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

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
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.
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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.
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EMAPS technology allows operators to map areas and confined spaces that GPS cannot "see."

Enhanced Mapping and Positioning System (EMAPS)

We continue to strengthen EMAPS, a portable mapping system carried in a backpack, for the Department of Defense’s Chemical and Biological Defense Program.
Learn more about Enhanced Mapping and Positioning System (EMAPS)
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
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
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.
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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
Aircraft in flight (Credit: U.S. Navy)

Next Generation Jammer

We have been part of the NGJ team since initial concept development in 2001—playing a key role in the evolution of this initiative to equip warfighters of all services with state-of-the-art technology to address emerging electronic warfare gaps.
Learn more about Next Generation Jammer
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.
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Closeup of person's hands at keyboard and using CAD tool (Credit: Bigstock)

Rapid Prototyping for Launcher Training

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 for Launcher Training
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
Helicopter (Credit: U.S. Marine Corps)

Senior Leader Helicopter Communications

APL is working with the Navy to enhance communications on the senior leader helicopter fleet.
Learn more about Senior Leader Helicopter Communications
A team of APL engineers, working with the Missile Defense Agency and sailors aboard USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53), an Aegis baseline 9.C1 equipped destroyer, successfully fired a salvo of two SM-6 Dual I missiles against a complex medium-range ballistic missile target, demonstrating the Sea Based Terminal endo-atmospheric defensive capability and meeting the test’s primary objective. (Credit: MDA)

Standard Missile-3: The Next Generation

APL led key “end-to-end” system-level performance analysis in collaboration with the government–industry team for the SM-3 Block IIA missile, cooperatively developed by the United States and Japan.
Learn more about Standard Missile-3: The Next Generation

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

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