TA-39 Brief Description
4.20.1 Site Description
TA-39, Ancho Canyon [Table 4-18 and Figure 4-20 (index map of TA-39)], is located at the bottom
of Ancho Canyon off State Road 4 between Los Alamos and White Rock. The technical area
was created when explosives work at TA-15 became too crowded and a new space for shock
wave physics work was needed. This site was chosen because the deep canyon and steep walls
isolate explosives tests from the public.
The behavior of non-nuclear weapons is studied here, primarily by photographic techniques. Investigators
also study various phenomenological aspects of explosives, interactions of explosives,
explosions involving other materials, shock wave physics, equation-of-state measurements,
and pulsed-power systems design.
Operations at TA-39 center around three kinds of work: dynamic HE experiments, high-voltage
capacitor bank operations, and gas gun experiments supported by explosives storage and handling,
machine shops, heavy equipment, laboratory preparations, data analysis, and administrative