The Plant Analysis & Control & Sensors Department has as its primary focus the analysis of engineering systems that involve sensor data for efficient operation. In the nuclear energy domain, current activities involve the design and analysis of advanced reactors and related balance of plant systems and ancillary systems, such as energy storage, with the objective of optimizing plant operation and performance. We also develop advanced sensing techniques for monitoring the health and security of nuclear systems. In the transportation domain, current activities involve analysis of engineering problems related to infrastructure with a heavy emphasis on modeling and simulation. We develop, demonstrate and apply advanced software tools for optimizing the operation of nuclear facilities, transportation systems, and more generally, engineering systems.
We develop and provide technologies for interrogation and characterization of materials, components, and systems using state-of-the-art and emerging non-destructive evaluation (NDE) techniques. Our capabilities have been applied to the aerospace, defense, and power generation (fossil and nuclear) industries to assess the integrity of critical components and thus help reduce system failures that can lead to costly shutdowns, cause damage to expensive equipment, and jeopardize the safety of end users.
We develop and evaluate sensor technologies for industrial process control and remote detection of trace gases, toxic chemicals, explosives, and nuclear materials, and pursue research on both passive and active techniques to detect and interrogate nuclear materials. We host two high performance computing clusters and use these to perform hydrodynamic and structural analyses for transportation system infrastructure in support of federal and state agency modeling and simulation needs.