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  • richardmitnick 10:56 am on December 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Low-temperature plasmas, , Sandia Lab, Sandia Low Temperature Plasma Research Facility   

    From Sandia Lab: “Sandia establishes collaborative research facility for low-temperature plasmas” 

    From Sandia Lab

    December 20, 2019
    Neal Singer
    nsinger@sandia.gov
    505-845-7078

    Sandia National Laboratories is setting up a collaborative facility to help researchers worldwide study low-temperature plasmas, the most pervasive state of matter in the universe.

    1
    Helium plasma is generated between a point anode and planar dielectric cathode in a lab at Sandia National Laboratories, which is setting up a collaborative facility to study low-temperature plasmas. (Photo by Ed Barnat)

    The 5-year, $5.5 million project, called the Sandia Low Temperature Plasma Research Facility, is sponsored by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. Participants will be selected biannually by Sandia and the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, where a similar collaborative facility is being established by the DOE.

    Low-temperature plasma — a state of matter along with solids, liquids and gases — consists of gaseous mixtures of ions and electrons that interact with background neutral atoms or molecules to make them reactive. It also generates energetic photons.

    This relentless activity means there’s no shortage of plasmas to study. They can decontaminate surfaces, decompose materials and strengthen a wide range of catalysis-aided industrial reactions. Medically, they offer new tools to cut and heal tissues. Plasma makes metal arc welding possible and lights up plasma lamps.

    But that’s small scale. Consider that the ionosphere wrapping the Earth is a plasma that carries large electric currents in the polar regions. And low-pressure, collisionless plasmas that generate little heat are of interest to astrophysicists studying the plasmas hanging out between stars.

    Versatile facility to study wide variety of plasmas

    “In my view, a collaborative plasma research facility is different from a center for research,” said Sandia facility leader Ed Barnat, an internationally recognized expert in diagnosing conditions associated with low-temperature plasmas. “While a center can be a team of people focused on a specific subset of plasma science, a collaborative research facility is more customer-oriented: We help the visiting scientists set up their systems in our laboratories and utilize our capabilities to help answer their questions.”

    Other Sandia researchers supporting the collaborative facility are Matt Hopkins, a computational modeling and simulation expert for plasma physics; Ben Yee, an experimentalist and a modeling and simulation scientist; and three researchers at Sandia’s Combustion Research Facility in California, Jonathan Frank, Chris Kliewer and Nils Hansen, who all have extensive experience developing and applying laser diagnostics and mass spectrometry to explain the physics and chemistry occurring in reacting plasma flows.

    Extreme tools and expertise to help decipher plasma mysteries

    Tools available to visiting scientists to analyze plasma behavior include nanosecond (a billionth of a second), picosecond (a trillionth of a second) and femtosecond (one millionth of one billionth of a second) laser systems, picosecond-shuttered cameras, massively parallel computers to simulate the range from vacuum to atmospheric-pressure plasma, a wide variety of spectrometers and the equipment needed to build or incorporate a broad range of plasma sources and operating conditions.

    Sandia researchers expect to engage with scientific collaborators to design, set up and execute proof-of-principle studies to enable participants to further their research objectives and analyze data generated during the collaboration.

    For the past decade Barnat has received funding from DOE to operate a prototype collaborative plasma research facility, said Sandia manager Shane Sickafoose.

    “This experience made Ed’s expertise, along with Sandia’s one-of-a-kind diagnostic tools, available to the larger community,” said Sickafoose. “His team has provided critical insights regarding characteristics of electrical breakdown and plasmas. We have images resolved in picoseconds — trillionths of a second — that detect and display electrical fields prior to and during electrical discharge events.”

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Sandia Campus
    Sandia National Laboratory

    Sandia National Laboratories is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.



     
  • richardmitnick 2:44 pm on November 5, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "From Afghanistan to Alaska with atmosphere in between", Balloons carry instruments that measure conditions through different layers of the atmosphere., Sandia Lab, Sandia’s Oliktok Point research station in Alaska   

    From Sandia Lab: “From Afghanistan to Alaska with atmosphere in between” 

    From Sandia Lab

    November 5, 2019
    Melissae Fellet
    mfellet@sandia.gov
    505-845-7478

    Military service supports Sandia contractors working at remote research station in Alaska.

    For Justin LaPierre, helping maintain an atmospheric research station at the northern tip of Alaska is “eerily reminiscent” of being deployed in the deserts of Afghanistan — just much colder.

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    Justin LaPierre, left, launches a balloon at Sandia’s Oliktok Point research station while Ezequiel Chalbaud, the director of quality, health, safety and environment at Fairweather LLC watches. The balloon carries instruments that measure conditions through different layers of the atmosphere. (Photo by David Oaks)

    A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, LaPierre has worked as an observer at Oliktok Point for two years. The site is the third mobile station of Sandia National Laboratories’ Atmospheric Radiation Measurement research program, which has been monitoring atmospheric conditions and climate in the Arctic for more than 20 years.

    For LaPierre, and about half of his current and former colleagues at Oliktok Point, their experience in the military is similar to daily life in Alaska.

    With a team of three others, LaPierre works a rotating three-week shift maintaining the research instruments, infrastructure and grounds of the research station.

    He compares the station to a forward operating base, an outpost remote from a main base that is fully supported by its own infrastructure. The mindset needed to work in Alaska is similar to that in a remote military outpost too, LaPierre said.

    “I’m used to being away and doing the same thing day in and day out,” LaPierre said. “Especially here in winter when there’s a lot of snow shoveling to do, I know how to keep a positive mindset and keep moving forward to do the job at hand.”

    The observers work 12-hour shifts performing general operations, such as snow removal, monthly checks of the generators and maintenance of four microturbines that allow the site to generate its own power. LaPierre and his colleagues also walk through the site twice daily to make sure the scientific instruments are functioning properly.

    The combination of hands-on work with the scientific focus at this site makes this job a “perfect fit” for LaPierre’s background. Before his military service, LaPierre trained and worked as an electrician. In the Marine Corps, he worked in weather forecasting and data analysis. And after discharge, he utilized the Post 9/11 GI Bill to complete his education in natural sciences.

    “Observers like Justin are key to ensuring we continue to have high-quality information about conditions in the Arctic,” said Fred Helsel, a Sandia engineer who manages the observers contracted to maintain the Oliktok Point site.

    Data collected there by balloons floating through the atmosphere, radar monitoring clouds and instruments monitoring sunlight and snow complements information gathered at the program’s long-term site in Utqiagvik, Alaska, the city formerly known as Barrow. The monitoring is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, Biological and Environmental Research division.­

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Sandia Campus
    Sandia National Laboratory

    Sandia National Laboratories is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.
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  • richardmitnick 8:41 am on October 31, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ARIAA center is not a physical facility but a collaborative environment among Sandia Lab; Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; and the Georgia Institute of Technology., ARIAA-Artificial Intelligence-focused Architectures and Algorithms center, Department of Energy Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research, HPE Vanguard Astra supercomputer with ARM technology at Sandia Labs, Improving artificial intelligence technologies that will ultimately benefit the public, Sandia Lab, The Department of Energy Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research will provide $5.5 million over three years for the research effort.   

    From Sandia Lab: “AI center to combine hardware, software for practical gains” 

    From Sandia Lab

    October 31, 2019
    Neal Singer
    nsinger@sandia.gov
    505-845-7078

    Sandia National Laboratories, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington, and the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta are launching a research center that combines hardware design and software development to improve artificial intelligence technologies that will ultimately benefit the public.

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    The Artificial Intelligence-focused Architectures and Algorithms concept has applications, algorithms, programming runtime and architectures all working together in the center featuring Sandia National Laboratories, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Georgia Institute of Technology. (Graphic design by Roberto Gioiosa and Siva Rajamanickam)

    AI is an emerging field with eventual applications ranging from autonomous vehicles for monitoring wildfires to developing drugs for cancer and treating post-traumatic stress disorder.

    The Department of Energy Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research will provide $5.5 million over three years for the research effort, called Artificial Intelligence-focused Architectures and Algorithms.

    “The center will focus on the most challenging basic problems facing the young field, with the intention of speeding advances in cybersecurity, electric grid resilience, physics and chemistry simulations and other DOE priorities,” said Sandia project lead Siva Rajamanickam, an expert in high-performance computing.

    “A codesign center is a wonderful opportunity because people of diverse backgrounds — hardware designers, theoretical computer scientists, mathematicians and domain scientists — come together to develop solutions to a very challenging problem, the codesign of machine learning accelerators,” said Rajamanickam.

    The promise of AI

    Artificial intelligence and the subfield machine learning allow computer systems like those in self-driving cars to automatically learn from experience without being explicitly programmed. Such technology can perform tasks that formerly only a human could do: see, identify patterns, inform decisions and respond with actions.

    Special-purpose computing devices focused on such machine-learning tasks should encourage rapid deployment of these technologies in several fields, says Rajamanickam. Designing these devices, and influencing their design elsewhere, is important to position the United States as a leader in this emerging field, he says.

    Not a physical facility but a collaborative environment, the new center is intended to encourage researchers at the three locations, each with their own specialty, to simulate and evaluate artificial intelligence hardware when employed on current or future supercomputers. Researchers also should be able to improve AI and machine-learning methods as they replace or augment more traditional computation methods.

    The center will work in close collaboration with DOE’s newly formed Artificial Intelligence and Technology Office, which was created by Secretary of Energy Rick Perry to coordinate the department’s artificial intelligence work and accelerate the research, development and adoption of AI to impact people’s lives in a positive way.

    “We welcome the center’s announcement,” said AITO senior adviser Dan Wilmot. “Partnerships between academia and DOE’s national labs will be essential to our success in realizing the unlimited potential of AI to advance our core missions.”

    Sandia’s computing history

    Sandia has a background in high-performance computing. Its researchers created the first parallel processing supercomputer, the Paragon; the first teraflop computer, ASCI Red; and the supercomputer Red Storm used by the U.S. military to shoot down an errant satellite traveling at 17,000 miles per hour, which was described as “hitting a bullet with a bullet.” The Astra supercomputer recently installed at Sandia is the first and fastest supercomputer to use Arm-based processors, thus widening the supplier field for supercomputer components.

    HPE Vanguard Astra supercomputer with ARM technology at Sandia Labs

    Arm processors previously had been used exclusively for low-power mobile computers, including cell phones and tablets.

    Now, as part of the ARIAA center, Sandia will develop methods to use emerging machine-learning devices effectively and provide access to computer facilities and testbeds to AI researchers.

    “Sandia is extremely well-positioned to address the challenges in the co-design of AI and machine-learning accelerators for DOE’s broad set of applications,” said Jim Stewart, senior manager and Sandia’s immediate connection with DOE’s Advanced Scientific Computing Research. “We’re excited to be partnering with PNNL and Georgia Tech in this new multiyear effort that will enable AI and machine learning for science and engineering at unprecedented scales.”

    A focus of the center will be on sparse computations, a type of computation that utilizes the principle that in real life there might be many interactions but only a few that may affect the outcome to a problem. For example, there might be millions or even billions of users on a social media site, but a user cares about updates only from a few hundred friends.

    “Sparse computations will be a focus of the ARIAA center because the method greatly reduces the number of computations on problems with large amounts of data,” said Rajamanickam. “It is highly desirable to several computational areas of interest to DOE.”

    Other contributors

    PNNL, the lead lab, with its principal investigator Roberto Gioiosa, has expertise in simulations related to power grids, chemistry and cybersecurity. It has a history of research in computer architecture and programming models and owns a variety of computing resources that includes systems for testing emerging architectures.

    Georgia Tech, with its principal investigator Tushar Krishna, has experience in developing custom hardware accelerators for machine learning. The institution will focus on using this hardware for sparse linear algebra.

    “The foundation of the partnerships reflected in this center were made possible by the strategic collaboration between Sandia and Georgia Tech over the past few years,” Rajamanickam said.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Sandia Campus
    Sandia National Laboratory

    Sandia National Laboratories is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.
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  • richardmitnick 11:40 am on October 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Sandia Lab, Stretched S-DNA   

    From Sandia Lab: “Advanced microscopy reveals unusual DNA structure” 

    From Sandia Lab

    October 30, 2019
    Melissae Fellet
    mfellet@sandia.gov
    505-845-7478

    Sandia scientist pushes technology’s limits to see fundamental feature of stretched S-DNA.

    1
    Adam Backer, an optical scientist at Sandia National Laboratories, helped develop an advanced microscopy technique that revealed highly tilted base pairs in a stretched form of DNA. (Photo by Randy Montoya).

    An advanced imaging technique reveals new structural details of S-DNA, ladder-like DNA that forms when the molecule experiences extreme tension. This work conducted at Sandia National Laboratories and Vrije University in the Netherlands provides the first experimental evidence that S-DNA contains highly tilted base pairs.

    The predictable pairing and stacking of the DNA base pairs help to define the molecule’s double-helical shape. Understanding how the base pairs realign when DNA is stretched might provide insight into a range of biological processes and improve the design and performance of nanodevices built with DNA. Tilted base pairs in stretched S-DNA have been previously predicted using computer simulations, but never conclusively demonstrated in experiments until now, according to a recent article in Science Advances.

    DNA is most commonly known as the molecular carrier of genetic information. However, in research labs around the world, it also has another use: construction material for nanoscale devices. To do this, scientists prepare computer-generated sequences of single-stranded DNA so that certain sections form base pairs with other sections. This forces the strand to bend and fold like origami. Researchers have used this principle to fold DNA into microscopic smiley faces, nanomachines with moving hinges and pistons and “smart” materials that spontaneously adjust to changes in the surrounding chemical environment.

    “To build an airplane or a bridge, it’s important to know the structure, strength and stretchiness of every material that went into it,” said Adam Backer, an optical scientist at Sandia and lead author of the study. “The same thing is true when designing nanostructures with DNA.”

    While much is known about the mechanical properties of DNA’s double helix, mysteries remain about the details of its shape when the molecule is stretched in a laboratory to form the ladder-like structure of S-DNA. Standard ways of visualizing DNA structure cannot track structural changes while the molecule untwists.

    Seeing stretched DNA

    To characterize the structure and stretchiness of S-DNA, Backer worked with colleagues in the Physics of Living Systems research group at LaserLaB Amsterdam at Vrije University. The researchers described their process in the journal article. Using instrumentation developed by his colleagues, Backer first attached a microscopic bead to each end of a short piece of viral DNA. These beads served as handles to manipulate a single molecule of DNA.

    Next, the researchers trapped the beaded DNA in a narrow fluid-filled chamber using two tightly focused laser beams. Because the beads stay trapped inside the laser beams, the researchers could move the beads in the chamber by redirecting the laser beams. This enabled them to stretch the attached DNA to form S-DNA. This technique for manipulating microscopic particles, called optical tweezers, also provided precise control over the amount of stretching force applied to a single DNA molecule.

    However, the structural changes occurring within the stretched DNA molecule were too small to be directly observed with a standard optical microscope. To address this challenge, Backer helped his colleagues combine an imaging method called fluorescence polarization microscopy with the optical tweezers instrument. First, they added small, rod-like fluorescent dye molecules to the solution containing optically trapped DNA. In unstretched DNA, the dye molecules sandwich themselves between neighboring sets of base pairs and align perpendicular to the central axis of the double helix. If a stretching force causes the DNA base pairs to tilt, the dyes would also tilt.

    Next, the researchers used the fluorescent signals from the dyes to determine if the base pairs in stretched DNA tilted. The fluorescent dyes emit green fluorescent light when they interact with light waves from a laser beam pointing along the same axis as the dye molecules. The researchers changed the orientation of the light waves by rotating the polarization of a laser beam through various angles. Then, they stretched the DNA and watched for green fluorescent signals to appear under the microscope. From these measurements, and computational analysis methods developed at Sandia, the researchers determined that the dyes, and thus the base pairs, aligned at a 54-degree angle relative to the DNA’s central axis.

    “This experiment provides the most direct evidence to date supporting the hypothesis that S-DNA contains tilted base pairs,” said Backer. “To gain this fundamentally new understanding of DNA, it was necessary to combine a number of cutting-edge technologies and bring scientists from a range of different technical disciplines together to work toward a common goal.”

    There is widespread speculation among scientists that structures resembling S-DNA may form during the daily activities of human cells, but, at present, the biological purpose of S-DNA is still unknown. S-DNA might facilitate the repair of damaged or broken DNA, helping to guard against cell death and cancer. Backer hopes this clearer understanding of the physical principles governing DNA deformation will guide further research into the role of S-DNA in cells.

    When Backer joined Sandia as a Truman Fellow in November 2016, he had the opportunity to start an independent research program of his own design. He had developed a method for polarization microscopy during graduate school at Stanford University and thought the technique had potential. Said Backer: “At Sandia I wanted to push this technique as far as it could go. The fact that this work has led to results with potential relevance to fields such as biology and nanotechnology has been extraordinary.”

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Sandia Campus
    Sandia National Laboratory

    Sandia National Laboratories is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.
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  • richardmitnick 9:15 am on October 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Armoring satellites to survive and operate through attacks", Sandia Lab, STARCS-Science and Technology Advancing Resilience for Contested Space   

    From Sandia Lab: “Armoring satellites to survive and operate through attacks” 

    From Sandia Lab

    October 21, 2019
    Kristen Meub
    klmeub@sandia.gov
    505-845-7215

    Sandia launches campaign to develop autonomous satellite protection systems.

    1
    Sandia National Laboratories’ Drew Woodbury works on a flat-sat assembly designed to prove software and cyber defense algorithms work before deploying them on orbiting satellites. (Photo by Meagan Brace)

    Satellites do a lot of things — they help people navigate from one place to another, they deliver television programming, they search for new stars and exo-planets and they enable the U.S. nuclear deterrence strategy. But until recently, one thing they haven’t done — or needed to do — is defend themselves.

    Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories launched a seven-year mission campaign this month to develop the science, technology and architecture needed for autonomous satellite protection systems. The campaign, called STARCS (Science and Technology Advancing Resilience for Contested Space), will fund dozens of Laboratory Directed Research and Development projects that focus on three critical areas:

    Threat-defended hardware, which is technology that protects satellite processors, circuits and systems from attacks.
    Cognitive analytics, or software algorithms that can rapidly and independently detect, adapt to and defeat threats.
    Sensor protection that shields sensors from harm.

    The intent of the campaign is for Sandia to take on a large national priority through its internal research and development investments, said Jeff Mercier, one of the campaign’s senior managers.

    “Sandia has a long and successful history in space systems engineering. We helped develop Vela in the 1960s and have continued to regularly deliver satellite payloads since then. We need to ensure our payloads survive against emerging threats in space,” he said.

    ______________________________________
    Sandia is seeking academic partnerships for STARCS research

    Sandia is looking to partner with U.S. universities who have a research focus in threat-defended hardware, cognitive analytics and/or sensor protection. Contact Sandia to discuss an academic partnership.
    ______________________________________

    Deterring a war in space

    According to a recent report by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, more countries and businesses are participating in satellite construction, space launch, space exploration and human spaceflight than ever before because both technical barriers and costs are falling, but at the same time some foreign governments are developing capabilities to threaten others’ ability to use space.

    “Space is important to our everyday lives, and space is also important to our national security,” said Drew Woodbury, the manager for STARCS. “Historically, space has been benign, but now U.S. four-star generals are saying that they expect a space war within my lifetime. When I say space war, I mean satellites attacking satellites.”

    A satellite could be threatened in numerous ways, from launching a missile to destroy it to shining a laser at its optical sensor to temporarily disable it, Woodbury said. Other threats include directed or kinetic energy, electronic warfare, robotic mechanisms, chemical sprayers, high-powered microwaves, radiofrequency jammers and more.

    “Our overall goal is to provide innovative research and development that preserves unfettered access to space for the U.S.,” Mercier said. “The key to deterrence in space is having systems with the ability to operate through an attack and keep doing their jobs.”

    Taking inspiration from the human body to armor satellites

    The three STARCS research areas — threat-defended hardware, cognitive analytics and sensor protection — will develop a satellite’s capability to automatically detect threats and defend itself to ensure that optical, radio frequency, reconnaissance and communications assets are preserved and operational during an attack. The campaign is also pursuing reversible threats — actions that temporarily disable an attacking satellite without destroying it.

    “A satellite system is similar to the human body system,” Woodbury said. “Think of threat-defended hardware as the immune system encountering bacteria and viruses, while similarly, satellites have to withstand radiation, debris and other natural and man-made items in space. We want the immune system of the satellite to respond to debris in a resilient way.”

    Woodbury said the sensor protection research area is like shielding human eyes with sunglasses or safety goggles. An adversary could shine a laser at a sensor on a satellite to stop it from working as designed, much like shining a laser into a human eye would impair eyesight. This research area focuses on technology that could act like a pair of “glasses” that a satellite can wear when it detects a threat.

    The technology for the cognitive-analytics focus, Woodbury said, is like the medulla oblongata in the human brain — home to the “fight or flight” response. The research will develop that same instinct for satellites, so they can recognize attacks and deploy survivability mechanisms, he said.

    Seeking academic partnerships and planning for technology transfer

    Sandia launched 12 STARCS-related Laboratory Directed Research and Development projects this month, and Woodbury hopes to see even more projects per year for the rest of the campaign, which will run through 2027. About half of the projects launched this year include research partners from Sandia’s academic alliance schools, and the team is looking to partner with additional universities with relevant research focus areas.

    “As the campaign continues, the ultimate results we are looking for is to develop more mature technology that can be transitioned to industry and the government,” Mercier said.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Sandia Campus
    Sandia National Laboratory

    Sandia National Laboratories is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.
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  • richardmitnick 11:05 am on October 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Hate to wait? Sandia looks to speed up climate research", DiPietro will use her fellowship to first apply her method to climate research, Her technique changes how often a model makes calculations., Kelsey DiPietro, Sandia Lab, , Working with the Energy Department’s supercomputer-powered Energy Exascale Earth System Mode or E3SM.   

    From Sandia Lab: Women in STEM-“Hate to wait? Sandia looks to speed up climate research” Kelsey DiPietro 

    From Sandia Lab

    October 17, 2019
    Troy Rummler
    trummle@sandia.gov
    505-284-1056

    Presumably, Leonardo da Vinci could have saved a lot of time on his “Mona Lisa” if he had just slapped on two dots and a swoosh for a smiley face. But details take time. The same goes for running computer models and simulations. If you want oceans of calculations to study something as complex as Earth’s climate, you’d better be prepared to wait.

    That can be a problem for a couple reasons. If your wait drags on for days or weeks, you might have to find a better computer, which isn’t always possible, or ask a simpler question, which could defeat the point of the research.

    Sandia National Laboratories has awarded Kelsey DiPietro a Jill Hruby Fellowship, named for the first woman to direct a U.S. national security laboratory, to tackle this issue. The applied mathematician has proposed a way to make computer models more efficient — improving accuracy without increasing time or resources to run them.

    1
    Sandia National Laboratories has awarded Kelsey DiPietro a Jill Hruby Fellowship for her work in applied and computational mathematics. (Photo by Randy Montoya)

    Her technique changes how often a model makes calculations. If a model using her algorithms were predicting the thickness of an ice sheet over a large area, it would sprint through areas where there’s little change from one spot to the next, checking the ground perhaps every half mile, until it gets to an area that starts changing more noticeably. That’s when the model slows down and examines the ground perhaps every few feet.

    Conventional programming only allows researchers to choose between the big picture or the details, but it doesn’t let them switch back and forth.

    DiPietro will use her fellowship to first apply her method to climate research, working with the Energy Department’s supercomputer-powered Energy Exascale Earth System Model, or E3SM, which already has one of the finest resolutions ever achieved for simulating aspects of the planet’s climate. She previously proved her adaptive method as a doctoral student at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana. Her three-year research appointment at Sandia began on Oct. 7.

    Hruby Fellowship combines research and leadership

    In honor of Sandia’s former director, the Jill Hruby Fellowship couples research appointments with leadership training, led by Associate Laboratories Director Susan Seestrom.

    “Kelsey brings great technical breadth and depth in computational mathematics, combined with extraordinary curiosity and drive to learn more about Sandia applications,” Seestrom said.

    In addition to formal leadership training, DiPietro will participate on the Sandia committee that selects research proposals in computer information systems to be funded through Sandia’s Laboratory Directed Research and Development program.

    “This is exactly what I want in a position,” said DiPietro, who was also a member of two academic leadership organizations while at Notre Dame, the Society of Schmitt Fellows and Ethical Leaders in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). DiPietro believes that strong leadership leads to strong interdisciplinary collaborations. This is especially important for mathematics and computer science, she says, because many people don’t see these fields as particularly collaborative.

    “There’s a lot of this weird stigma, or this idea, that we’re all isolated and work alone,” she said.

    DiPietro plans to expand her research and team up with multiple research groups, not just E3SM, to enhance their work.

    “National labs foster a collaboration that you don’t see in the private sector or in academia,” she said.

    Her Sandia research mentor, computational and applied mathematician Denis Ridzal, says the impact of her research could be two-fold. It could let researchers increase the accuracy of a model without slowing it down, or it could let them maintain accuracy while lowering the computer system requirements to run it.

    “There’s a strong need to reduce the size of computer models while maintaining their accuracy,” Ridzal said. “Kelsey’s work is a very important step in getting more people to use modeling and simulation tools. It helps achieve the required accuracy with limited computational resources.”

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Sandia Campus
    Sandia National Laboratory

    Sandia National Laboratories is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.
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  • richardmitnick 8:49 am on October 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Wrangling big data into real-time actionable intelligence", Actionable intelligence is the next level of data analysis where analysis is put into use for near-real-time decision-making., , , Developing the science to gather insights from data in nearly real time., Every day there’s about 2.5 quintillion (or 2.5 billion billion) bytes of data generated, Hortonworks Data Platform, Sandia Lab, We need to know what we want before we build something that gets us what we want., We’re trying to make data discoverable accessible and usable.   

    From Sandia Lab: “Wrangling big data into real-time, actionable intelligence” 

    From Sandia Lab

    October 14, 2019
    Kristen Meub
    klmeub@sandia.gov
    505-845-7215

    Social media, cameras, sensors and more generate huge amounts of data that can overwhelm analysts sifting through it all for meaningful, actionable information to provide decision-makers such as political leaders and field commanders responding to security threats.

    1
    Sandia National Laboratories computer scientists Tian Ma, left, and Rudy Garcia, led a project to deliver actionable information from streaming data in nearly real time. (Photo by Randy Montoya)

    Sandia National Laboratories researchers are working to lessen that burden by developing the science to gather insights from data in nearly real time.

    “The amount of data produced by sensors and social media is booming — every day there’s about 2.5 quintillion (or 2.5 billion billion) bytes of data generated,” said Tian Ma, a Sandia computer scientist and project co-lead. “About 90% of all data has been generated in the last two years — there’s more data than we have people to analyze. Intelligence communities are basically overwhelmed, and the problem is that you end up with a lot of data sitting on disks that could get overlooked.”

    Sandia researchers worked with students at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, an Academic Alliance partner, to develop analytical and decision-making algorithms for streaming data sources and integrated them into a nearly real-time distributed data processing framework using big data tools and computing resources at Sandia. The framework takes disparate data from multiple sources and generates usable information that can be acted on in nearly real time.

    To test the framework, the researchers and the students used Chicago traffic data such as images, integrated sensors, tweets and streaming text to successfully measure traffic congestion and suggest faster driving routes around it for a Chicago commuter. The research team selected the Chicago traffic example because the data inputted has similar characteristics to data typically observed for national security purposes, said Rudy Garcia, a Sandia computer scientist and project co-lead.

    Drowning in data

    “We create data without even thinking about it,” said Laura Patrizi, a Sandia computer scientist and research team member, during a talk at the 2019 United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation’s GEOINT Symposium. “When we walk around with our phone in our pocket or tweet about horrible traffic, our phone is tracking our location and can attach a geolocation to our tweet.”

    To harness this data avalanche, analysts typically use big data tools and machine learning algorithms to find and highlight significant information, but the process runs on recorded data, Ma said.

    “We wanted to see what can be analyzed with real-time data from multiple data sources, not what can be learned from mining historical data,” Ma said. “Actionable intelligence is the next level of data analysis where analysis is put into use for near-real-time decision-making. Success on this research will have a strong impact to many time-critical national security applications.”

    Building a data processing framework

    The team stacked distributed technologies into a series of data processing pipelines that ingest, curate and index the data. The scientists wrangling the data specified how the pipelines should acquire and clean the data.

    2
    Sandia National Laboratories is turning big data into actionable intelligence. (Illustration by Michael Vittitow)

    “Each type of data we ingest has its own data schema and format,” Garcia said. “In order for the data to be useful, it has to be curated first so it can be easily discovered for an event.”

    Hortonworks Data Platform, running on Sandia’s computers, was used as the software infrastructure for the data processing and analytic pipelines. Within Hortonworks, the team developed and integrated Apache Storm topologies for each data pipeline. The curated data was then stored in Apache Solr, an enterprise search engine and database. PyTorch and Lucidwork’s Banana were used for vehicle object detection and data visualization.

    Finding the right data

    “Bringing in large amounts of data is difficult, but it’s even more challenging to find the information you’re really looking for,” Garcia said. “For example, during the project we would see tweets that say something like ‘Air traffic control has kept us on the ground for the last hour at Midway.’ Traffic is in the tweet, but it’s not relevant to freeway traffic.”

    To determine the level of traffic congestion on a Chicago freeway, ideally the tool could use a variety of data types, including a traffic camera showing flow in both directions, geolocated tweets about accidents, road sensors measuring average speed, satellite imagery of the areas and traffic signs estimating current travel times between mileposts, said Forest Danford, a Sandia computer scientist and research team member.

    “However, we also get plenty of bad data like a web camera image that’s hard to read, and it is rare that we end up with many different data types that are very tightly co-located in time and space,” Danford said. “We needed a mechanism to learn on the 90 million-plus events (related to Chicago traffic) we’ve observed to be able to make decisions based on incomplete or imperfect information.”

    The team added a traffic congestion classifier by training merged computer systems modeled on the human brain on features extracted from labeled images and tweets, and other events that corresponded to the data in time and space. The trained classifier was able to generate predictions on traffic congestion based on operational data at any given time point and location, Danford said.

    Professors Minh Do and Ramavarapu Sreenivas and their students at UIUC worked on real-time object and image recognition with web-camera imaging and developed robust route planning processes based off the various data sources.

    “Developing cogent science for actionable intelligence requires us to grapple with information-based dynamics,” Sreenivas said. “The holy grail here is to solve the specification problem. We need to know what we want before we build something that gets us what we want. This is a lot harder than it looks, and this project is the first step in understanding exactly what we would like to have.”

    Moving forward, the Sandia team is transferring the architecture, analytics and lessons learned in Chicago to other government projects and will continue to investigate analytic tools, make improvements to the Labs’ object recognition model and work to generate meaningful, actionable intelligence.

    “We’re trying to make data discoverable, accessible and usable,” Garcia said. “And if we can do that through these big data architectures, then I think we’re helping.”

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Sandia Campus
    Sandia National Laboratory

    Sandia National Laboratories is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.
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  • richardmitnick 10:16 am on October 10, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Materials’ increased capacity efficiency could lower the bar for hydrogen technology", , , DOE’s HyMARC, Sandia Lab   

    From Sandia Lab: “Materials’ increased capacity, efficiency could lower the bar for hydrogen technology” 

    From Sandia Lab

    October 10, 2019
    Melissae Fellet
    mfellet@sandia.gov
    505-845-7478

    Hydrogen as a carbon-free energy source could expand into a variety of sectors, including industrial processes, building heat and transportation. Currently, it powers a growing fleet of zero-emission vehicles, including trains in Germany, buses in South Korea, cars in California and forklifts worldwide. These vehicles use a fuel cell to combine hydrogen and oxygen gases, producing electricity that powers a motor. Water vapor is their only emission.

    1
    Sandia researchers Vitalie Stavila, left, and Mark Allendorf are part of a multilab consortium to advance storage materials for future hydrogen powered transportation. (Photo by Dino Vournas)

    For hydrogen to continue to grow and change sectors across the economy, new infrastructure is needed. Hydrogen-powered cars store hydrogen gas onboard at a pressure 700 times greater than atmospheric pressure to drive as far as conventional gasoline vehicles. While this technology has enabled hydrogen-powered cars to be commercialized, it cannot meet the challenging energy density targets set forth by the U.S. Department of Energy.

    With the support of DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office, the Hydrogen Materials Advanced Research Consortium (HyMARC), a multilab collaboration, is developing two types of hydrogen storage materials to meet those federal targets. In the first phase of its work, the group identified strategies and did foundational research to increase the storage capacity of metal-organic frameworks and increase the storage efficiency of metal hydrides.

    Now, the newly expanded collaboration is using the most promising strategies to optimize the materials for future use in vehicles, potentially offering more compact onboard storage systems, reduced operating pressures and significant cost savings.

    “Those benefits could help get more fuel cell vehicles on the road by enabling a driving experience similar to that of conventional vehicles,” said Mark Allendorf, a researcher at Sandia National Laboratories and co-director of the HyMARC consortium.

    The consortium is now exploring ways to strip hydrogen reversibly from molecules, such as ethanol. These molecular hydrogen carriers would be easier to transport to fueling stations than hydrogen gas, increasing the efficiency of fuel delivery and reducing the cost of hydrogen-powered vehicles as well as other applications. Breakthroughs in advanced hydrogen storage materials coming out of HyMARC will also support DOE’s H2@Scale initiative to enable affordable large scale hydrogen production, storage, transport and utilization across multiple sectors.

    Consortium continues

    Since 2015, researchers at Sandia, Lawrence Berkeley and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories have focused on two primary types of hydrogen storage materials to learn how their shape, structure and chemical composition affects their performance. The HyMARC consortium has added researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

    The expanded group recently received a second round of funding from the DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office to address performance issues that prevent the most promising materials from reaching the federal targets for hydrogen storage. To do that, the researchers have identified the most relevant challenges that slow the pace of hydrogen storage material innovation. They then develop tools to tackle those challenges, including reliable ways to make the materials, new computer models to predict material properties that influence their storage performance and novel measurement methods to accommodate some materials’ high reactivity with moisture and oxygen. “HyMARC makes these tools available to other labs that apply them to specific materials,” Allendorf said. “We also collaborate with them to facilitate their research.”

    Taming temperature

    The first class of materials of interest to HyMARC is called sorbents. These materials have tiny pores that act like sponges to adsorb and hold hydrogen gas on their surfaces. These pores create a material with a high surface area, and thus storage space. One gram of material can have as much surface area as an entire football field.

    That leads to an unexpected practical effect: porous materials can theoretically hold more hydrogen than a high-pressure fuel tank, said Vitalie Stavila, a Sandia chemist. Yet because hydrogen gas interacts weakly with the pore walls, much of that storage space goes unused. These materials work best at cryogenic temperatures too low for practical use.

    The best performing sorbents are materials called metal-organic frameworks, or MOFs. In these materials, rigid linkers made from carbon atoms connect individual metal ions like the bars in a playground jungle gym. To increase the amount of hydrogen stored in the materials, the consortium recommends [Energy and Environmental Science] adding hydrogen-grabbing elements like boron or nitrogen into the carbon linkers that form the pore walls.

    Team members also have developed MOFs in which more than one hydrogen molecule can stick to a metal ion in the framework. Along with increased storage capacity, these materials interact with hydrogen more strongly. Practically, this means the gas sticks to the pore walls at higher temperatures.

    Nanostructures increase storage efficiency

    The second class of promising hydrogen storage materials is metal hydrides, a material that Sandia researchers have been making for decades. In these materials, metal ions hold hydrogen with chemical bonds. Breaking these bonds allows hydrogen gas to be released for use in a fuel cell.

    However, these materials form strong bonds with hydrogen, and energy is required to release stored gas. Reducing the size of hydride particles from macroscopic grains to nanoclusters more than ten thousand times smaller than the width of a human hair makes the material much more reactive, allowing it to release hydrogen at lower temperatures [Nanostructured Metal Hydrides for Hydrogen Storage]. Stavila and his colleagues use porous materials, such as a MOF or porous carbon, as templates to control cluster size and prevent them from clumping together.

    “We learned during the first phase of HyMARC that making nanostructured metal hydrides allows us to tune the strength of the bonds formed with hydrogen and change how quickly hydrogen attaches to and leaves the surface,” Stavila said. “This means less energy is needed to release the gas.”

    The researchers are testing the nanoscale hydrides for features, such as storage reversibility and usable storage capacity, that are important for future applications. “We are building confidence that nanoscale hydrides can be practical storage materials,” Stavila said.

    The group also is using a computer science technique called machine learning to rapidly identify the physical properties of these storage materials that correlate to the performance necessary to reach the federal targets. Their approach allows them to understand how the computer identified its predictions. “We are generating scientific insight to create new intuition of how these materials behave,” Allendorf said.

    “Identifying hydrogen storage materials that can meet all of the DOE targets is an essential step toward transitioning to a future hydrogen economy,” he said.

    For hydrogen-powered vehicles, meeting those targets for storage materials means such vehicles could have driving ranges, refueling times and fuel costs similar to conventional vehicles.

    “Although the technical challenges are great,” Allendorf said, “the HyMARC team is highly motivated by the importance of its role and by its recent discoveries that point the way to successful materials.”

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Sandia Campus
    Sandia National Laboratory

    Sandia National Laboratories is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.
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  • richardmitnick 8:48 am on September 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Containing a nuclear accident with ground-up minerals", , , Nuclear reactor accidents, Sandia Lab   

    From Sandia Lab: “Containing a nuclear accident with ground-up minerals” 

    From Sandia Lab

    September 30, 2019

    Kristen Meub
    klmeub@sandia.gov
    505-845-7215

    1
    Sandia National Laboratories research team members Jessica Kruichak and William Chavez tested granular calcite and sand against lead oxide. The granular calcite and lead oxide had a leavening and cooling reaction, whereas the sand did not produce a reaction. (Photo by Randy Montoya)

    Sandia’s injectable materials could stop contamination from spreading.

    Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories are developing a promising new way to prevent the spread of radioactive contamination and contain the hot molten mass that develops within a nuclear reactor during a catastrophic accident.

    During a three-year Laboratory Directed Research and Development project, a team of scientists discovered and patented a process for injecting sand-like minerals into the core of a nuclear reactor during an accident to contain and slow down the progression of a meltdown.

    Sandia developed computer models and software (known as MELCOR) that show how corium, a highly radioactive lava-like mixture of nuclear fuel, fission products, control rods, structural materials and other components, melts through a nuclear reactor and spreads during a meltdown.

    “During a severe reactor accident, the vessel that contained the fuel melts and ruptures, and then all that stuff falls out on the containment floor and starts spreading,” Sandia nuclear engineer David Louie said.

    Nuclear reactor accidents are rare, but when they happen, the consequences can be devastating to people, the environment and public trust in the safety of nuclear energy, Louie said.

    As a national lab, Sandia researches all aspects of nuclear energy, from production to waste transportation and storage, and works to ensure safety is built into each step. This includes using computer software like MELCOR to model catastrophic accidents to understand why they happen and study how different scenarios change the outcome.

    When corium spreads, it can escalate the release of radioactive material into the environment in two ways, Louie said. It can melt through the building floor and seep into the soil and it chemically reacts with the materials it touches. For example, when corium reacts with concrete it can create hydrogen gas, which can lead to a possible explosion.

    In actual nuclear reactor meltdown accidents and in modeled scenarios, the traditional approach has been to use water to try to cool down corium, but this process hasn’t worked fast enough to prevent the accident from progressing and contamination from spreading.

    “Eventually corium stops spreading because water will cool it down,” Louie said. “But you don’t want the accident to get worse and worse while you’re working to bring water in. The water also provides a source of explosive hydrogen.”

    Louie, Yifeng Wang, Jessica Kruichak and other team members studied and tested natural carbonate minerals, such as calcite and dolomite, to determine whether they could help contain corium and keep a reactor accident from escalating. The first step was a small benchtop experiment using grams of molten lead oxide powder to simulate corium. The researchers heated the lead oxide to 1,000 C (1,832 F) and then poured the molten material over granular calcite. As a control, they repeated the test with sand (granular silicon dioxide) instead of calcite.

    “We saw that the injectable carbonate minerals work,” Louie said. “It reacted chemically to produce a lot of carbon dioxide, which ’leavened’ the lead oxide into a nice cake-like structure. The reaction itself had a cooling effect, and all the pores in the ‘cake’ allow for further cooling.”

    When sand was used in the control test, nothing happened, as the researchers expected.

    The team then moved on to a larger kilogram-scale experiment using more lead oxide and granular calcite. They also repeated the sand control experiment on the larger scale. The results continued to show that injectable granular carbonates could be a promising solution to prevent corium spread, Louie said.

    During the final year of the project, Louie, Wang, Alec Kucala, Rekha Rao and Kyle Ross translated the results of the experiments into MELCOR and built an accident sequence to model how injectable minerals would affect a nuclear reactor accident, similar to the Fukushima Daiichi accident in Japan.

    The team has a non-provisional patent in progress for the injectable materials and is hoping to perform larger experiments using depleted uranium in the future, Louie says.

    “After that, we’d be ready to commercialize the technology,” Louie said. “These materials could be retrofitted into any existing nuclear reactor design.”

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Sandia Campus
    Sandia National Laboratory

    Sandia National Laboratories is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.
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  • richardmitnick 9:37 am on September 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Astronomical research, Nanoantenna-enabled detector, , Sandia Lab   

    From Sandia Lab- “Seeing infrared: Sandia’s nanoantennas help detectors see more heat, less noise” 

    From Sandia Lab

    September 16, 2019

    Kristen Meub
    klmeub@sandia.gov
    505-845-7215

    Sandia National Laboratories researchers have developed tiny, gold antennas to help cameras and sensors that “see” heat deliver clearer pictures of thermal infrared radiation for everything from stars and galaxies to people, buildings and items requiring security.

    1
    Sandia National Laboratories optical engineer Michael Goldflam sets up equipment to load and characterize a new nanoantenna-enabled detector. (Photo by Randy Montoya)

    In a Laboratory Directed Research and Development project, a team of researchers developed a nanoantenna-enabled detector that can boost the signal of a thermal infrared camera by up to three times and improve image quality by reducing dark current, a major component of image noise, by 10 to 100 times.

    Thermal infrared cameras and sensors have existed for 50 years, but the traditional design of the detector that sits behind the camera lens or a sensor’s optical system seems to be reaching its performance limits, said David Peters, a Sandia manager and nanoantenna project lead.

    He said improved sensitivity in infrared detectors, beyond what the typical design can deliver, is important for both Sandia’s national security work and for other uses, such as astronomical research.

    Seeing more with less

    The sensitivity and image quality of an infrared detector usually depends on a thick layer of detector material that absorbs incoming heat and turns it into an electrical signal that can be collected and turned into an image. The thickness of the detector layer determines how much heat can be absorbed and read by the camera, but thick layers also have drawbacks.

    “The detector material is always spontaneously creating electrons that are collected and add noise to the image, which reduces image quality,” Peters said. “This phenomenon, called dark current, increases along with the thickness of the detector material — the thicker the material is, the more noise in the image it creates.”

    The research team developed a new detector design that breaks away from relying on thick layers and instead uses a subwavelength nanoantenna, a patterned array of gold square or cross shapes, to concentrate the light on a thinner layer of detector material. This design uses just a fraction of a micron of detector material, whereas traditional thermal infrared detectors have a thickness of 5 to 10 microns. A human hair is about 75 microns in width.

    The nanoantenna-enhanced design helps detectors see more than 50% of an object’s infrared radiation while also reducing image distortion caused by dark current, whereas current technology can only see about 25% of infrared radiation. It also allows for the invention of new detector concepts that are not possible with existing technology.

    “For example, with nanoantennas, it’s possible to dramatically expand the amount of information acquired in an image by exquisitely controlling the spectral response at the pixel level,” Peters said.

    3
    Sandia National Laboratories’ nanoantenna-enabled detector on an assembled focal plane array for a thermal infrared camera. The gold nanoantennas are so small they aren’t visible on top of the detector array. (Photo courtesy of Sandia National Laboratories)

    The team makes the nanoantenna-enabled detectors by slightly altering the usual process for making an infrared detector. It starts by “growing” the detector material on top of a thin disk called a wafer. Then the detector material is flipped onto a layer of electronics that read the signals collected by the nanoantenna and the detector layer. After discarding the wafer, a tiny amount of gold is applied to create the patterned nanoantenna layer on top of the detector material.

    From national lab to industry

    “It was not a given that this was going to work, so that’s why Sandia took it on,” Peters said. “Now, we are to the point where we have proven this concept and this technology is ready to be commercialized. This concept can be applied to different detector types, so there’s an opportunity for existing manufacturers to integrate this new technology with their existing detectors.”

    Peters said Sandia is pursuing leads to establish a Collaborative Research and Development Agreement to start transferring the technology to industry.

    “This project is a perfect example of how a national lab can prove a concept and then spin it off to industry where it can be developed further,” Peters said.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Sandia Campus
    Sandia National Laboratory

    Sandia National Laboratories is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.
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