News

Mission Assurance

supercomputer facility
Sandia’s new high-performance computing facility

High-performance computing facility opens

Sandia dedicated its new high-performance computing facility on Nov. 28, 2018. Home to the NNSA-funded Vanguard/Astra Supercomputer, the world’s largest Arm-based supercomputer, this fully automated facility features a 14,000-square-foot machine floor and innovative energy- and water-saving infrastructure technologies projected to save 10-15 million gallons of water per year when the building is fully occupied. This new HPC facility will help to ensure that Sandia remains at the forefront of computational science and engineering and continues to be a leader in HPC research. (1000, 4000, 9000, 10000)

Cyber hunt parties mitigate threats

As lead of the NNSA Center of Excellence in Cyber Threat Intelligence, which is comprised of eight NNSA sites, Sandia established twice-a-week cyber hunt parties in FY19. Analysts from across the NNSA sites worked together to actively hunt for adversarial activity in the networks and cyber environments of the participating organizations. This activity led to finding and mitigating 172 new cyber intelligence events. The Center of Excellence is an NNSA-wide capability that better protects each site and strengthens the Nuclear Security Enterprise as a whole. (9000)

Quality management system certified

For the first time, the scope of the Sandia Quality Management System ISO 9001:2015 certification was expanded to include both the Albuquerque and Livermore sites. While identifying 15 noteworthy practices, an external audit of both sites found the QMS meets the ISO standard’s requirements and is effectively implemented. The QMS enables employees to get things done right the first time. (9000)

Contractor Assurance System matured

Sandia matured its Contractor Assurance System in FY19 by deploying executive-level issue- and risk-review boards Labs-wide; revising the Labs’ operational management review with deliberate links to strategic objectives, Labs-level risks and Performance Evaluation and Measurement Plan objectives; deploying the Labs’ Assurance Portal; and expanding Sage, a CAS tool that supports customer feedback, lessons learned and requirements management. Sandia and the NNSA Sandia Field Office hosted senior leaders from DOE, the National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia LLC Board of Managers and the Nuclear Security Enterprise for an NNSA Site Governance Peer Review, which noted several best practices. (9000)

leadership receives diamond stamp award
Sandia Associate Labs Director for Mission Assurance Mark Sellers, NNSA Acting Assistant Deputy Administrator for Research and Development Mark Anderson, Sandia Weapon Quality Assurance Manager Scott Lager and Nuclear Deterrence Associate Labs Director Steve Girrens receive an NNSA Defense Programs Award of Excellence recognizing Sandia’s Diamond Stamp Delegation authority.

Sandia achieves NNSA Diamond Stamp

For the first time, Sandia achieved Diamond Stamp Delegation authority from NNSA in FY19. This authority relieves NNSA of having to perform a follow-up on all products accepted by Sandia’s weapon quality assurance team, saving associated time and costs. With this new authority and additional nuclear program production, the team increased its product acceptance volume from 182 in FY18 to 411 in FY19 while maintaining 100% acceptance from the NNSA Sandia Field Office. These efforts garnered a 2019 NNSA Defense Programs Award of Excellence. (9000)

3D visualization software aids classification

In FY19, Sandia delivered the Weapon Component Visual Information System, a software package offering 3D visualization of nuclear weapon components to improve the accuracy, speed and ease of classification determinations. While ensuring need-to-know access, WCVIS uses a gaming engine and 3D technologies to display models of nuclear weapon components for derivative classifiers across the Nuclear Security Enterprise. Facilitating deeper understanding of components and associated classification information by derivative classifiers, the system mitigates risk of security incidents. (4000, 9000)

Qualification Evaluation Releases surge

In partnership with their Product Realization Teams, Sandia’s surety engineering team issued 1,975 QERs for products, testers and processes in FY19, in support of modernization programs. This represents a historic high since the current tracking method began in FY04 and a 500% increase over FY17. (9000, 2000, 5000, 8000)