During the summer of 2005, I was an intern at Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico. I worked for the ISR division. I assisted in research in FPGA reliability for space applications. We researched methods of improving the reliability of FPGAs using design redundancy techniques. I assisted in this research as well as a practical test using a proton accelerator at Crocker Nuclear Laboratory in Davis, California.
I'm not sure how much detail I am allowed to post about my work at LANL. None of the work that I did was classified--I don't have clearance for that--but some of it is export-controlled. I can say that it is directly related to the work that I am doing at BYU as a research assistant and graduate student. The ISR division at LANL was working on a satellite to be put in low-earth orbit at the end of 2006 or beginning of 2007 called the Cibola Flight Experiment. This satellite contains FPGAs which have a tendency to fail in radiation environments such as those encountered in space (see my page on FPGAs in Space for more details). I was working on methods of protecting the FPGAs from these radiation-induced failures through various methods (including TMR).
It was very interesting to be working on real-world problems in a real environment (not a classroom). All the people I worked with at LANL were great. They helped me whenever I needed help and gave me real work to do. It was nice to work on real research in addition to the perhaps more typical intern tasks of running simple batch jobs or tests that no one else wants to do (of course I did some of that, too--hey, I'm cheap labor compared to the full-time employees!). Besides all of that, my wife and I (she interned at LANL that summer as well) had a great time in New Mexico. You can check out our photo gallery to see some of the fun things we did--including visiting the Very Large Array (of radio telescopes) and the site of the first nuclear explosion ever.