Sandia National Laboratories

The Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), managed and operated by the National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia (a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell International), is one of three National Nuclear Security Administration research and development laboratories. In December 2016, it was announced that National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia, under the direction of Honeywell International, will take over the management of Sandia National Laboratories starting on May 1, 2017.[4][5][6][2]

Their primary mission is to develop, engineer, and test the non-nuclear components of nuclear weapons. The primary campus is located on Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico and the other is in Livermore, California, next to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. There is also a test facility in Waimea, Kauai, Hawaii.[7]

It is Sandia's mission to maintain the reliability and surety of nuclear weapon systems, conduct research and development in arms control and nonproliferation technologies, and investigate methods for the disposal of the United States' nuclear weapons program's hazardous waste. Other missions include research and development in energy and environmental programs, as well as the surety of critical national infrastructures. In addition, Sandia is home to a wide variety of research including computational biology, mathematics (through its Computer Science Research Institute), materials science, alternative energy, psychology, MEMS, and cognitive science initiatives. Sandia formerly hosted ASCI Red, one of the world's fastest supercomputers until its recent decommission, and now hosts ASCI Red Storm, originally known as Thor's Hammer. Sandia is also home to the Z Machine. The Z Machine is the largest X-ray generator in the world and is designed to test materials in conditions of extreme temperature and pressure. It is operated by Sandia National Laboratories to gather data to aid in computer modeling of nuclear weapons.

Sandia National Laboratories
Sandia National Laboratories logo
Research typeNational security, nuclear science
BudgetUS$3.1 billion[1]
DirectorStephen Younger[2] (since May 1, 2017)
Staff10,652 [3]
Students738 [3]
LocationAlbuquerque, New Mexico; Livermore, California.
Campus8,699 acres (35.20 km2)
Operating agency
National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia, under the direction of Honeywell International (since May 1, 2017)

Lab history

One of Sandia's first permanent buildings (Building 800) was completed in 1949

Sandia National Laboratories' roots go back to World War II and the Manhattan Project. Prior to the United States formally entering the war, the U.S. Army leased land near an Albuquerque, New Mexico airport known as Oxnard Field, to service transient Army and U.S. Navy aircraft. In January 1941 construction began on the Albuquerque Army Air Base, leading to establishment of the Bombardier School-Army Advanced Flying School near the end of the year. Soon thereafter it was renamed Kirtland Field, after early Army military pilot Colonel Roy C. Kirtland, and in mid-1942 the Army acquired Oxnard Field. During the war years facilities were expanded further and Kirtland Field served as a major Army Air Forces training installation.

In the many months leading up to successful detonation of the first atomic bomb, the Trinity test, and delivery of the first airborne atomic weapon, Project Alberta, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Director of Los Alamos Laboratory, and his technical advisor, Hartly Rowe, began looking for a new site convenient to Los Alamos for the continuation of weapons development – especially its non-nuclear aspects. They felt a separate division would be best to perform these functions. Kirtland had fulfilled Los Alamos' transportation needs for both the Trinity and Alberta projects, thus, Oxnard Field was transferred from the jurisdiction of the Army Air Corps to the U.S. Army Service Forces Chief of Engineer District, and thereafter, assigned to the Manhattan Engineer District. In July 1945, the forerunner of Sandia Laboratory, known as "Z" Division, was established at Oxnard Field to handle future weapons development, testing, and bomb assembly for the Manhattan Engineer District. The District-directive calling for establishing a secure area and construction of "Z" Division facilities referred to this as "Sandia Base" , after the nearby Sandia Mountains — apparently the first official recognition of the "Sandia" name.

Sandia Laboratory was operated by the University of California until 1949, when President Harry S. Truman asked Western Electric, a subsidiary of American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T), to assume the operation as an "opportunity to render an exceptional service in the national interest." Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of AT&T Corporation, managed and operated the laboratory until October 1993. The United States Congress designated Sandia Laboratories as a National laboratory in 1979. In October 1993, Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) was managed and operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin. As of May 2017, Sandia National Laboratory is managed by National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia, a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell International,[4][5][6][2] and includes government-owned facilities in Albuquerque, New Mexico (SNL/NM); Livermore, California (SNL/CA); Tonopah, Nevada; and Kauai, Hawaii. SNL/NM is headquarters and the largest laboratory, employing more than 6,600 employees, while SNL/CA is a smaller laboratory, with about 850 employees. Tonopah and Kauai are occupied on a "campaign" basis, as test schedules dictate.

Sandia led a project that studied how to decontaminate a subway system in the event of a biological weapons attack (such as anthrax). As of September 2017, the process to decontaminate subways in such an event is "virtually ready to implement," said a lead Sandia engineer.[8]

Legal issues

On February 13, 2007, a New Mexico State Court found Sandia Corporation liable for $4.7 million in damages for the firing of a former network security analyst, Shawn Carpenter, who had reported to his supervisors that hundreds of military installations and defense contractors' networks were compromised and sensitive information was being stolen – including hundreds of sensitive Lockheed documents on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter project. When his supervisors told him to drop the investigation and do nothing with the information, he went to intelligence officials in the United States Army and later the Federal Bureau of Investigation to address the national security breaches. When Sandia managers discovered his actions months later, they revoked his security clearance and fired him.[9]

In 2014 an investigation determined Sandia Corp. used lab operations funds to pay for lobbying related to the renewal of its $2 billion contract to operate the lab. Sandia Corp. and its parent company, Lockheed Martin, agreed to pay a $4.8 million fine.[10]

Technical areas

SNL/NM consists of five technical areas (TA) and several additional test areas. Each TA has its own distinctive operations; however, the operations of some groups at Sandia may span more than one TA, with one part of a team working on a problem from one angle, and another subset of the same team located in a different building or area working with other specialized equipment. A description of each area is given below.

TA-I operations are dedicated primarily to three activities – the design, research, and development of weapon systems; limited production of weapon system components; and energy programs. TA-I facilities include the main library and offices, laboratories, and shops used by administrative and technical staff.

TA-II is a 45-acre (180,000 m2) facility that was established in 1948 for the assembly of chemical high explosive main charges for nuclear weapons and later for production scale assembly of nuclear weapons. Activities in TA-II include the decontamination, decommissioning, and remediation of facilities and landfills used in past research and development activities. Remediation of the Classified Waste Landfill which started in March 1998, neared completion in FY2000. A testing facility, the Explosive Component Facility, integrates many of the previous TA-II test activities as well as some testing activities previously performed in other remote test areas. The Access Delay Technology Test Facility is also located in TA-II.

TA-III is adjacent to and south of TA-V [both are approximately seven miles (11 km) south of TA-I]. TA-III facilities include extensive design-test facilities such as rocket sled tracks, centrifuges and a radiant heat facility. Other facilities in TA-III include a paper destructor, the Melting and Solidification Laboratory and the Radioactive and Mixed Waste Management Facility (RMWMF). RMWMF serves as central processing facility for packaging and storage of low-level and mixed waste. The remediation of the Chemical Waste Landfill, which started in September 1998, is an ongoing activity in TA-III.

TA-IV, located approximately 1/2 mile (1 km) south of TA-I, consists of several inertial-confinement fusion research and pulsed power research facilities, including the High Energy Radiation Megavolt Electron Source (Hermes-III), the Z Facility, the Short Pulsed High Intensity Nanosecond X-Radiator (SPHINX) Facility, and the Saturn Accelerator. TA-IV also hosts some computer science and cognition research.

TA-V contains two research reactor facilities, an intense gamma irradiation facility (using cobalt-60 and caesium-137 sources), and the Hot Cell Facility.

SNL/NM also has test areas outside of the five technical areas listed above. These test areas, collectively known as Coyote Test Field, are located southeast of TA-III and/or in the canyons on the west side of the Manzanita Mountains. Facilities in the Coyote Canyon Test Field include the Solar Tower Facility (34.9623 N, 106.5097 W), the Lurance Canyon Burn Site and the Aerial Cable Facility.

Open-source software

In the 1970s, the Sandia, Los Alamos, Air Force Weapons Laboratory Technical Exchange Committee initiated the development of the SLATEC library of mathematical and statistical routines, written in FORTRAN 77.

Today, Sandia National Laboratories is home to several open-source software projects:

  • FCLib (Feature Characterization Library) is a library for the identification and manipulation of coherent regions or structures from spatio-temporal data.[11] FCLib focuses on providing data structures that are "feature-aware" and support feature-based analysis.[11] It is written in C and developed under a "BSD-like" license.[12]
  • LAMMPS (Large-scale Atomic/Molecular Massively Parallel Simulator) is a molecular dynamics library that can be used to model parallel atomic/subatomic processes at large scale.[13] It is produced under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and distributed on the Sandia National Laboratories website as well as SourceForge.[13]
  • LibVMI is a library for simplifying the reading and writing of memory in running virtual machines, a technique known as virtual machine introspection.[14] It is licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License.[14]
  • MapReduce-MPI Library is an implementation of MapReduce for distributed-memory parallel machines, utilizing the Message Passing Interface (MPI) for communication. It is developed under a modified Berkeley Software Distribution license.[15]
  • MultiThreaded Graph Library (MTGL) is a collection of graph-based algorithms designed to take advantage of parallel, shared-memory architectures such as the Cray XMT, Symmetric Multiprocessor (SMP) machines, and multi-core workstations.[16][17] It is developed under a BSD License.[16]
  • ParaView is a cross-platform application for performing data analysis and visualization.[18] It is a collaborative effort, developed by Sandia National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratories, and the United States Army Research Laboratory, and funded by the Advanced Simulation and Computing Program.[18] It is developed under a BSD license.[18]
  • Pyomo is a python-based optimisation Mathematical Programming Language with drivers with most commercial and open-source solver engines
  • Soccoro, a collaborative effort with Wake Forest and Vanderbilt Universities, is object-oriented software for performing electronic-structure calculations based on density-functional theory.[19] It utilizes libraries such as MPI, BLAS, and LAPACK and is developed under the GNU General Public License.[19]
  • Titan Informatics Toolkit is a collection of cross-platform libraries for ingesting, analyzing, and displaying scientific and informatics data.[20][21] It is a collaborative effort with Kitware, Inc., and uses various open-source components such as the Boost Graph Library.[20] It is developed under a New BSD license.[20]
  • Trilinos is an object-oriented library for building scalable scientific and engineering applications, with a focus on linear algebra techniques.[22] Most Trilinos packages are licensed under a Modified BSD License.[22]
  • Xyce is an open source, SPICE-compatible, high-performance analog circuit simulator, capable of solving extremely large circuit problems.[23]

In addition, Sandia National Laboratories collaborates with Kitware, Inc. in developing the Visualization Toolkit (VTK), a cross-platform graphics and visualization software suite.[24] This collaboration has focused on enhancing the information visualization capabilities of VTK and has in turn fed back into other projects such as ParaView and Titan.[18][20][24]

Self-guided bullet

On January 30, 2012, Sandia announced that it successfully test-fired a self-guided dart that can hit targets at 2,000 m (2,187 yd). The dart is 4 in (100 mm) long, has its center of gravity at the nose, and is made to be fired from a small-caliber smoothbore gun. It is kept straight in flight by four electromagnetically actuated fins encased in a plastic puller sabot that fall off when the dart leaves the bore. The dart cannot be fired from conventional rifled barrels because the gyroscopic stability provided by rifling grooves for regular bullets would prevent the self-guided bullet from reliably turning towards a target when in flight, so fins are responsible for stabilizing rather than spinning. A laser designator marks a target, which is tracked by the dart's optical sensor and 8-bit CPU. The guided projectile is kept cheap because it does not need an inertial measurement unit, since its small size allows it to make the fast corrections necessary without the aid of an IMU. The natural body frequency of the bullet is about 30 hertz, so corrections can be made 30 times per second in flight. Muzzle velocity with commercial gunpowder is 2,400 ft/s (730 m/s) (Mach 2.1), but military customized gunpowder can increase its speed and range. Computer modeling shows that a standard bullet would miss a target at 1,000 m (1,094 yd) by 9.8 yd (9 m), while an equivalent guided bullet would hit within 8 in (20 cm). Accuracy increases as distances get longer, since the bullet's motions settle more the longer it is in flight.[25][26][27][28]

See also


  1. ^ "Sandia Facts and Figures". Retrieved 2018-05-25.
  2. ^ a b c
  3. ^ a b "Sandia FAQ". Retrieved 2017-03-03.
  4. ^ a b "NNSA Awards Sandia National Laboratories Management & Operating Contract to National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia (NTESS)".
  5. ^ a b Michael Coleman; Kevin Robinson-Avila. "Updated: Honeywell selected to manage Sandia labs".
  6. ^ a b Press, Associated (17 December 2016). "Honeywell Unit Wins $2.6 Billion Contract to Manage Sandia National Laboratories" – via Wall Street Journal.
  7. ^ "Sandia National Laboratories: Locations: Kauai Test Facility". Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  8. ^ Carey, Liz (2017-09-28). "Plan ready to decontaminate subways in the event of a biological attack". Homeland Preparedness News. Retrieved 2017-10-11.
  9. ^ Scott Sandlin, "Analyst, Sandia Settle Suit", Albuquerque Journal, 14 October 2007
  10. ^ Coleman, Michael. (August 24, 2015). "Feds fine Sandia for improper lobbying" Albuquerque Journal website Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  11. ^ a b "Main Page — FCLib". Sandia National Laboratories. Archived from the original on 2010-05-27. Retrieved 2010-10-04.
  12. ^ "Award Winning Data Analysis Toolkit Released" (PDF). ASCe News Quarterly Newsletter. Sandia National Laboratories. January 2007. Retrieved 2010-10-04.
  13. ^ a b "LAMMPS Molecular Dynamics Simulator". Sandia National Laboratories. Retrieved 2010-10-03.
  14. ^ a b "The LibVMI Project". Sandia National Laboratories. Archived from the original on 2012-03-04. Retrieved 2011-11-18.
  15. ^ "MapReduce-MPI Library". Sandia National Laboratories. Retrieved 2010-10-03.
  16. ^ a b "MTGL". Sandia National Laboratories. Retrieved 2010-10-04.
  17. ^ Berry, Jonathan W.; Bruce Hendrickson; Simon Kahan; Petr Konecny (March 2007). Software and Algorithms for Graph Queries on Multithreaded Architectures. Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium, 2007. pp. 1–14. CiteSeerX doi:10.1109/IPDPS.2007.370685. ISBN 978-1-4244-0909-9.
  18. ^ a b c d "ParaView — Open Source Scientific Visualization". Kitware. Retrieved 2010-10-03.
  19. ^ a b "Sandia National Laboratories:Soccoro". Sandia National Laboratories. Retrieved 2010-10-03.
  20. ^ a b c d "Titan Toolkit". Sandia National Laboratories. Archived from the original on 2010-12-16. Retrieved 2010-10-03.
  21. ^ "Main Page — InfovisWiki". Kitware, Inc. Archived from the original on 2010-09-18. Retrieved 2010-10-03.
  22. ^ a b "The Trilinos Project". Sandia National Laboratories. Retrieved 2017-01-04.
  23. ^ "Sandia National Laboratories: Xyce Parallel Electronic Simulator (Xyce)".
  24. ^ a b "VTK — The Visualization Toolkit". Kitware, Inc. Retrieved 2010-10-03.
  25. ^ Sandia’s self-guided bullet prototype can hit target a mile away - Sandia news release, 30 January 2012
  26. ^ Laser-Guided Bullets: Sub-MOA at Over a Mile -, 2 February 2012
  27. ^ The First Self Guided Bullet -, 31 January 2012
  28. ^ Self-guided bullet could hit laser-marked targets from a mile away -, 31 January 2012

Further reading

External links

Coordinates: 35°03′02″N 106°32′35″W / 35.050657°N 106.543136°W


ASCI Red (also known as ASCI Option Red or TFLOPS) was the first computer built under the Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative (ASCI), the supercomputing initiative of the United States government created to help the maintenance of the United States nuclear arsenal after the 1992 moratorium on nuclear testing.

ASCI Red was built by Intel and installed at Sandia National Laboratories in late 1996. The design was based on the Intel Paragon computer. The original goals to deliver a true teraflop machine by the end of 1996 that would be capable of running an ASCI application using all memory and nodes by September 1997 were met.

It was used by the US government from the years of 1997 to 2005 and was the world's fastest supercomputer until late 2000. It was the first ASCI machine that the Department of Energy acquired, and also the first supercomputer to score above one teraflops on the LINPACK benchmark, a test that measures a computer's calculation speed. Later upgrades to ASCI Red allowed it to perform above two teraflops.

ASCI Red earned a reputation for reliability that some veterans say has never been beaten. Sandia director Bill Camp said that ASCI Red had the best reliability of any supercomputer ever built, and “was supercomputing’s high-water mark in longevity, price, and performance.”

ASCI Red was decommissioned in 2006.

Curtis LeRoy Hansen

Curtis LeRoy Hansen (born April 18, 1933) is a Senior United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico.

Cynthia B. Hall

Cynthia B. Hall is an American politician from New Mexico. She is a member of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission from the 1st district, covering parts of Bernalillo County.

Hall graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 1973 with a B.A. in biology, and from Saint Louis University in 1977 with a M.S. in physiology. She worked in a number of professions, including laboratory research technician, graduate teaching assistant, nurse instructor, contract researcher, and research supervisor. She received her juris doctorate from Southwestern Law School in 1983, and later earned a one-year executive MBA from UNM Anderson School of Management in 2010-2011.After service as a law clerk and briefly working in private law, Hall served in a number of governmental legal positions, including assistant counsel at the New Mexico Department of Energy and Minerals, licensing bureau chief at the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department, and assistant staff counsel at the New Mexico Public Service Commission. She was an assistant counsel in the office of the General Counsel of the Navy from 1988 to 1990, and an attorney in the general counsel's office of Sandia National Laboratories from 1990 to 1994. She began work for the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission as an associate general counsel from 2008 to 2010, than as staff attorney in the Insurance Division from 2010 to 2012.In 2012, Hall entered the race for Public Regulation Commissioner from the 1st district to succeed Jason Marks, who was term limited. She came second in the Democratic primary behind Bernalillo County Assessor Karen Montoya, taking 33% to Montoya's 36% and state Representative Al Park's 31%. She challenged Montoya again in 2016, this time defeating her 57-43%, and winning the general election unopposed.

Ellen Ochoa

Ellen Ochoa (born May 10, 1958) is an American engineer, former astronaut and former Director of the Johnson Space Center. Ochoa became director of the center upon the retirement of the previous director, Michael Coats, on December 31, 2012. In 1993 Ochoa became the first Hispanic woman in the world to go to space when she served on a nine-day mission aboard the shuttle Discovery.

Gary S. Grest

Gary S. Grest is a computational physicist at Sandia National Laboratories. He received the Aneesur Rahman Prize for Computational Physics from the American Physical Society for his work in computational physics. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2008.

Jeff Trinkle

Jeffrey C. Trinkle is Professor and former Chair of Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. He is known for his work in robotic manipulation, multibody dynamics, and automated manufacturing. He has bachelor's degrees in physics (1979) and engineering (1979) from Ursinus College and Georgia Institute of Technology, respectively, and a PhD (1987) from the University of Pennsylvania. He has taught at the University of Arizona and Texas A&M University. From 1998 to 2003 he was a research scientist at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Trinkle's primary research interests lie in the areas of robotic manipulation, multibody dynamics, and automated manufacturing. With continuous support from the National Science Foundation since 1988, he has written over 100 technical articles. One of these articles (with David Stewart) was the first to develop a popular method for simulating multibody systems. Variants of this method are key components of several physics engines for computer game development, for example, NVIDIA PhysX and Bullet. For his work in the area of robotic grasping and dexterous manipulation, Trinkle was elected Fellow of the IEEE in 2010. He spent most of 2010 as a Humboldt Fellow at the Institute for Mechatronics and Robotics at the German Aerospace Center and the Institute for Applied Mechanics at Technical University of Munich.


Large-scale Atomic/Molecular Massively Parallel Simulator (LAMMPS) is a molecular dynamics program from Sandia National Laboratories. LAMMPS makes use of Message Passing Interface (MPI) for parallel communication and is free and open-source software, distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License.LAMMPS was originally developed under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) between two laboratories from United States Department of Energy and three other laboratories from private sector firms. As of 2016, it is maintained and distributed by researchers at the Sandia National Laboratories and Temple University.

Marillyn Hewson

Marillyn Adams Hewson (born December 27, 1953) is the chairman, president and chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin. In 2015, Hewson was named the 20th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.

Morgan Sparks

Morgan Sparks (July 6, 1916 – May 3, 2008) was an American scientist and engineer who helped develop the microwatt bipolar junction transistor in 1951, which was a critical step in making transistors usable for every-day electronics. Sparks directed Sandia National Laboratories.


Pyomo is a collection of Python software packages for formulating optimization models.Pyomo was developed by William Hart and Jean-Paul Watson at Sandia National Laboratories and David Woodruff at University of California, Davis. Significant extensions to Pyomo were developed by John Siirola at Sandia National Laboratories and Carl Laird at Purdue University. Pyomo is an open-source project that is freely available, and it is licensed with the BSD license. Pyomo is developed as part of the COIN-OR project. Pyomo is a popular open-source software package that is used by a variety of government agencies and academic institutions.

Robert C. Prim

Robert Clay Prim (born September 25, 1921 in Sweetwater, Texas) is an American mathematician and computer scientist.

In 1941, Prim received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, where he also met his wife Alice (Hutter) Prim (1921-2009), whom he married in 1942. Later in 1949, he received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Princeton University, where he also worked as a research associate from 1948 until 1949.

During the climax of World War II (1941–1944), Prim worked as an engineer for General Electric. From 1944 until 1949, he was hired by the United States Naval Ordnance Lab as an engineer and later a mathematician. At Bell Laboratories, he served as director of mathematics research from 1958 to 1961. There, Prim developed Prim's algorithm. Also during his tenure at Bell Labs, Robert Prim assisted the Weapons Reliability Committee at Sandia National Laboratory chaired by Walter McNair in 1951. After Bell Laboratories, Prim became vice president of research at Sandia National Laboratories.

During his career at Bell Laboratories, Robert Prim along with coworker Joseph Kruskal developed two different algorithms (see greedy algorithm) for finding a minimum spanning tree in a weighted graph, a basic stumbling block in computer network design. His self-named algorithm, Prim's algorithm, was originally discovered in 1930 by mathematician Vojtěch Jarník and later independently by Prim in 1957. It was later rediscovered by Edsger Dijkstra in 1959. It is sometimes referred to as the DJP algorithm or the Jarník algorithm.

Robert McGrath

Robert "Bob" T. McGrath is the director of RASEI, a joint institute of NREL and CU-Boulder. He was a senior vice president responsible for research partnership development in the office of the Executive Vice President for Research. He is also a former director of the Georgia Tech Research Institute, the applied research arm of Georgia Tech, a position he held from 2011 to 2014. Prior to his appointment as GTRI director, McGrath was involved with the Battelle Memorial Institute; his past experience also includes research leadership positions at the National Renewable Energy Lab, Ohio State University, and Penn State University.


The Sandhawk was a sounding rocket developed by Sandia National Laboratories in 1966. This single-stage, sub-orbital rocket had a mass of 700 kg (1,540 lb), a takeoff thrust of 80 kN (18,000 lbf), and could reach heights around 200 km or so. Sandia launched eight of these rockets between 1966 and 1974 as part of experiments conducted for the United States Atomic Energy Commission. About 25% of the launches failed.

Sandia Base

Sandia Base was, from 1946 to 1971, the principal nuclear weapons installation of the United States Department of Defense. It was located on the southeastern edge of Albuquerque, New Mexico. For 25 years, the top-secret Sandia Base and its subsidiary installation, Manzano Base, carried on the atomic weapons research, development, design, testing, and training commenced by the Manhattan Project during World War II. Fabrication, assembly, and storage of nuclear weapons was also done at Sandia Base. The base played a key role in the United States nuclear deterrence capability during the Cold War. In 1971 it was merged into Kirtland Air Force Base.

Shawn Carpenter

Shawn Carpenter is an American Navy veteran and whistleblower (previously employed by Sandia National Laboratories) who tracked down a Chinese cyberespionage ring that is code-named Titan Rain by the FBI. He came to national attention when his story was reported on in the September 5, 2005 issue of Time magazine.

Carpenter was an employee of Sandia National Laboratories, investigating security breaches in its networks. However, upon tracking several breaches of Sandia, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Redstone Arsenal, and even NASA, dating back to 2003, Carpenter noticed patterns that began to appear to link the attacks to a single group. He was impressed by the meticulous, voracious and incredibly fast manner (sometimes completed in less than 30 minutes) in which the hackers operated. Such observations led him to alert the federal government of his findings.

The Titan Rain hacking operation was first reported in an August 25, 2005 Washington Post article by Bradley Graham, which didn't mention Carpenter. Graham listed anonymous governmental officials as his sources.

After informing his supervisors of the breaches, he was told that his only concern should be Sandia computers, and to drop the issue. His employment was later terminated when Carpenter disobeyed his management and communicated the information about the security breaches first to United States Army Cyber Counterintelligence Special Agents, who verified his information and later brought in the FBI. The FBI requested a Senior DAC Counterintelligence agent known in the counterintelligence community by the nickname "Doc" to handle Carpenter and lead the operation on behalf of the FBI. Carpenter was a confidential informant for the FBI for almost half a year before Sandia discovered his actions. Carpenter reportedly felt betrayed by the termination, as he viewed his actions were a service to his country, similar to that of his previous military service.

According to Carpenter, during his termination hearing at Sandia, Bruce Held, Sandia's chief of counterintelligence, yelled "[you're] lucky you have such understanding management... if you worked for me, I would decapitate you! There would at least be blood all over the office!" During the subsequent court case, Held testified that he did use the word "decapitate" and, while he did not recall using the word "blood," would not contest it. He also apologized.Carpenter sued Sandia National Laboratories for wrongful termination and defamation; a jury awarded him almost $4.7 million in compensatory and punitive damages on February 13, 2007. The jury more than doubled the punitive damages requested by Carpenter's attorneys Thad Guyer, Stephani Ayers and Philip Davis. The 13-person New Mexico state district court jury determined that Sandia's handling of Shawn Carpenter's termination was "malicious, willful, reckless, wanton, fraudulent or in bad faith." Juror Ed Dzienis said that, "If they (Sandia) have an interest in protecting us, they certainly didn't show it with the way they handled Shawn." Ms. Alex Scott, the jury forewoman, said jurors were upset by the lack of documentation of the process and by the "reckless behavior on the part of Sandia to not have adequate policies in place for employees about hacking, and the cavalier attitude about national security and global security."

Carpenter's wife, Dr. Jennifer Jacobs, testified at the trial. Dr. Jacobs, a former Sandia scientist, nuclear engineer, West Point graduate, and Army Reserve Major, said Sandia management questioned her loyalty to the company after her husband was fired. Dr. Jacobs left Sandia and was later appointed as a White House Fellow, and was a director at the United States National Security Council. In an interview with the Albuquerque Journal, Dr. Jacobs stated, "The point for us all along was this is bad for the country to have contractors like Sandia Corporation behaving this way -- with impunity. And if other citizens don't do this, it's the beginning of the end for our country. That's what we kept coming back to: This is what we have to do, because it's what we expect of others."

Sandia Corporation, the private entity that manages Sandia National Laboratories on behalf of the National Nuclear Security Administration, the Department of Energy and Federal Government of the United States, is a wholly owned subsidiary of the for-profit Lockheed Martin Corporation.

In an ironic twist, Carpenter testified at trial that he found hundreds of pages of detailed schematics and other sensitive documents labeled, "Lockheed Martin Proprietary Information" and "Export Controlled" regarding the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter stashed on a foreign server in South Korea. He was helping the FBI investigate the stolen Lockheed Martin information along with hundreds of other network breaches at military and United States defense contractors when Sandia officials fired him.

As of March 2007, Carpenter is employed at NetWitness Corporation, a startup headed by Amit Yoran, former director of the National Cyber Security Division within the United States Department of Homeland Security.

In March 2007, Sandia National Laboratories retained three additional attorneys at the international corporate defense firm of Baker Botts. In post-trial motions, Sandia attorneys unsuccessfully argued to throw out the jury verdict, to reduce the judgment to zero, and for a new trial. Carpenter's attorneys successfully argued a motion for post-judgment interest and Sandia was ordered to pay an interest rate of 15% per year on the final judgment of $4,742,146.66 (plus attorney fees) during the appeals process.

In April 2007, Sandia attorneys filed a motion to appeal the jury verdict. Sandia National Laboratories posted a $5.8 million supersedeas bond to prevent Carpenter from seizing Sandia assets during the appeals process. Interest in the amount of almost $60,000 a month accumulates while Sandia pursues their appeals. According to news reports, Sandia plans to appeal to the New Mexico Supreme Court, if necessary, which could take years.

On October 14, 2007, The Albuquerque Journal published a story ("Analyst, Sandia Settle Suit") that stated that Sandia had dropped its appeal of the verdict. According to the story, the judgment had been accumulating 15 percent interest since the verdict in his favor in February 2007. The piece also related that Carpenter continues to work in the national security area for clients in the intelligence community, federal agencies and the military.

Sidney M. Gutierrez

Sidney McNeill Gutierrez (Colonel, USAF, Ret.) (born June 27, 1951), is a former NASA astronaut.

Solar power in New Mexico

Solar power in New Mexico in 2016 generated 2.8% of the state's total electricity consumption, despite a National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) projection suggesting a potential contribution three orders of magnitude larger.

Z Pulsed Power Facility

The Z Pulsed Power Facility, informally known as the Z machine, is the largest high frequency electromagnetic wave generator in the world and is designed to test materials in conditions of extreme temperature and pressure. Since its refurbishment in October 1996 it has been used primarily as an inertial confinement fusion (ICF) research facility.

Operated by Sandia National Laboratories, it gathers data to aid in computer modeling of nuclear weapons and eventual nuclear fusion pulsed power plants. The Z machine is located at Sandia's main site in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Z machine

Z machine may refer to:

Z-machine, a text-based game interpreter

Z Pulsed Power Facility, an x-ray generator at Sandia National Laboratories, informally known as the "Z machine"

Deputy Secretary of Energy
Under Secretary of Energy
for Energy and Environment
Under Secretary of Energy for Nuclear Security
Under Secretary of Energy for Science
Assistant Secretary of Energy for Nuclear Energy
Power Marketing Administration
National Laboratory System
Energy Department Facilities and Reservations
Independent Agency
Legacy products
Joint ventures
Divisions and
Joint ventures
Active products

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