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  • Front Matter
    The Laboratory in the News
    Commentary by E. Michael Campbell
  • Feature Articles
    Controlling the World's Most Powerful Laser
    Getting Down to Environmental Cleanup Basics
  • Research Highlights
    When Collisions Reveal All
    Collaboration Opens Door to Understanding Genetic Kidney Disorder
  • Patents and Awards
  • Abstracts (see below)


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    View the Entire November 1998 Issue in PDF (1.4MB)

    Features

  • Controlling the World's Most Powerful Laser

    (pdf file, 445K)

    The National Ignition Facility's (NIF) control system will supervise experiment setup and countdown; oversee machine interlocks to protect hardware, data, and personnel; generate reports on system performance; provide human operators with graphical interfaces for control and system status displays; perform alignment, diagnostics, and control of power conditioning and electro-optic subsystems; and monitor the health of all subsystems and components, advising operators of any abnormal conditions. The system has been designed to be easy to maintain, extend, and upgrade over the course of the giant laser's projected 30-year lifetime. The system's architecture features two main layers: a lower layer of front-end processors (FEPs) interacting directly with laser and target equipment and a higher, supervisory layer to control and integrate the FEPs. In designing the control system, engineers have used proven engineering techniques as well as modern software techniques such as object-oriented programming, ADA 95 software language, and the CORBA (Common Object Request Brokerage Architecture) international standard. One key strategy to minimize risks is an iterative approach to software construction in which increasingly smaller risks are resolved as the control system is developed and function is added after major NIF hardware designs are finalized.


  • Getting Down to Environmental Cleanup Basics

    (pdf file, 445K)

    The Department of Energy has established an Environmental Management Science Program to sponsor projects in basic science related to environmental management. The purpose of the program is to reduce the cost of environmental cleanup and make it faster over the long term. Since the program's inception in 1996, Lawrence Livermore has received grants for six of these basic science projects. This article describes them and presents progress reports on the research. Three of the projects are studying the movement of contaminants in the vadose zone, the area between Earth's surface and the water table. Two projects are adapting existing computer code or developing new code for imaging the subsurface for environmental management purposes. The sixth project is investigating processes for thermally treating some organic-based low-level radioactive and mixed low-level wastes to reduce or destroy them with no or insignificant releases to the environment.


    Research Highlights

  • When Collisions Reveal All
  • Collaboration Opens Door to Understanding Genetic Kidney Disorder
  • (pdf file, 445K)


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