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Organization

Organization

Created as a wartime laboratory for rapid solutions to military needs in 1942, APL today is a broad-reaching organization of expertise and innovation. The Laboratory is the largest DoD-sponsored UARC in the nation. We maintain long-term, trusted relationships with our DoD sponsors and continue in our mission of contributing to the nation's defense and security needs.

APL's not-for-profit status enables us to accomplish scientific research and engineering development at competitive prices while operating free from real or perceived conflicts of interest. In this capacity, APL frequently serves as a trusted agent liaison between government and industry.

APL's National Security Space (NSS) Mission Area was created to define and implement solutions to important DoD and IC problems by conducting space research and developing and applying space science, engineering, and technology to enable new mission applications.

NSS is led by a skilled and dedicated team of professionals. Collectively, we possess a thorough understanding of modern military and intelligence challenges and endeavor to provide innovative and top-quality solutions as well as world-class service.

Joseph J. Suter, Ph.D.

Mission Area Executive
National Security Space
Space Department
11100 Johns Hopkins Road
Laurel, MD 20723
240-228-5826

Dr. Suter directs APL's National Security Space programs. He oversees program execution and is also responsible for ensuring that the capabilities of APL can be brought to bear for our nation's National Security Space needs.

In addition to directing the National Security Space programs, Dr. Suter oversees three technical branches and the Space Quality Assurance Group at APL. Concurrently, he serves as the Chairman of The Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering Technical Management Program, where he supervises more than 40 instructors and over 200 students. Dr. Suter is an expert in precision frequency and time sources as well as the application of advanced materials in extreme environments. He has an extensive background in sponsor engagement and business development. Dr. Suter has managed large multidisciplinary program teams, including some with participation by external organizations (the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, DoD, NASA, private industry). He has extensive experience in collaborative programs with the Whiting School of Engineering. He managed a technical team in the design of the Polymer Battery Experiment (PBEX) that was flown on a U.S. Air Force Space Test Program satellite and also managed advanced technology and spaceflight instrumentation programs, including the NASA TOPEX (Topography Experiment) Frequency Reference and several Naval Research Laboratory and NASA metrology programs.

Dr. Suter received his Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from The Johns Hopkins University in 1988 and an M.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland as well as an M.S. in physics from Michigan State University. He received his B.S. in physics from The Free University Teachers Training College in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Dr. Suter has published over 55 papers and was awarded eight patents.

Patrick A. Stadter, Ph.D.

Program Manager, Precision Tracking Space System (PTSS)
National Security Space
Space Department
11100 Johns Hopkins Road
Laurel, MD 20723
240-228-4658

Dr. Patrick A. Stadter is a Principal Professional Staff member at APL and Program Manager for the Precision Tracking Space System (PTSS) program. He earned a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Notre Dame (1991), an M.S in electrical engineering from The Johns Hopkins University (1993), and a Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University (1997). Dr. Stadter has led research teams in developing timing, navigation, and communication systems, including serving as Principal Investigator for the NASA Explorers program to develop the Crosslink Transceiver for integrated communication, navigation, and timing among multiple, distributed spacecraft operating in formation. Through this research, Dr. Stadter led the development of algorithms for distributed autonomous control, half-duplex relative navigation in sparse information conditions, and the concept development for high-accuracy techniques applicable to distributed sparse radar applications. Dr. Stadter has led several National Security Space programs for APL, including an Operationally Responsive Space Bus Standards program, a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program for small satellite technology development, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense ARGUS Concept Study. Dr. Stadter's areas of technical expertise include space system engineering, navigation, communication and timing systems, distributed systems analysis and control, data fusion system development, and information theory. He has over 30 publications, holds two patents, and has held an appointment to the National Academies of Science National Research Council.

David P. Watson

Deputy Mission Area Executive
National Security Space
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
11100 Johns Hopkins Road
Laurel, MD 20723
240-228-5902

Mr. Watson is a member of APL’s Principal Professional Staff and is responsible for managing technology development planning and programs for the National Security Space Mission Area. In this role, he manages the annual Independent Research and Development (IRAD) program and coordinates with technical groups, program management, and sponsor engagement leaders to plan technology development that addresses critical National Security Space challenges. Mr. Watson received a M.S. in applied mathematics from California State University, Fullerton, and a B.S. in mathematics from Hampden-Sydney College.

Mr. Watson is experienced in advanced technology planning and development for national security needs. He was formerly Head of the System and Information Sciences Group in the Milton S. Eisenhower Research Center at APL.  He also has significant experience in commercial industry, having performed as a technical lead and program manager on a variety of advanced development and IR&D activities at Lockheed Martin Corporate Laboratories, Rockwell Autonetics Marine Systems Division, and the Westinghouse Electronic Systems Center.