Applied Physics Laboratory

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The Applied Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University (abbr. APL , JHU / APL or JHUAPL ) is located in Laurel , Maryland . It is a university-related non-profit research center with approximately 4,000 employees and serves as a technical institute for the Department of Defense , NASA and other government agencies.

The APL is more of a research and development institution than a teaching institute of Johns Hopkins University. The APL was founded in 1942 during the Second World War by the Office of Scientific Research and Development with the purpose of making scientific and engineering knowledge available within the universities. The most important development of this phase was a time-varying distance fuse , which played an important role in the victory of the Allies. Contrary to expectations, the APL did not dissolve, but became involved in the development of guided missile technology for the US Navy . At the request of the government, the university continued to operate the laboratory as a public institution.

The name of the laboratory comes from its origins in World War II, but its main strength lies in the areas of systems engineering and technical applications.

More than half of the technical staff are engineers and 25% have a degree in computer science or mathematics. The APL conducts programs in basic and applied research, experimental and advanced development, tests and system integration.

Between 1965 and 1990, the APL provided the Pershing missile program with technical assistance and tests to improve performance and service life.

The US Navy is still the main customer. The laboratory works for the Missile Defense Agency , the Department of Homeland Security , various intelligence agencies, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) , and other government agencies. It supports NASA through aerospace science, spacecraft design and manufacture, and overseeing space missions. Other areas of work are air defense, submarine security, fighting submarines, testing strategic systems, information and display systems, sensors, information processing and space systems. APL has built and operated numerous satellites and spacecraft, including: the TRANSIT Navigation System, NEAR , CONTOUR , MESSENGER , New Horizons and STEREO . The space missions planned by the APL include the Solar Probe + and the "Interstellar Probe" for a mission to the heliopause and the nearby interstellar space (around 2000 astronomical units ).

Asteroid (132524) APL was named after a New Horizons spacecraft flyby in honor of the APL.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Pontus C. Brandt, Ralph L. McNutt et al .: A Pragmatic Interstellar Probe for Launch in the 2030's. In: June 20, 2019, accessed December 2, 2019 .