Start with these:
Sandia's primary mission is ensuring the U.S. nuclear arsenal is safe, secure, reliable, and can fully support our Nation's deterrence policy. We
employ only the most advanced and failsafe technologies to fulfill our responsibilities as stewards of the nuclear stockpile.
World-class scientists and engineers are drawn to Sandia by opportunities to conduct breakthrough research. Sandia designs and integrates over 6,300
parts of a modern nuclear weapon's 6,500 components. And our state-of-the-art laboratories facilitate large-scale testing and computational
simulation, supporting our efforts to:
•Enhance weapon and surveillance technology
•Create new technologies to safeguard our nuclear production complex
•Evaluate the nuclear arsenal for safety, security, and reliability
•Develop new defense options
•Update weapons systems to maintain their capabilities
Committed to science with the mission in mind, Sandia creates innovative, science-based, systems-engineering solutions to our Nation's most
challenging national security problems. Sandia's guiding principals for ST&E ensure that the fundamental science and engineering core is vibrant and
pushing the forefront of knowledge. Enabling our programs by effective application of that science base allows us to respond to current needs as well
as anticipate the future.
Our Science, Technology and Engineering strategy is to create, integrate and apply capabilities to address national security challenges through
investments in six research foundations:
Defense Systems and Assessments provides technical solutions for global security. Our work is aimed at engineering and integrating advanced science
and technology into critical systems on behalf of our customers.
And especially this:
•1949 Responsible for weapon surveillance activities at the nation's nuclear weapon storage sites until 1960, when the introduction of sealed-pit
weapons reduced the need for constant weapon maintenance. Sandia retains its stockpile surveillance responsibilities.
•1950s Innovations in technologies to achieve the wooden bomb concept (a weapon that could sit ready in the stockpile for years with little
•1956 Opened a new laboratory in Livermore, California.
•1958 Shock-resistant components and parachute systems made possible the safe laydown delivery of nuclear bombs.
•1960 Tonopah Test Range replaced the Salton Sea Test Base as the permanent range for field testing components and weapon designs.
•1960 The science of terradynamics emerged from earth-penetrator design efforts.
•1960 The Permissive Action Link was introduced to prevent unauthorized use of nuclear weapons.
•1960 Sandia's Laminar Flow Clean Room was the first in a long line of weapons spin-offs.
•1962 The Strypi rocket was developed for the high-altitude Dominic nuclear test series.
•1962 The B61 design program to create a flexible lightweight tactical thermonuclear weapon began. Its most recent modification, the B61-11, was
introduced in 1997.
•1962 Work began on an independently targeted warhead fully integrated with its reentry vehicle. The Navy subsequently contracted with Sandia for
the mark 3 reentry body for the Poseidon Missile.
•1963 The VELA satellites, with Sandia-designed optical sensors as well as data processing, logic, and power subsystems, were launched to detect
•1966 Sandians helped locate the bomb lost in an aircraft collision over Palomares, Spain. This and other accidents prompted closer scrutiny of
nuclear weapon safety; Sandia established an independent safety group to assess weapon designs.
•1970 Designed the Safe Secure Trailer for transporting nuclear weapons. In succeeding years, Sandia also designed and tested accident resistant
containers for nuclear materials.
•1972 Began an ongoing series of training opportunities for agencies concerned with physical security and developed more formidable barriers to
protect crucial sites. Sandia is still involved with work related to physical security — recently introducing an improved airport security portal
and a school physical safety design.
•1973 Responding to the energy crisis, Sandia carried out research on solar and wind technology, photovoltaics, enhanced fossil fuels recovery, and
•1974 Named the technical advisor on the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, beginning a long series of scientific studies and site analyses. The first
barrels of transuranic waste were placed into the facility in 1999.
•1981 The Combustion Research Facility opened at Sandia/California. It is open to researchers from around the world.
•1983 Contributed to the assessment of countermeasures and vulnerability of the Strategic Defense Initiative.
•1983 Published research on strained-layer superlattices, a new class of materials that allow scientists to tailor semiconductors to specific
•1984 Factored the 69-digit Mersenne number as part of the ongoing "black hat" effort to test and challenge weapon security codes.
•1990 Sandia-advanced synthetic aperture radar (SAR) was used in Desert Storm. Capable of seeing through cloud cover, SAR was first studied at
Sandia in 1986.
•1991 Congress passed the Cooperative Threat Reduction Act, opening the way for collaboration among US and former Soviet weapon labs.
•1993 The mission assignment for neutron generator production was given to Sandia.
•1994 The Cooperative Monitoring Center opened. The Center hosts arms control specialists from around the world, informing them about available
treaty-monitoring technologies used to build confidence among neighboring nations.
•1995 Sandia and Intel agreed to pursue development of a computer ten times faster than any existing at that time, resulting in a series of computer
speed records. In 1998, Intel gave Sandia a no-fee license for its Pentium processor design, allowing the Labs to develop radiation-hardened
microprocessors for space and defense purposes.
•1997 NASA's Pathfinder space probe arrived on Mars, its landing cushioned by airbags designed by a Sandia/Jet Propulsion Laboratory team.
•1998 The Z machine briefly achieved an output of 290 trillion watts — about 80 times the entire world's output of electricity.
•1999 Sandia is currently involved in a profusion of projects ranging from training bees to find landmines to developing ever-smaller locking and
sensing devices. Many technical breakthroughs are being achieved through collaboration with other organizations.
•2000 Sandia expanded its work in microelectromechanical (MEMS) technology research, pushing ever-smaller chip features to the atomic scale.
•2001 Sandia-developed decontamination foam used to neutralize anthrax in buildings on Capitol Hill.
•2002 The Rapid Syndrome Validation Project (RSVP), a joint Sandia and New Mexico Department of Health system to quickly detect disease outbreaks,
was deployed in southern New Mexico.
•2003 Researchers in the Thermal Protection Materials Program created ultra-high-temperature ceramics (UHTCs) in Sandia's Advanced Materials
Laboratory. The new lightweight material can withstand temperatures up to 2000ºC and is of potential use on hypersonic vehicles, such as the space
•2004 Introduced the Sandia Gauntlets shoulder—length Kevlar gauntlets with carbon—composite forearm and upper arm protective inserts-as a
direct response to U.S. military needs in Iraq. Also in 2004, the Distributed Information Systems Laboratory (DISL) was dedicated at
Sandia/California; the facility will provide a test-bed for research, development, and prototyping of new advanced technologies before they're
deployed throughout the nuclear weapons complex.