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APL Tech Splash Videos

How can nanomaterials promote healing of wounds? Can an inexpensive, expendable buoy supply critical ocean data? How would a compact laser help spacecraft land more easily and safely? Introducing APL's Tech Splash: a series of short videos that explore and explain some of the Laboratory's most intriguing innovations and ideas.

Enhanced Mapping and Positioning System (EMAPS)

EMAPS is a backpack-mounted system that captures a floor-plan-style map of the area, takes 360-degree photos, and generates data to make a three-dimensional point map of the location. The modular device can also add other sensors and detectors.

Space Flight Environmental Test Facility

APL's Environmental Test Facility (ETF) provides facilities and services for component-, subsystem-, and system-level qualification testing of spaceflight hardware. The laboratory's customized equipment can simulate launch and separation activities as well as post-launch and on-orbit environments.


In 1957, APL began groundbreaking work on the Polaris missile. Many of Polaris’ core technologies laid the groundwork for the modernization of U.S. Navy combat and submarine systems.

APL Rocketsonde

The APL Rocketsonde is a small rocket-launched weather sounding instrument. It is launched to a height of approximately 1,000 meters and then parachutes down, telemetering weather and location data.

Advanced Electrical Fabrication

APL has an extensive in-house integrated electrical fabrication capability that allows it to create complicated electric hardware, from difficult prototype circuit boards to complex, high-reliability electronics for spacecraft.

First Photographs of Earth from Space

Two members of APL's high-altitude research program realized that a camera would be able to take scientifically valuable—and remarkable—images from captured Nazi V-2 rockets being used by American scientists to explore the outer reaches of the atmosphere and space.

Compact Laser Altimeter

APL's Space Department has developed a Compact Laser Altimeter (CLA) technology that provides high-precision range data to spacecraft during autonomous close-approach and landing operations. The CLA achieves the desired ranging accuracy and precision while requiring minimal resources from the spacecraft bus.

Nanobandage for Wound Healing

The goal of this Topical Responses and Repair independent research and development effort is to design biocompatible nanomaterials to promote wound healing. Together with Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions collaborators, APL is designing multifunctional wound treatments that can deliver therapeutics, prevent infection, and sense patient biomarkers.


Meet IBuoy, a prototype expendable wave buoy that's much smaller and more inexpensive than conventional buoys. It was first designed, built, and deployed in 2011. In spring 2012, a modified IBuoy was deployed in the Arctic with the capability to measure the depth of the seafloor below the ice.