Applied Physical Electronics L.C. (APELC) has been fortunate enough to work with several of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) national laboratories over the years and continues to develop our portfolio of products to match the lab’s needs and requirements. Initially this work occurred because APELC happened to make products that were useful to the DOE and National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). Now, by keeping track of the mission and direction of the labs, APELC is doing our best to develop more products that meet the labs changing needs in a way that ensures the system is available as an off-the-shelf product and does not require a lengthy R&D contract to get the customer what they need. Let’s take a quick look at how the existing APELC catalog matches up with the present requirements of the DOE and NNSA:
The DOE is broken up into multiple divisions. APELC has technology that fits both into the Office of Science and the National Nuclear Security Administration. We will start with a brief discussion of how APELC technology can fit into the Office of Science.
The Office of Science (OSTI) focuses on research within the fields of physics, chemistry, materials, and even biology. The specific areas listed below all have some research component requiring highly energetic charged particles. A particle accelerator is often used to create these charged particles, and as mentioned in our blog “Can APELC help with your linac need?” APELC produces both pulsed power and high-voltage components, such as our line of high-voltage coaxial quick disconnect connectors to support the accelerator community.
Areas within the DOE Office of Science where APELC technology can come in handy:
- High Energy Physics (HEP)
- Energy Frontier
- Intensity Frontier
- Cosmic Frontier
- Advanced Technology R&D
- Accelerator Stewardship
- Fusion Energy Sciences (FES)
- Nuclear Physics (NP)
Special mention must be made in regards to Fusion Energy Science. Often, fusion energy systems require pulsed power to create the energetic plasmas used in devices such as Z-pinch systems and Tokamaks. APELC has the capability to design and construct most any scale of pulsed power required for these systems. Moreover, our ISO 9001:2015 CNC machine shop is capable of making accelerator and fusion energy components that our customers design.
APELC works regularly with programs pertaining to the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The NNSA is charged with maintaining our nation’s nuclear stockpile. Thankfully, these weapons never get used, but must always be at the ready to protect our nation. To do this the NNSA models the performance of these weapons without nuclear explosive testing. This is done with materials research, nuclear hydrodynamics studies, and research into high energy density physics. Again, the systems used to do this research, such as NIF, Z-Machine, and the Omega Laser Facility, all require pulsed power and high voltage components. APELC stands at the ready to provide quick turn-around, high-quality products to meet the needs of the NNSA.
Lastly, APELC provides technology that can support the NNSA by recreating the electromagnetic pulse generated by a high-altitude nuclear blast (HEMP). This is done using our line of Marx generators and specialized radiating structures to provide the correct pulse profile to the device under test. This includes meeting standards such as MIL-STD-461G, MIL-STD-464C, MIL-STD-2169, and MIL-STD-188-125.
Examples of this are talked about more in our series of blog entries on EMP testing:
- Increase EMP Threats and Testing Standards – Part 1 Understanding the Threat
- Increased EMP Threats Lead to Changing Testing Standards – Part 2 Understanding the Standards
- Increased EMP Threats Lead to Changing Testing Standing – Part 3 Subsystem Testing Standards & Solutions