NNSA Nuclear Security Sites Receive 18 R&D 100 Awards

Press Release
Jul 20, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today applauded our nation's nuclear security sites for receiving 18 of this year's R&D 100 Awards.

Awarded each year by the R&D Magazine to the best technological advances at universities, private corporations, and government labs around the world, the R&D 100 Awards are occasionally referred to as "the Nobel Prizes of technology." They were first awarded in 1963 as the I-R 100s, in keeping with the original name of the magazine, Industrial Research.

This year, NNSA nuclear security sites were recognized for a wide range of advances including, for example, a new landmine detection technology, a new process for capturing and compressing greenhouse gases, and a new electrical conversion technology that are in use in hybrid cars.

"The Department of Energy's national laboratories are incubators of innovation, and I'm proud they are being recognized once again for their remarkable work," said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "The cutting-edge research and development being done in our national labs is vital to maintaining America's competitive edge, increasing our nation's energy security, and protecting our environment. I want to thank this year's winners for their work and congratulate them on this award."

For more information on the 18 R&D Awards won by NNSA's nuclear security sites click here. The following are short summaries of this year's award recipients.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

  • GeMini Spectrometer - a portable gamma-ray spectrometer based on germanium technology.
  • Artificial Retina - Restoring Sight to the Blind. LLNL has assisted in the development of the first long-term retinal prosthesis - called an "artificial retina" - that can function for years inside the harsh biological environment of the eye.
  • FemtoScope: a time microscope - This can be attached to the front end of any conventional recording instrument, such as an oscilloscope or streak camera.
  • ROSE compiler infrastructure - Making Compiler Technology Accessible to all Programmers. ROSE radically changes the accessibility of compiler technologies, allowing access to average software developers and scientists.
  • Land Mine Locator: Eradicating the Aftermath of War - This is designed to lower the time and cost of demining operations, and vastly improve the safety to personnel and equipment.
  • Spectral Sentry - Protecting High-Intensity Lasers from Bandwidth-Related Damage. The device inspects each individual laser pulse - traveling at up to 186,000 miles per second and generated by the laser it is protecting.
  • Laser Beam Centering and Pointing System - This does the work of two sensors by using a special dual-imaging lens, which acts like a bifocal, to capture both images simultaneously and combine them into one.
  • Precision Robotic Assembly Machine - for Building Nuclear Fusion Ignition Targets. This was developed to manufacture small and complex laser-driven fusion ignition targets for the National Ignition Facility.

Los Alamos National Laboratory

  • Lasonix - A new approach for fabricating insulators, semiconductors, and metallic conductors to form standard semiconductor microcircuits, metallic connections and pathways, and vertically integrated circuits.
  • MagViz - This is the first product based on a new form of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)—a form that uses ultralow magnetic fields.
  • The SIMTECHE CO2 Capture Process - This process captures and compresses the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted by advanced fossil fuel power plants and other industrial operations.
  • TeraOps Software Radio -  The TeraOps Software Radio moves the concept of software-defined radio into space, where it can be used to dramatically extend the lifetimes of electronic systems aboard satellites and in space payloads.

Sandia National Laboratories

  • High-Temperature Silicon Carbide Power Module - This module converts electrical energy from one form to another and reduces the size and volume of power electronic systems.
  • Catamount N-Way (CNW) Lightweight Kernel - This leverages hardware capabilities of multicore processors to deliver significant improvements in data access performance for parallel computing applications.
  • Ultralow-Power Silicon Microphotonic Communications Platform - This platform made of silicon, for wavelength division multiplexed communications within high performance computers.
  • NanoCoral Dendritic Platinum Nanostructures - An innovative nanotechnology for producing platinum catalysts.
  • Hyperspectral Confocal Fluorescence Microscope System - This system rapidly finds all emitting fluorescence species of an image, determining their relative concentrations without any a priori information.

Nevada Test Site

  • Microscopy - High-Resolution UV Holography Lens for Particle Size Distribution Measurements.

Over the years, previous R&D 100 winners have become household names, including Polacolor film (1963), the flashcube (1965), the automated teller machine (1973), the halogen lamp (1974), the fax machine (1975), the liquid crystal display (1980), the printer (1986), the Kodak Photo CD (1991), the Nicoderm antismoking patch (1992), Taxol anticancer drug (1993), lab on a chip (1996), and HDTV (1998).

Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science in the nation's national security enterprise. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.

Media contact(s):
NNSA Public Affairs (202) 586-7371