Data Science in the News

Did you know we have a monthly newsletter? View past volumes and subscribe.

FAA awards approval for drone swarm testing

May 29, 2024 - 
LLNL’s Autonomous Sensors team has received the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) first and—to date—only certificate of authorization allowing autonomous drone swarming exercises on the Lab main campus. These flights will test swarm controls and sensor payloads used in a variety of national security applications. Autonomous drone swarms differ from those used for entertainment...

Machine learning optimizes high-power laser experiments

May 17, 2024 - 
Commercial fusion energy plants and advanced compact radiation sources may rely on high-intensity, high-repetition rate lasers, capable of firing multiple times per second, but humans could be a limiting factor in reacting to changes at these shot rates. Applying advanced computing to this problem, a team of international scientists from LLNL, Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT)...

Harnessing the power of AI for a safe and secure future (VIDEO)

May 13, 2024 - 
LLNL, alongside the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) 17 national labs, is harnessing the transformative potential of AI for a safer, more secure future. In 2022, LLNL made history by achieving fusion ignition, marking a pivotal moment for national security and clean energy. While AI continues to unlock new insights into fusion, through the combination of cutting-edge computer modeling...

Igniting scientific discovery with AI and supercomputing (VIDEO)

April 15, 2024 - 
LLNL’s fusion ignition breakthrough, more than 60 years in the making, was enabled by a combination of traditional fusion target design methods, high-performance computing (HPC), and AI techniques. The success of ignition marks a significant milestone in fusion energy research, and was facilitated in part by the precision simulations and rapid experimental data analysis only possible through...

Predicting climate change impacts on infrastructure (VIDEO)

Feb. 26, 2024 - 
At LLNL, electrical grid experts and climate scientists work together to bridge the gap between infrastructure and climate modeling. By taking weather variables such as wildfire, flooding, wind, and sunlight that directly impact the electrical grid into consideration, researchers can improve electrical grid model projections for a more stable future. In a new video, LLNL computer scientist...

For better CT images, new deep learning tool helps fill in the blanks

Nov. 17, 2023 - 
At a hospital, an airport, or even an assembly line, computed tomography (CT) allows us to investigate the otherwise inaccessible interiors of objects without laying a finger on them. To perform CT, x-rays first shine through an object, interacting with the different materials and structures inside. Then, the x-rays emerge on the other side, casting a projection of their interactions onto a...

Lab partners with new Space Force Lab

Nov. 14, 2023 - 
LLNL subject matter experts have been selected by the U.S. Space Force to help stand up its newest Tools, Applications, and Processing (TAP) laboratory dedicated to advancing military space domain awareness (SDA). The Livermore team attended the October 26 kickoff in Colorado Springs of the SDA TAP lab’s Project Apollo technology accelerator, designed with an open framework to support and...

High-performance computing, AI and cognitive simulation helped LLNL conquer fusion ignition

June 21, 2023 - 
For hundreds of LLNL scientists on the design, experimental, and modeling and simulation teams behind inertial confinement fusion (ICF) experiments at the National Ignition Facility, the results of the now-famous Dec. 5, 2022, ignition shot didn’t come as a complete surprise. The “crystal ball” that gave them increased pre-shot confidence in a breakthrough involved a combination of detailed...

Data science meets fusion (VIDEO)

May 30, 2023 - 
LLNL’s historic fusion ignition achievement on December 5, 2022, was the first experiment to ever achieve net energy gain from nuclear fusion. However, the experiment’s result was not actually that surprising. A team leveraging data science techniques developed and used a landmark system for teaching artificial intelligence (AI) to incorporate and better account for different variables and...

Patent applies machine learning to industrial control systems

May 8, 2023 - 
An industrial control system (ICS) is an automated network of devices that make up a complex industrial process. For example, a large-scale electrical grid may contain thousands of instruments, sensors, and controls that transfer and distribute power, along with computing systems that capture data transmitted across these devices. Monitoring the ICS network for new device connections, device...

Computing codes, simulations helped make ignition possible

April 6, 2023 - 
Harkening back to the genesis of LLNL’s inertial confinement fusion (ICF) program, codes have played an essential role in simulating the complex physical processes that take place in an ICF target and the facets of each experiment that must be nearly perfect. Many of these processes are too complicated, expensive, or even impossible to predict through experiments alone. With only a few...

Skywing: Open-source software aids collaborative autonomy applications

Jan. 25, 2023 - 
A new software developed at LLNL, and known as Skywing, provides domain scientists working to protect the nation’s critical infrastructure with a high-reliability, real-time software platform for collaborative autonomy applications. The U.S. modern critical infrastructure—from the electrical grid that sends power to homes to the pipelines that deliver water and natural gas and the railways...

New HPC4EI project to create 'digital twin' models for aerospace manufacturing

Jan. 19, 2023 - 
A partnership involving LLNL aimed at developing “digital twins” for producing aerospace components is one of six new projects funded under the HPC for Energy Innovation (HPC4EI) initiative, the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy announced. Sponsored by the HPC4Manufacturing (HPC4Mfg) Program, one of the pillars of HPC4EI, the collaboration between LLNL...

Supercomputing’s critical role in the fusion ignition breakthrough

Dec. 21, 2022 - 
On December 5th, the research team at LLNL's National Ignition Facility (NIF) achieved a historic win in energy science: for the first time ever, more energy was produced by an artificial fusion reaction than was consumed—3.15 megajoules produced versus 2.05 megajoules in laser energy to cause the reaction. High-performance computing was key to this breakthrough (called ignition), and HPCwire...

National Ignition Facility achieves fusion ignition

Dec. 13, 2022 - 
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced the achievement of fusion ignition at LLNL—a major scientific breakthrough decades in the making that will pave the way for advancements in national defense and the future of clean power. On Dec. 5, a team at LLNL’s National Ignition Facility (NIF) conducted the first controlled...

Scientific discovery for stockpile stewardship

Sept. 27, 2022 - 
Among the significant scientific discoveries that have helped ensure the reliability of the nation’s nuclear stockpile is the advancement of cognitive simulation. In cognitive simulation, researchers are developing AI/ML algorithms and software to retrain part of this model on the experimental data itself. The result is a model that “knows the best of both worlds,” says Brian Spears, a...

S&TR cover story: The ACES in our hand

Sept. 20, 2022 - 
Uranium enrichment is central to providing fuel to nuclear reactors, even those intended only for power generation. With minor modifications, however, this process can be altered to yield highly enriched uranium for use in nuclear weapons. The world’s need for nuclear fuel coexists with an ever-present danger—that a nonnuclear weapons nation-state possessing enrichment technology could...

Lab researchers win top award for machine learning-based approach to ICF experiments

Aug. 4, 2022 - 
The IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society (NPSS) announced an LLNL team as the winner of its 2022 Transactions on Plasma Science Best Paper Award for their work applying machine learning to inertial confinement fusion (ICF) experiments. In the paper, lead author Kelli Humbird and co-authors propose a novel technique for calibrating ICF experiments by combining machine learning with...

An open-source, data-science toolkit for energy: GridDS

Aug. 2, 2022 - 
As the number of smart meters and the demand for energy is expected to increase by 50% by 2050, so will the amount of data those smart meters produce. While energy standards have enabled large-scale data collection and storage, maximizing this data to mitigate costs and consumer demand has been an ongoing focus of energy research. An LLNL team has developed GridDS—an open-source, data-science...

Defending U.S. critical infrastructure from nation-state cyberattacks

July 21, 2022 - 
For many years, LLNL has been conducting research on cybersecurity, as well as defending its systems and networks from cyberattacks. The Lab has developed an array of capabilities to detect and defend against cyberintruders targeting IT networks and worked with government agencies and private-sector partners to share its cybersecurity knowledge to the wider cyberdefense community. LLNL has...