HomeNews & MediaPress ReleasesAPL's Jerry Krill to Be Honored for Naval Networking Technology 

For Immediate Release

October 31, 2013

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Geoffrey Brown
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APL's Jerry Krill to Be Honored for Naval Networking Technology

Cooperative Engagement Capability allows Navy battle groups to act as one

The systems engineer behind a revolutionary network technology designed to bolster U.S. Navy fleet air defense will be inducted into the University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering’s Innovation Hall of Fame on Nov. 12, 2013.

Jerry Krill, assistant director for science and technology at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., is being honored for his technical leadership in developing the Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) for the U.S. Navy.

CEC is a dynamically reconfigurable data-sharing network that provides a composite, common operating air picture for Navy battle groups, allowing them to act as a coordinated, unified whole. Senior Navy leaders have described CEC as “one of the Navy's crown jewels,” a system that greatly enhances the Navy’s air defenses.

“We are extremely proud of Jerry and his groundbreaking work on CEC in support of the U.S. Navy and our nation’s security,” said Ralph Semmel, director of APL. “His innovative approach to technical challenges and his systems engineering expertise epitomize the highest standards of our work in the nation’s defense.”

“Receiving this recognition is both a surprise and an honor,” Krill said. “CEC was truly a team effort that for a number of years involved more than 200 APL staff members and thousands of others across the Navy and contractor community. Many made vital contributions in making this technology work, and I am proud to have been associated with the years of work and sacrifice that so many men and women have put into this major program.”

Krill, who earned his doctoral degree in electrical engineering at the Clark School in 1978, began developing the CEC concept and its requirements in 1974, working at APL while also attending the Clark School. By 1991, he was responsible for the technical progress required to support meeting an accelerated, Congressionally directed fleet introduction timetable.

Among Krill’s personal contributions to CEC was designing the fully automatic network initiation process. He also invented the concept of “time division pairwise access” (or TDPA), a process that allows each network unit to communicate autonomously, yet in concert within the network. These innovations are fundamental to CEC network operation.

Krill’s group performed breakthrough radio wave propagation research to extend a ship’s engagement range against low-flying cruise missiles, using data from the radars of other ships that have already acquired the missiles within their horizons (a “cooperative engagement”). He also guided computer simulation activities to prepare for a major missile firing test event involving an aircraft carrier battle group in 1994, the success of which warranted a site visit by the Secretary of Defense.

Krill was the technical leader responsible to the Navy program manager for the Navy’s “Mountain Top” advanced anti-cruise missile defense concept technology demonstration in Kauai, Hawaii, in 1996, which for the first time allowed a firing ship to engage incoming targets at distances beyond the horizon. The test proved one of the most challenging types of “cooperative engagements” that today is embodied in the family of systems known as Naval Integrated Fire Control – Counter Air (NIFC-CA).

The induction ceremony will begin at 4 p.m. in the Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building and will be immediately followed by the White Symposium.

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Jerry Krill

The Applied Physics Laboratory, a not-for-profit division of The Johns Hopkins University, meets critical national challenges through the innovative application of science and technology. For more information, visit www.jhuapl.edu.