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Title: The Los Alamos Science Pillars The Science of Signatures

As a national security science laboratory, Los Alamos is often asked to detect and measure the characteristics of complex systems and to use the resulting information to quantify the system's behavior. The Science of Signatures (SoS) pillar is the broad suite of technical expertise and capability that we use to accomplish this task. With it, we discover new signatures, develop new methods for detecting or measuring signatures, and deploy new detection technologies. The breadth of work at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in SoS is impressive and spans from the initial understanding of nuclear weapon performance during the Manhattan Project, to unraveling the human genome, to deploying laser spectroscopy instrumentation on Mars. Clearly, SoS is a primary science area for the Laboratory and we foresee that as it matures, new regimes of signatures will be discovered and new ways of extracting information from existing data streams will be developed. These advances will in turn drive the development of sensing instrumentation and sensor deployment. The Science of Signatures is one of three science pillars championed by the Laboratory and vital to supporting our status as a leading national security science laboratory. As with the other two pillars, Materials for the Futuremore » and Information Science and Technology for Predictive Science (IS&T), SoS relies on the integration of technical disciplines and the multidisciplinary science and engineering that is our hallmark to tackle the most difficult national security challenges. Over nine months in 2011 and 2012, a team of science leaders from across the Laboratory has worked to develop a SoS strategy that positions us for the future. The crafting of this strategy has been championed by the Chemistry, Life, and Earth Sciences Directorate, but as you will see from this document, SoS is truly an Institution-wide effort and it has engagement from every organization at the Laboratory. This process tapped the insight and imagination of many LANL staff and managers and resulted in a strategy which focuses on our strengths while recognizing that the science of signatures is dynamic. This report highlights the interdependence between SoS, advances in materials science, and advances in information technology. The intent is that SoS shape and inform Los Alamos investments in nuclear forensics, nuclear diagnostics, climate, space, energy, and biosurveillence; the areas of leadership that you will read about in this strategy document. The Science of Signatures is still a relatively new strategic direction for the Laboratory. The primary purpose of this document is tell Laboratory staff how SoS is being managed and give them a chance to get involved. A second important purpose is to inform the Department of Energy and our customers of our capability growth in this important scientific area. Questions concerning the SoS strategy and input to it are welcomed and may be directed to any member of the SoS Leadership Council or to the Chemistry, Life, and Earth Science Directorate Office.« less
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  1. Los Alamos National Laboratory
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
TRN: US201218%%195
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
Applied Life Science(60); Basic Biological Sciences(59); Energy Storage(25); Engineering(42); Geosciences(58); Instrumentation Related to Nuclear Science & Technology(46); Isotope & Radiation Sources(07); Materials Science(36); Nuclear Disarmament, Safeguards, & Physical Protection(98); Nuclear Fuel Cycle & Fuel Materials(11); Nuclear Physics & Radiation Physics(73); Radiology & Nuclear Medicine(62); Solar Energy(14); CHEMISTRY; DETECTION; LANL; LASER SPECTROSCOPY; LOS ALAMOS; MANHATTAN PROJECT; NATIONAL SECURITY; NUCLEAR WEAPONS; PERFORMANCE; SENSORS; SHAPE