Aegis Warship Systems Engineering
The Aegis Modernization program provides cruisers and destroyers with enhanced warfighting capabilities for future missions extending well into this century. APL engineers are actively engaged in the requirements definition and system design reviews. Staff members also lead key integrated product teams. Through integration of the joint Single Integrated Air Picture and the Navy’s new Standard Missile-6 (SM-6), Aegis warships will be able to extend their defensive counter-air umbrella beyond the horizon of organic sensors to the kinematic range of the SM-6 weapon. For this new capability, APL leads concept investigations of sensor engagement support algorithms to ensure weapon system effectiveness using any sensor and any shooter within the Battle Force.
NSA Systems Engineering and Architecture
As a designated trusted agent to the National Security Agency (NSA) Chief Systems Engineer, APL provides NSA with independent, objective technical advice across a broad set of systems engineering and architecture challenges. The trusted agent relationship is integral to the NSA Systems Engineering and Architecture Project. APL staff working with NSA are engaged in strategic planning, development of enterprise and program architectures, conducting quantitative analysis to support engineering decisions, development of engineering processes, and formulation of the governance structures for the work in the new Technology Directorate (TD). APL led a multi-organizational team that produced a plan to define and implement new time and frequency standards across the Cryptologic Enterprise, formulated a scalable process for technical review of all TD programs, and developed concepts and requirements for tagging and tracking data throughout the signals intelligence system. APL also completed a strategic study that analyzed NSA’s global information technology infrastructure to determine the top locations for the large-scale data centers.
Naval Medical Manpower Study Provides Critical Solutions for Critical Care
APL provided analytic expertise to quantify medical force manpower deployment strategies on the effectiveness and efficiency of naval health care. A strategic analysis process was applied to determine the minimum and appropriate number of medical personnel levels and specialty areas required to meet both operational health care for the warfighters and expected health care benefits for their families. This analysis will result in a planning tool that will ensure that medical force manpower meets the supply and demand needed to provide health care to warfighters in the field and their families at home.
Space Threat Awareness and Characterization
Staff members working within the National Security Space Business Area are helping the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center develop concepts, requirements, and capabilities for the envisioned Integrated Space Situational Awareness (ISSA) architecture. For this major effort to integrate data from various sources, APL's contributions include requirements definition, development and integration of a pilot system, and system studies and analysis. ISSA threat processing will address the critical challenge of maintaining the supremacy and security of U.S. space operations. ISSA will provide timely, actionable insight to enable decision makers to characterize potential attacks on space assets critical to U.S. capabilities and operations.
APL completed the development and testing of the Phase 2 Station-Keeping Buoy prototype developed for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The buoy is an autonomously controlled sailing tactical ocean surveillance buoy that can extract wind, water turbine, and solar energy from the local environment for long-term station-keeping. During an 11-day demonstration conducted off the coast of California, the APL buoy was successful in station-keeping for 149 hours. During that period, the buoy conducted two 50-hour segments of continuous operations. A new survival mode was implemented and successfully tested in winds greater than 30 knots.
First Trident Submarine Demonstration and Shakedown Operation in the Pacific
When the Navy's Strategic Systems Programs (SSP) commenced Trident II (D5) Demonstration and Shakedown Operations in the Pacific on the USS Henry M. Jackson, culminating with a launch of a Trident D5 missile, the APL-developed Mobile Data Processing Facility was used during this extended exercise to enable on-site analysis of the Trident Strategic Weapon System performance and immediate feedback on any problems identified. APL staff members played key roles throughout this test operation as technical advisors to SSP, coordinating multi-organizational tests and operational procedures and developing the flight test mission plan. APL is also SSP's designated validation agent for the Pacific Range for range readiness. The use of both the Pacific and Atlantic test ranges provides a stepping stone for testing future generations of new missile systems.
Over many years, APL researchers have developed and used high-fidelity models of radar propagation in complex environments. DARPA tasked APL research scientists to develop a deep understanding of the radar propagation through multistory buildings and to use this understanding, including essential phenomenological factors, to help validate models developed by DARPA performers in the design of a new radar system that can "see through" buildings. This radar system will help identify internal layout, occupants, and anomalous caches of materials. Being able to do this at a distance, without entering the building, is highly desirable in ensuring the security of warfighters while increasing their effectiveness in urban warfare environments.
Van Allen Probes
APL manages and operates the Van Allen Probes, twin spacecraft designed to study how the Sun interacts with Earth's radiation belts. Part of NASA’s Living With a Star Program, the mission will determine how varying inputs of solar energy form or change populations of relativistic electrons and ions in the Earth’s radiation belts—the doughnut-shaped bands of charged particles trapped by Earth’s magnetic field that extend some 20,000 miles around our planet. The spacecraft launched in 2012 and are tasked with measuring the distributions of charged particles as well as the electric and magnetic fields that energize, transport, or remove the particles within these belts.
Effective Preparation of Biological Samples
A key challenge in improving the performance of biological warfare detection systems is the effective preparation of samples. APL has been researching methods for the purification and concentration of biological targets from complex samples. Using a technique known as isotachophoresis, APL researchers have developed a method capable of simultaneously purifying and concentrating both nucleic acids and proteins from organic compounds found in dirt. This is the first demonstration of a technology that could ultimately lead to a universal approach to sample preparation whereby many different biological targets are isolated and purified from a sample in a single step.
Turnkey Solution for Joint Task Force Headquarters Command and Control
APL assisted U.S. Joint Forces Command in the further development of the Turnkey Solution for Joint Task Force Headquarters Command and Control. APL developed and provided an interactive, web-enabled, automated means for users to access authoritative architecture data resident in the Joint Architecture and Capability Assessment Environment while adhering to the Department of Defense Net-Centric Data Strategy. The assessment environment maps out the available various command and control capabilities and how Joint Task Force Headquarters can bring them together to support a Joint Task Force and its networks.