The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) has achieved AS9100 certification, demonstrating that its civilian and national security space business, safety and mission assurance activities align with the highest standards of the aerospace community.
"Certification says you've reached a certain level of competency and skill," says APL Director Rich Roca. "But reaching that level itself is not the key achievement. Certification demonstrates to our sponsors that our product realization system ensures our products will perform as needed, and be delivered on time and within budget."
An independent registrar, National Quality Assessment, granted APL certification to AS9100 revision B and ISO 9001:2000, on Feb. 18, 2009, following a rigorous auditing process. The International Organization of Standards, known as ISO, has developed its series of standards through voluntary, international consensus. The standards provide consistency to facilitate trade and provide a level of assurance in quality, safety and reliability. The AS9100 standard was established by the International Aerospace Quality Group, and includes the entire ISO 9001:2000 standard, with additional requirements specific to the aerospace industry.
The scope of APL's certification includes space and Earth science, analysis, research, and technology development, including all phases of spacecraft and instrument program management, engineering, production and operations.
"Through our AS9100 certification, APL has demonstrated that it has the discipline to perform remarkably challenging engineering with high reliability," says John Sommerer, acting director of APL's Space Department.
Achievement of this certification signifies that the organization meets and exceeds a set of internationally recognized aerospace-industry standards for its space related activities and programs. This achievement also demonstrates that in the highly competitive space industry, APL has obtained a level of quality and reliability in its core processes held only by a small number of government space centers and major aerospace contractors.