About APL

Who We Are

The Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) is a not-for-profit center for engineering and research and development. Located north of Washington, DC, APL is a division of one of the world's premier research universities, The Johns Hopkins University (JHU). The Laboratory has been a major asset to the nation since it was organized to develop a critical World War II technology in 1942.

What We Do

APL is dedicated to solving critical problems of national security and advancing the nation's vision in research and space science through our work on more than 600 programs serving the Navy, Air Force, Army, NASA, and numerous other government agencies. As a University Affiliated Research Center, we serve as a liaison between government and industry—a trusted, impartial, and noncompetitive technical agent. Because we avoid competition with industry, we share and protect proprietary information, enabling us to remain an unbiased source of expertise to our customers.

How We're Organized

Mission Areas


Connection to JHU

APL at a Glance

Dr. Ralph Semmel
APL Director Dr. Ralph Semmel

Staff: 5,000 (68% engineers and scientists)

Size: 399 acres with more than 20 major buildings, plus a nearby satellite campus

Location: Between Baltimore and Washington, DC, near I-95

Business: Diversified portfolio of more than 600 programs, primarily Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, NASA, and NSA sponsors, as well as R&D

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