HomeMission AreasAir and Missile DefenseAir & Missile Defense 


Laboratories and facilities are critical assets for carrying out the AMD mission. They provide a broad spectrum of functional and specialized capabilities for concept exploration, prototype development, component design and system performance analysis, networks and system-of-systems performance, and testing and evaluation of weapons and combat systems. They have been designed and equipped with state-of-the-art high-performance computing, visualization, and instrumentation capabilities to meet AMD program needs.

Several specialized laboratories and facilities are configured for real-time hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) and computer-in-the-loop (CIL) simulations. They are equipped with high-speed computing resources, measurement instrumentation, and data analysis tools for evaluating end-to-end system performance. Testing capabilities include real-time simulation of operationally realistic natural and electronic jamming environments. Threat target models are used for analyzing or evaluating critical weapon system performance parameters. Except for some special test equipment, APL makes planned internal investments in its facilities that will enable technical staff to meet sponsor needs. AMD facilities include:

  • Two multiple-mode, HIL Guidance System Evaluation Laboratories for real-time, end-to-end evaluations of air defense and ballistic missiles. Both radio frequency (RF) and electro-optical guidance mode components can be simultaneously tested. The facilities are used for independent evaluations of guidance technologies, advanced guidance algorithms, and counter-countermeasures, as well as verification of design implementations before production.

  • navsil facilityThe Navigation and Guidance System Integration Laboratory (NAVSIL), a fully instrumented, real-time HIL test facility for making detailed performance evaluations of missile Global Positioning System (GPS) and navigation hardware. NAVSIL provides a high-fidelity wraparound simulation of the signal environment, RF, and inertial sensors as well as the host vehicle command and control that flight hardware would receive during an actual mission. Custom instrumentation is used for evaluating counter-countermeasures performance of GPS and navigation systems for several weapons programs.

  • The Advanced Missile Simulation and Evaluation Laboratory (AMSEL), a network of software and multi-core computer resources used to assess a missile's kinematics and intercept performance and its associated weapon system. Physics-based, high fidelity 6-degree-of-freedom missile simulations are used to support missile and engagement system concepts analyses, system performance requirements, system design evaluations, test scenario designs and certifications, and pre-flight and post-flight missile test analyses.

  • The Ship Self-Defense System (SSDS) Laboratory, a simulated shipboard environment with sensor and weapon system simulations, and configurable HIL and software-in-the-loop capabilities. The SSDS Laboratory is used for evaluating breakthrough technologies, advanced system concepts, and system refinements to enhance ship self defense capabilities. The facility hosts the data collection and data reduction tools for analysis and evaluation of pre- and post-test system performance.

  • The Probability of Raid Annihilation (PRA) Testbed Facility, a federation of geographically distributed high-fidelity models used to evaluate the combat system performance of SSDS Mk 2-equipped ships. This resource both complements and supports land-based and at-sea development and operational testing. Its capabilities are being expanded to support the Navy's enterprise methodology and approach for reducing the cost of live fire tests.

  • The Force Concept Development Laboratory, an innovation environment for creating prototype responses to the warfighter's operational imperatives. Teams of scientists and engineers, working with the service's personnel, develop and design prototype command and control functions to meet the operational need. The facility's real-time classified connectivity with the operational users and its extensive simulations facilitate system testing and evaluation in a near-real environment before live at-sea or field tests.

  • The Photonics Laboratory, a facility equipped for development of prototype photonic devices and systems. It supports microwave photonics, fiber-optic communications, free-space optical communications, and ultra-fast laser technology developments. The Photonics Laboratory has a full range of optical and microwave measurements instrumentation, analyzers, and multi-core computers and software drivers to control the equipments for remote, unattended tests and automated data collections.

  • Microwave and RF LaboratoryThe Microwave and RF Laboratory, a development and testing facility for prototyping, evaluating, and investigating advanced microwave and RF subsystems and technologies for advanced radar and communications development programs. The facility is equipped with a full suite of microwave, RF, and mixed signal test instrumentation, and includes a screen room for very low noise measurements. The laboratory supports exciter, advanced semiconductor power amplifier, and digital beamforming technology developments, as well as active array prototyping.

  • A new Computer Resource Center housing high-density, rack-mounted high-speed computing for AMD programs. These racks of multi-core computers share their power and capacity across a network of workstations to solve problems not previously thought possible. Large-scale Monte-Carlo run times have been reduced up to two magnitudes. Analysts and combat system engineers use this facility to develop modeling and simulation tools with the degrees of fidelity needed to conduct component-level design evaluation, physics-based system performance analysis, and system-of-systems or force-on-force level effectiveness analysis.

  • Field Offices in Huntsville, AL, Tucson, AZ, and Kekaha (Pacific Missile Range Facility), HI provide reach back connectivity to the Maryland campus to support the staff working on-site at these locations.