The Validation and Qualification Sciences Experimental Complex (VQSEC) at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico is a unique group of experimental and computational capabilities that create and/or simulate a broad range of extreme operational or abnormal environments. We provide access to a team with world-class expertise in a variety of mechanical, energetic, and thermal disciplines. Our approach spans the full life cycle – from concept development and requirements definition, to test system engineering design/analysis, to hazard assessment and safety theme architectures, to test execution across a range of temporal and dimensional regimes. Our facilities are complemented by state-of-the-art control systems, instrumentation, and diagnostic/photometric capabilities, enabling full system integration.

VQSEC facilities are secure and remote, and are routinely used to perform tests with energetic and hazardous materials including:

  • Detonation of large explosive charges
  • High velocity, high-g gas or rocket-assisted mechanical events
  • High heat-flux fire tests, across a spectrum of fuel types

Located primarily in Sandia’s Technical Area III, VQSEC is conveniently located approximately 10 miles from the Albuquerque International Sunport.

Downloadable posters


One Shot Physics – Documentary about Sandia’s High Consequence Testing
2019 02 VQSEC Full Scale Test Capability
2019 02 Full Scale Testing Short UUR