AWE Blacknest is part of the Atomic Weapons Establishment, Aldermaston, which is operated by AWE Management Ltd under a contract from the Ministry of Defence.
Formerly part of the Ministry of Defence, AWE Blacknest has, for over 50 years, been researching techniques to distinguish the seismic signals generated by underground nuclear explosions from those generated by earthquakes.
Such techniques are a cornerstone of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty which is currently being ratified by United Nations member states.
This website provides information about AWE Blacknest, and information and links about Forensic Seismology, the science of Test Ban monitoring.
What We Do
Blacknest's main function is to develop and maintain expertise in using seismic techniques to detect and identify underground explosions. This expertise and the techniques have been used in the past to provide assessments for the UK Government on nuclear explosions carried out by other countries. The expertise is to be used as part of Britain's contribution to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty which is currently being ratified by United Nations member states.
National Data Centre
Data from a number of stations (including EKA, LPW, LLW and SBD in the UK, and UK-territories IMS stations) are available via our AutoDRM system. For more information, please visit our data access page