DOE/NNSA has identified LLNL's High Explosives Applications Facility (HEAF) as the complex-wide "Center of Excellence" for High-Explosives Research and Development. In this capacity, HEAF is a source of subject matter expertise for high explosives and other energetic materials. Its mission is to provide this expertise to serve multiple government agencies, including DOE, DoD, Transportation Security Administration, Homeland Security, the FBI and other law enforcement and government intelligence organizations. HEAF is well equipped to fulfill this mission.
From its conception, HEAF was designed to integrate the operations of synthesis, formulation, and explosives testing in a single synergistic facility. Today, our nationally recognized team of approximately 120 chemists, physicists, engineers, and technicians contribute to the nation's understanding of explosives by developing new explosives in our synthesis and formulation laboratories, conducting explosives properties testing, developing experimental diagnostics, designing and executing diamond-anvil-cell experiments for basic explosives properties research, studying explosives at the micron scale in its microdetonics laboratory, and utilizing multiple firing tanks for larger scale explosives experiments. No other facility in the world supports such a multidisciplinary mission under one roof.
HEAF provides national leadership in the study of chemical high explosives for many agencies of the federal government. Scientists apply expertise in characterization, formulation, synthesis, and experimentation, integrating experimental data with computer simulations to understand energetic materials in pursuit of the nation's most important national issues. This unique, integrated scientific facility enables HEAF to make major contributions in many areas of national security, including weapon development, homeland security, and counterterrorism. Examples include the following:
A Livermore scientist uses a laser spectroscopic method with a diamond anvil to determine the equation of state of high explosives