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30 November 1999
For Immediate Release

APL Launches Syntonics LLC

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), Laurel, Md., has created its first start-up company, Syntonics LLC, under an initiative to commercialize some of its inventions and portions of its space research and test facilities.

Over the past decades, APL's Space Department has developed more than 400 oscillator and clock systems for U.S. government sponsors. In many cases the technology is not available to the commercial sector because of certain Laboratory or government policies. However, future commercial space-based communications networks and remote sensing instruments will require oscillators having higher frequencies of operation as well as better stability. To meet this need, APL has licensed its ultrastable oscillator technology to Syntonics LLC.

Located in Maryland, Syntonics LLC is a stand-alone, independent entity that will develop, manufacture, and sell ultrastable oscillators. The Johns Hopkins University has a minority equity interest in Syntonics LLC. APL will continue to perform ultrastable oscillator research and development for sponsors and continue producing one-of-a-kind products.

"The establishment of Syntonics LLC is a great opportunity to make important APL space technology available to commercial customers for the first time. It's good for the customers, good for APL, and good for the high-tech community in Howard County and Maryland," says William R. Brody, president of The Johns Hopkins University. "This is a first for APL, and it's only a beginning. You'll see a lot more entrepreneurial ventures coming out of the lab in years to come."

Announced a year ago, APL's commercial space initiative has targeted three avenues for providing products and services to commercial space enterprises: science and technology R&D; transition of technology; and use of APL facilities and testing capabilities.

As it grows, Syntonics LLC may travel along all of these avenues under sponsored research agreements as it contracts for APL research and development, technical advice, additional intellectual property, and for the use of Laboratory test facilities.

Interested media are invited to a license-signing ceremony to be held in APL's Macaulay Room (in Bldg. 1) at 5:30 p.m., Dec. 1, 1999. For information, contact Dee Reese, head of APL Public Relations, at 240-228-5021.

The Applied Physics Laboratory is a not-for-profit laboratory and division of The Johns Hopkins University. APL conducts research and development primarily for national security and for nondefense projects of national and global significance. APL is located midway between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. in Laurel, Md.


Media contact:

JHU Applied Physics Laboratory
Helen Worth
Laurel, MD 20723
Phone: 240-228-5113