Lab wins six R&D 100 awards

Livermore researchers turned in another strong showing in the annual R&D 100 awards competition for top industrial inventions, winning six awards. Each year, R&D Magazine presents these awards to the top 100 industrial, high-technology inventions submitted to its competition for outstanding achievement in research and development.
Over the past three years, Laboratory scientists, engineers, and technicians have brought home a total of 20 R&D 100 awards, and since 1978, they have won 81 of these prestigious awards. All told, U.S. Department of Energy laboratories won 40 of this year's 100 awards, 10 more than were garnered in 1998 by DOE research facilities.
The six Livermore inventions honored are:
>LI>The Optical Modulator/Switch provides solutions to the high cost of modulating data onto a laser beam and switching signals from one data channel to another. This invention was developed in association with researchers from AlliedSignal Federal Manufacturing & Technology and the University of Maryland at College Park.
  • Gamma Watermarking is a revolutionary method of identifying and authenticating a range of material objects-from dinosaur bones to priceless objects of art to legal documents and contracts-with the same quality and legal incontrovertibility as DNA fingerprinting.
  • The Diode-Pumped Solid-State Green Laser for Industrial Material Processing provides a cost-effective, higher-power replacement for lamp-pumped solid-state lasers and has applications in laser isotope separation and precision laser machining.
  • The Solid-State Power Source for Advanced Accelerators and Industrial Applications enables accelerators to greatly increase the production of electron beams that in turn are used to produce bursts of x rays for examining the effects of aging on the nation's stockpiled nuclear weapons without underground testing. Researchers from Bechtel Nevada contributed to this invention.
  • The Atomic Precision Multilayer Deposition System provides a faster, less expensive method for depositing multilayer thin films to precise, uniform atomic thickness over large flat or curved surfaces. It enables rapid development of all the convex and concave optics needed for extreme ultraviolet lithography.
  • PEREGRINE, a radiation dose calculation system, tackles the problem of determining the proper radiation therapy dosage by using models based on fundamental physics principles. PEREGRINE calculates radiation therapy doses of the highest accuracy for cancer patients.
    S&TR will devote its October issue to detailed reports on Lawrence Livermore's award-winning inventions and the teams that created them.
    Contact: Karena McKinley (925) 423-9353 (mckinley3@llnl.gov).

    Lab helps design Chernobyl robot

    Department of Energy Deputy Secretary T. J. Glauthier recently dedicated a small but sturdy U.S.-made robot for Ukrainians to use in mapping the interior of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, site of the 1986 disaster.
    Dubbed Pioneer, the robot was designed by Lawrence Livermore and several other research agencies and was built by RedZone Robotics Inc. of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Less than 1.2 meters tall and resembling a miniature bulldozer, it is expected to endure about two years within the extremely radioactive remains of Chernobyl rather than the seven minutes its predecessor lasted before melting and malfunctioning.
    Maynard Holliday, the Livermore robotics expert who served as the Pioneer project manager through December 1998, noted, "This project is an outgrowth of our cooperation with the states of the former Soviet Union. This is just one small step in giving the Ukrainians state-of-the-art tools to understand what they're dealing with."
    Pioneer is designed to withstand thousands of times more radiation exposure than humans can tolerate. It could be sent inside Chernobyl within a few months, after Ukrainian scientists are fully trained in its use and after more simulations are conducted in terrain similar to that in Chernobyl's rubble-filled interior.
    Contact: Maynard Holliday (925) 422-3646 (holliday1@llnl.gov).

    Teller chair endowed at UC Davis

    Dr. Edward Teller, one of the founders of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and perhaps its most famous employee, was recognized in mid-June with yet another in a long list of honors and awards. A $1-million grant from the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation endowed the Edward Teller Chair in the University of California at Davis's Department of Applied Science.
    Teller founded the Department of Applied Science in 1963 and served as its chairman until 1966. It is located adjacent to Lawrence Livermore and is a prime example of Teller's lifelong interest in science education. Students who participate in the department must submit to a rigorous entry interview and combine academic studies in applied science with hands-on work at the Laboratory. The faculty includes staff from the UC Davis Department of Engineering and scientists and engineers employed at Lawrence Livermore.
    During a news conference following the announcement of the endowment, Teller was asked to put the endowment in the perspective of the many honors he has received. Teller replied, "There's absolutely no award, there's nothing in the world that could be as valuable to me as a plan to better educate our next generation of applied scientists."
    Contact: LLNL Public Affairs Office (925) 422-4599 (garberson1@llnl.gov).
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