Combat Systems Evaluation and Minotaur Laboratories

Systems Engineering

Foundational expertise in systems engineering

Johns Hopkins APL has been developing systems since day one, and our world-class expertise in systems engineering is applied to solve problems that are more complex and difficult than other organizations can address.

Since our founding in 1942, we have made critical contributions to critical challenges across a broad range of technical areas and systems. These accomplishments are based on our application of systems engineering principles and practices, tightly coupled with broad domain knowledge in the operational environments of these systems.

From developing systems in extreme environments to applying systems engineering principles to fields such as health care and artificial intelligence, we take on the role of problem solver for the nation’s most critical challenges.

Related Projects

  • Space Weather

    Space Weather

    APL is a leader in space weather science, observations, and modeling—particularly in understanding the drivers of solar activity, the role Earth’s magnetosphere plays in protecting us, and the response of the upper atmosphere to solar variability.
    Learn more about Space Weather
  • Neil Fendley, machine learning researcher, demonstrates a backdoor adversarial attack he embedded in a computer vision application.

    Robust and Resilient Artificial Intelligence

    Developing intelligent systems for missions characterized by uncertain and adversarial environments.
    Learn more about Robust and Resilient Artificial Intelligence
  • Erik Johnson, a machine learning researcher at Johns Hopkins APL, demonstrating how agents are evaluated for lifelong learning on ISC-developed L2Explorer.

    Lifelong Learning Machines

    Enabling intelligent systems that continuously adapt to changing conditions and missions in the real world.
    Learn more about Lifelong Learning Machines
  • The twin CubeSat Assessment and Test, or CAT, satellites shown before launch at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

    CubeSat Signal Preprocessor Assessment and Test (CAT)

    APL has successfully established communications with two miniaturized satellites, or CubeSats, as part of a Lab-led flight demonstration known as CAT.
    Learn more about CubeSat Signal Preprocessor Assessment and Test (CAT)
  • APL is using the commercially developed Wave Glider to demonstrate how quickly the Navy can field new sensor systems

    Wave Glider Demonstration

    For the first time, we used the commercially developed Wave Glider to demonstrate how quickly the Navy can field new sensor systems.
    Learn more about Wave Glider Demonstration
  • Artist's rendering of the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (Credit: (U.S. Air Force)

    Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent

    APL has a significant evaluation role in the Air Force program to replace the aging Minuteman III system.
    Learn more about Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent
  • Closeup of person's hands at keyboard and using CAD tool (Credit: Bigstock)

    Rapid Prototyping

    We improved on training aids by rapidly and cost-effectively prototyping an interactive pressurization valve for missile tube launcher training.
    Learn more about Rapid Prototyping
  • An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches during an operational test Sept. 5, 2016, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo/Michael Peterson)

    Dynamic Simulation

    With the clock ticking down to the first Minuteman III test flight to feature a miniature analog translator (MAT)—developed and built by APL to replace the obsolete full signal translator (FST) used for real-time range tracking and GPS signal data on prior test flights—qualification tests identified a need to change a configuration file in the MAT ground equipment.
    Learn more about Dynamic Simulation
  • Abstract representation of data analysis (Credit: Bigstock)

    Better Options for Data Analytics

    The open-architecture tool we developed for U.S. Special Operations Command’s Science and Technology Directorate limits dependence on a single vendor and enables the command to evaluate data analysis and visualization tools against defined data and interfaces.
    Learn more about Better Options for Data Analytics
  • Sonar screen (Credit: Bigstock)

    Integrated Undersea Surveillance Systems

    We are solving critical challenges for the Navy’s undersea surveillance community, making contributions such as active and passive sonar processing algorithms for inclusion in the Advanced Surveillance Build tactical sonar modernization program.
    Learn more about Integrated Undersea Surveillance Systems
  • Submarine

    Submarine Survivability Program

    The SSN/SSGN survivability program ensures our submarines stay hidden regardless of new technology, changing mission requirements, and increasingly sophisticated adversaries.
    Learn more about Submarine Survivability Program
  • Planes in flight (Credit: U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joseph E. Montemarano)

    Modeling Warfighter Decision-Making

    Working with technical consultants and the Navy fighter aircraft community, we created a pilot-behavior model for air-to-air combat.
    Learn more about Modeling Warfighter Decision-Making
  • M1200 Armored Knight (Credit: U.S. Army/Sgt. Richard Daniels Jr.)

    Precision Targeting

    Working to ensure that ground forces can rapidly and accurately provide GPS locations of battlefield targets, APL performed design analyses and developed procedures that resulted in the successful testing of the Joint Effects Targeting System (JETS) and improvements to the system’s precision geolocation capability.
    Learn more about Precision Targeting
  • USS Ronald Reagan (Credit: US Navy / Jason Tarleton)

    Deployed with the Fleet

    In 2017, APL staff members deployed on U.S. Navy Commander, Task Force 70 (CTF-70) patrols aboard the carrier USS Ronald Reagan—an assignment that allowed our engineers to experience the fleet’s challenges and operational workflows, and gather important data to feed future analyses and technology demonstrations in operationally relevant environments.
    Learn more about Deployed with the Fleet
  • Aircraft in flight (Credit: U.S. Navy)

    Next Generation Jammer

    Strongly leveraging APL’s technical expertise, the Navy’s Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) Mid-Band (Increment 1) program entered the engineering and manufacturing development phase.
    Learn more about Next Generation Jammer

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