National Nuclear Security Administration

Meet a Machine: Rocket Sled Track

October 11, 2016

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Sandia National Laboratories' Rocket Sled Track Facility near Albuquerque, New Mexico, provides a controlled environment for testing small and large items in high-velocity impact, aerodynamic, acceleration, and related experiments. Tests conducted at the facility incorporate telemetry, on-board data recorders, high speed video, flash X-ray, and other instruments for gathering information about test launches. The facility is part of Sandia’s Validation and Qualification Sciences Experimental Complex, a unique group of test facilities that can create a broad range of engineering environments. Here scientists work to understand complex engineering problems through diagnostic measurements and observations, and to validate simulations, especially predictions about how weapons safety features will perform. The Rocket Sled Track is one of the many tools NNSA team members use to ensure the nation’s nuclear arsenal is safe, secure, and effective. Read how Rocket Sled Track supports current NNSA stockpile stewardship activities missions.

Rocket sled track provides a controlled environment for testing small and large items in high-velocity impact experiments.

Rocket sled track has a 10,000 food railroad gauge track.

Rocket sled track can launch test items at 2,300 MPH.