Eight Los Alamos projects win R&D 100 Awards

‘Oscars of Invention’ honor the best innovations of the past year

December 20, 2021

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The Laboratory's awards included Gold Awards for corporate social responsibility and for battling COVID-19.

Eight Los Alamos National Laboratory technologies won R&D 100 Awards, and five inventions received Special Recognition Awards, including a Gold Award for Corporate Social Responsibility, a Gold Award for Battling COVID-19, a Silver Award for Market Disruptor – Product, and Silver and Bronze Awards for Market Disruptor – Services.

“With these eight technology awards and five special recognition awards, we see the broader community continuing to recognize innovation from Los Alamos National Laboratory,” said Laboratory Director Thom Mason. “The people behind these awards are developing solutions to serious problems in big data, polar climates, national security, and biothreats. Congratulations to the winners, special recognition awardees, and finalists for their outstanding work.”

The winners are:

  • ADS Codex: open-source translation tool allows computer binary information to be encoded and decoded for DNA’s four-letter nucleotide alphabet for high-capacity, robust archival data storage.
  • CICE Consortium: open-source software provides extensive, accurate sea ice modeling across scales.
  • Earth’s-field Resonance Detection and Evaluation Device (ERDE): magnetic resonance spectrometer uses the Earth’s magnetic field for rapid, accurate, and safe identification of chemicals.
  • Portable EnGineered Analytic Sensor with aUtomated Sampling (PEGASUS) : miniaturized, fieldable biosensor makes laboratory-quality analysis of complex samples available in remote or resource-poor areas.
  • Quantum Ensured Defense for the Smart Electric Grid (QED): technology uses single light particles (photons) to create cryptographic “keys” that “lock” control signals into secret codes to protect the electric grid from third-party infiltration.
  • SmartTensors AI Platform: software uses unsupervised machine learning to sift through massive datasets and identify hidden trends, mechanisms, signatures, and features buried in large high-dimensional data tensors (multi-dimensional arrays).
  • Terra Spotlight: software enables rapid change detection using satellite data from different imaging modalities.

“The Laboratory’s tradition of scientific and engineering excellence is well-established, and it is gratifying that our innovative work has been recognized again,” said John Sarrao, deputy Laboratory director for Science, Technology, and Engineering. “Our collaborations with industry, academia, and other national laboratories continue to support our national security mission, the frontiers of research, and the broader technical community. I offer my highest congratulations to all of the teams that participated in R&D 100 this year.”

The R&D 100 Awards

The prestigious “Oscars of Invention” honor the latest and best innovations and identify the top technology products of the past year. The R&D 100 Awards span industry, academia, and government-sponsored research organizations.

Since 1978 Los Alamos has won more than 178 R&D 100 Awards. The Laboratory’s discoveries, developments, advancements, and inventions make the world a better and safer place, bolster national security and enhance national competitiveness.

See all of the 2021 R&D 100 Awards. Read more about the Laboratory’s past R&D 100 Awards.