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A sampling of current projects at Lawrence Livermore demonstrates the many ways in which the Laboratory's science and technology support Department of Defense missions. These projects range from engineering and fabricating munitions and explosives to
developing the advanced computer codes that optimize warhead
design or assess their hazards. The Penetration Augmented Munition
is a portable, multistage weapon that not only provides offensive
capability for diminishing adversaries' mobility and capability but
also gives U.S. soldiers an additional margin of security in a hostile
encounter. Livermore's fiber-composite sabot makes weapons more
lethal and is particularly effective in tank warfare. The GLO (global
local optimizer) code optimizes the design of shaped-charge
warheads, while the CHEETAH thermochemical code improves
explosives formulation. CALE, a multiuse mechanical code, is used
to help the Air Force assess missile launch site safety and in
particular to predict hazards from propellant that falls to the ground
when rockets misfire. ALE3D, now being upgraded, will increase the
capability of codes to assess safety hazards.
Lawrence Livermore researchers are developing advanced
techniques for interpreting acoustic signals, focusing on complex
algorithms that at times mimic the reasoning processes of the human
brain. Three current acoustic signal-processing projects, involving
heart valve classification, oil exploration, and large-structure
analysis, demonstrate the wide range of acoustic signal usefulness.
To determine whether an artificial heart valve is intact or needs
replacing, a suite of Livermore algorithms sift through heart and
body sounds to isolate the telltale signals of a faulty artificial heart
valve. If successful, the new technique would spare patients from
surgery to determine if their artificial valve needs replacement.
Livermore experts and colleagues from Shell Oil are automating a
key procedure used for locating undersea oil deposits. The procedure
uses acoustic signals from underwater explosions that are detected by
hydrophones. The project's goal is to reduce manual analysis of the
signals to only about 0.1 percent of the data processed, thereby
saving millions of dollars in oil exploration costs.
Finally, a Livermore team is using acoustic wave vibrations to
assess the integrity of several large structures in northern California.
The goal is to develop a fast and reliable method to check for damage
after earthquakes or other destructive events. A scale-model building
at the Nevada Test Site is serving as a testbed for the project.
of explosive detonation.
and LLNL Disclaimers