A Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory team has taken a closer look at how nuclear weapon blasts close to the Earth’s surface create complications in their effects and apparent yields. Attempts to correlate data from events with low heights of burst revealed a need to improve the theoretical treatment of strong blast waves rebounding from hard surfaces.
Using thin films — no more than a few pieces of notebook paper thick — of a common explosive chemical, researchers from Sandia National Laboratories studied how small-scale explosions start and grow. These experiments advanced fundamental knowledge of detonations.
Following a terrorist bombing, can the bomb maker be identified by skin proteins left on the bomb components they handled? To address this question, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) personnel from Weapons Complex Integration and Global Security Forensic Science and Biosecurity Centers subjected notional bomb components handled by LLNL volunteers to contained precision explosions. A small team of biology and explosives subject matter experts combined their knowledge and experience to successfully carry out a series of 26 confined detonations over a three-day period.
The first-ever shot to study a high explosive sample was recently conducted at the National Ignition Facility, the world’s most energetic laser. The results from the shot included novel data that will help researchers unlock the mysteries of high-explosive (HE) chemistry and position Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to continue its legacy as a leader in HE science and diagnostic innovation.
DHS S&T developed Power Hawk tool to remotely disable pipe bombs, while preserving forensic evidence.
Valentine Nzengung’s inventions to neutralize explosives protect humans and the environment
DHS S&T transitioned technology to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) that is representative of S&T’s deep body of work in cataloging, detecting and thwarting explosive threats.
Trace vapor detection technologies are crucial for ensuring reliable and safe detection of explosives and illegal drugs. Researchers have developed a compact testing device called the Trace Vapor Generator for Explosives and Narcotics, which is portable and can be used for non-contact sampling of these vapors. In Review of Scientific Instruments, the team reports the TV-Gen can accurately generate trace vapors of low vapor pressure compounds and can produce vapors in complex backgrounds.