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Keeping up with the exponential growth of information and data requires a new storage approach that is cheap, compact, and consumes minimal energy. The open-source translation tool allows the ones and zeros of computer binary information to be encoded and decoded for DNA’s four-letter nucleotide alphabet (T, C, A, G). Combining this adaptive software with new DNA synthesis methods offers high-capacity, robust archival data storage on stable biomolecules into the future.

Latchesar Ionkov led the team of Bradley Settlemyer, Tracy Erkkila, Dominic Manno, Jason Gans, Frank Marrs, Jurgen Schmidt, and Scott Hennelly.

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The technology provides a novel approach to electric grid security. Current security systems rely on mathematical complexity, but QED applies the unusual behavior of the quantum realm (single light particles, or photons) to protect electric grid control signals from third-party infiltration. Los Alamos and Oak Ridge National Laboratories demonstrated scalable, plug-and-play, systems-level cybersecurity on EPB’s commercial, metro-scale electricity distribution network in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Raymond Newell led the Los Alamos team of Claira Safi and Justin Tripp.

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Crucial signals can be overlooked in big data. SmartTensors AI Platform uses unsupervised machine learning to transform and compress hundreds of trillions of data bytes into manageable pieces of information. Identifying hidden patterns in the data facilitates the discovery of new phenomena and new mechanisms, which enables informed decisions. Applications include analyses in medicine, disease spread and prediction, energy extraction, material science, carbon sequestration, climate change, economy, infrastructure stability, anomaly detection, text mining, and national security.

Boian Alexandrov and Velimir “Monty” Vesselinov led the Los Alamos team of Bulbul Ahmmed, James Ahrens, Manish Bhattarai, Gopinath Chennupati, Derek DeSantis, Hristo Djidjev, Maksim Erin, Namita Karat, Daniel Livingston, Maruti Mudunuru, Ben Nebgen, Dan O’Malley, John Patchett, Elijah Pelofske, Lakshman Prasad, Jesus Pulido, Kim Rasmussen, Adam Rupe, Erik Skau, Justin Sybrandt, Carl James Talsma, Duc Truong, Ravi Vangara, and Neda Vesselinova.

SmartTensors AI Platform also won the Bronze Special Recognition Award for Market Disruptor – Services, which highlights any service from any category as one that forever changed the R&D industry or a particular vertical within the industry.

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Sea ice is critical in moderating the global climate and polar ecosystems. Los Alamos leads the CICE Consortium, an international group of stakeholders and code developers that advances sea ice modeling in the public domain, providing state-of-the-art models for both near-term predictions of sea ice and weather and longer term climate projections. CICE and its infrastructure are the global standard for sea ice modeling across scales for scientific research, weather and ice forecasting, maritime operations planning, and global climate projections.

Los Alamos led the joint entry with the Danish Meteorological Institute, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Institute of Oceanology – Polish Academy of Sciences, National Center for Atmospheric Research, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Naval Postgraduate School, Naval Research Laboratory Stennis Space Center, University of Washington, and University of Reading. The Los Alamos research team of Elizabeth Hunke, John Dukowicz, Bill Lipscomb, Adrian Turner, Andrew Roberts, Matthew Turner, Nicole Jeffery, Philip Jones, and Scott Elliott developed the core sea ice model and software.

In addition to a R&D 100 Award, the CICE Consortium won the Gold Special Recognition Award in the Corporate Social Responsibility Category. This award honors organizational efforts to be a greater corporate member of society, from a local to global level.

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Most scientific projects rely on data storage systems for the gathering and analysis of data, but the needs can differ vastly. Mochi provides an open-source tool for the rapid development of customized, scalable data services involving high-performance computing, big data, and large-scale learning applications across many scientific fields. These specialized services offer greater efficiency, flexibility, and performance than a traditional monolithic file system.

Argonne National Laboratory led the entry with partners Los Alamos National Laboratory, Carnegie Mellon University, and The HDF Group. Galen Shipman directed the Los Alamos team of Tyler Reddy and Robert Robey.

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Conventional processing and analysis typically require well-equipped laboratories, trained personnel, and expensive equipment. The PEGASUS rugged, miniature biosensor detects a variety of important biomarkers, including bacterial signatures, viral genetic material, toxins, and potential biothreat agents. The simple-to-operate system uses a phone app for readout, analyzes a wide array of samples, and makes laboratory-quality analysis available anywhere.

Harshini Mukundan led the Los Alamos team of Kiersten Lenz, Aaron Anderson, David Mascareñas, John Morales Garcia, Pulak Nath, Jessica Kubicek-Sutherland, and Shailja Jakhar.

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The software accomplishes what once seemed impossible: automatic identification of changes in satellite-based imagery collected from multiple independent imaging systems. The rigorous mathematical framework implicitly aligns the disparate sensing systems for multi-satellite, multi-physics data fusion and rapid discovery of important changes on the Earth’s surface. Terra Spotlight uses more data collected from existing satellite imaging sensors without requiring investment in additional expensive satellite platforms.

Amanda Ziemann led the Los Alamos team of James Theiler and Christopher Ren.

Terra Spotlight also won also won the Silver Special Recognition Award for Market Disruptor – Services, which highlights any service from any category as one that forever changed the R&D industry or a particular vertical within the industry.

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ERDE devices are portable nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometers that use the Earth’s magnetic field for rapid, accurate, and safe identification of chemicals without requiring superconducting magnets and liquid cryogens. Smaller than a microwave oven, ERDE devices have spectral resolutions equivalent to or higher than achieved with conventional superconducting NMR spectroscopy at a much lower cost and can simultaneously collect signature data for all NMR-active nuclei in a single spectrum. These portable NMR spectrometers leverage heteronuclear J-couplings for applications in environmental sensing, through-pipe sensing, chemical analysis, toxic chemical detection, and compound structure identification. 

Derrick Kaseman and Bob Williams led the Los Alamos team of Michelle Espy, Jacob Yoder, Per Magnelind, Algis Urbaitis, Michael Janicke, and Scarlett Widgeon Paisner.

ERDE also received the Silver Special Recognition Award for Market Disruptor – Product, which highlights any product from any category that has changed the game in any industry.

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