Sandia opens resilient electronics center

Aug. 24, 2007 at 11:23 AM
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ALBUQUERQUE, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Sandia National Laboratories has opened a new complex in Albuquerque to develop radiation resilient electronics for national security.

U.S. Deputy Energy Secretary Clay Sell, National Nuclear Security Administration head Tom D’Agostino and Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., Thursday attended the opening of the Microsystems and Engineering Sciences Applications complex.

"The eight-year, $516 million project was the largest in the history of the lab and was finished three years ahead of schedule and $40 million below budget," the NNSA said in a statement. The NNSA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Energy.

"The MESA complex will produce electronic circuits and computer chips designed to withstand high levels of radiation. These 'hardened' electronics are critical to national security needs," the statement said.

The 400,000-square-foot MESA complex has a micro-fabrication facility, a micro-systems laboratory and a new weapons integration facility, "which will contain laser, electrical, visualization, and computer laboratories as well as office workspace for nearly 375 scientists and engineers. To an unprecedented degree, it will combine electronic and optoelectronics fabrication facilities with Sandia’s supercomputing simulations," the NNSA said.

"In opening the MESA complex at Sandia National Laboratories, we are increasing our non-proliferation capabilities and applying next-generation microelectronics technology to advancing our national security,” Sell said.

"The complex’s combination of high-performance computing simulations, scientific research, and production capabilities in electronics and optics at the micro- and nano-level will make it a world leader in a new type of simulation-led engineering that will ultimately improve the quality of consumer goods," the NNSA said.

“The MESA complex provides NNSA with a capability you can’t find anywhere else,” said D’Agostino. “With the technology developed here, anything from our country’s nuclear weapons to communications satellites will be able to withstand the worst of conditions.”

Sandia is a multi-program laboratory operated by Sandia Corp., a Lockheed Martin company, for the NNSA.

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