National Security Test Range

Understanding and mitigating emerging challenges on the battlefield. 

The nation requires advanced tools and techniques to ensure the safety of our war fighters. Idaho National Laboratory‘s National Security Test Range provides access to capabilities to understand and mitigate emerging challenges being faced on the battlefield.

The range is positioned to support a wide variety of full-scale and practical testing opportunities for the DOE, DOD, NNSA, DHS, and other federal and industrial collaborators. Located about 45 miles west of Idaho Falls, INLs exceptional geography includes 330 acres of isolated desert terrain with eight dedicated test ranges, tactical facilities and restricted airspace that allow research to be conducted safely and securely.

National and Homeland Security expertise at the lab spans ballistics, explosives and barrier testing, current breaching strategies, high-performance modeling and simulation capabilities, and classified program support. The National Security Test Range is home to comprehensive research and testing capabilities that are flexible and adaptable to meet custom requirements.


Advanced Testing Experience

  • Domestic small arms and heavy weapons ballistics
  • Foreign weapons, grenades and rockets
  • Military, foreign improvised, secondary HME, binary, custom explosives
  • Barrier testing including VBIED testing
  • Explosive breaching techniques – including heavy breaching
  • Emerging threat intelligence
  • Explosive and energetics chemists
  • Mechanical/thermal breaching techniques
  • Delay analysis and testing for vulnerability assessments
  • Custom test fixtures for R&D
  • Scientific test cannons – 14.5mm, 20mm, 30mm
  • Flyer plates, EFPs, IEDs, various shaped charges

Dynamic Scientific Measuring

  • Pressure (free-field, incident, transmitted), acceleration, force, strain, velocity, penetration
  • High-Speed Data Acquisition
    • Hi-techniques meDAQ, 16 ch, 2MS/sec/ch, PC controlled
    • National Instruments/PCB, 2 PXI chassis, 96 ch each, 60MS/sec/ch, extensible
  • High Speed Photography and Advanced Flash X-ray
    • Phantom cameras – models V7-V12
    • L3 Titan FXR system, four heads, 450keV, multi-trigger orthogonal view

Prototyping and Characterization

Dedicated Manufacturing Facilities for Secure Prototyping and Production

  • custom fabrication, variety of CNC machines
  • precision parts
  • welding
  • rolling
  • electro-discharge machines
  • grinding, polishing
  • optical comparators
  • furnaces

Explosive and Energetic Materials Characterization

  • Energetic material test chamber
  • Electrostatic discharge testing
  • Acoustic mixing

Computer Simulation

  • Dedicated classified cluster with 256 cores and 768GB total memory
  • Dedicated unclassified cluster with 144 cores and 288GB total memory
  • Other high-performance scientific computers
  • CTH, Alegra, LS-Dyna, ABAQUS, ALE3D, visualization and optimization codes

National Security Training and Exercises

  • N&HS develops and deploys training and exercises to enhance national security. INL provides training and exercises with an emphasis on the protection and security of the nation. This approach accelerates the maturation of technologies and methodologies from the conceptual to deployment stages; optimizes the benefits of leveraging investments in expertise, research programs and technical infrastructure; and creates effective environments for immediate information sharing of discoveries and emerging threats.

    For information on NSTR training and exercises, contact:


Contact Information

Michelle Farrell

Idaho National Laboratory