve data gathering, transmission, and analysis and to provide advanced photometric analyses and radiographic diagnostic tools.