The Dynamic Mesoscale Material Science Capability is designed to support key NNSA goals and the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review to provide a modern, flexible, adaptable, tailored, effective, robust, resilient and ready stockpile while remaining at the forefront of science and technology to reduce the likelihood of technological surprise. The mesoscale covers spatial dimensions bridging the nano- and macroscopic scales, and a multidimensional space that is characterized by the complexity of its phenomena at the transition from the discrete quantum to the continuum macroscopic world.

DMMSC progresses mesoscale materials research by advancing capabilities of existing facilities and developing new tools, processes, diagnostics and models. When combined with the emerging computational capability to simulate materials at ultra-high resolution, DMMSC will fill the gap in understanding of micro- and mesoscale materials phenomena and how they affect weapon performance.

Unique Characteristics of DMMSC

The first unique characteristic of the proposed capability would be high-energy x-rays sufficient to see into and through the mesoscale for all materials including high-Z strategic materials.  Second, it would have a very flexible and fast repetition rate coupled with ability to watch dynamic events throughout their evolution to make movies of important material phenomena.  Finally is the ability to simultaneously apply several in-situ diagnostics to observe transient phenomena at high resolution, in real time, under weapons relevant extreme conditions. The resulting data will be used to build new, or inform existing, high-fidelity materials models for simulation codes. New understanding will increase confidence in the performance prediction of life-extended weapons and in the success of any technical response to a change in the deterrent imposed by budget realities or external pressures.

6 First Campaigns

These 6 representative campaigns are domains of material science where data is needed for stewardship.  The campaigns and the scientific requirements to study them have been developed with colleagues from across the nuclear weapons complex and the broader scientific community in order to illustrate the mission impact and scientific potential of DMMSC.

Understand the condition of the nuclear stockpile

Dynamic Materials Performance

1. Multiphase High Explosive Evolution

2. Dynamic Performance of Plutonium and Surrogate Metals and Alloys

3. Turbulent Material Mixing in Variable Density Flows

Extend the life of U.S. nuclear warheads

Process Aware Manufacturing

4. Controlled Solidification and Phase Transformations

5. Predicting Interfacial Microstructure and Strain Evolution
6. High Explosive Functionality by Design 

These experiments collectively exemplify the broad scope of the facility and the titles speak to their mission relevance.  This suite of experiments also enables detailed specification of DMMSC scientific and facility functional requirements.

As part of determination of mission need, Los Alamos National Laboratory developed the DMMSC concept as a plausible alternative that could meet all the requirements and could have its cost and schedule reviewed by the Department of Energy. DMMSC could be located at Los Alamos National Laboratory to benefit from essential capability already existing at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE), particularly from its proton radiography capability that contributes extensively to resolving weapons issues as well as other accelerator infrastructure.