Special Operations Mission Area

Research Areas

To meet the challenges of great power competition, APL’s Special Operations Mission Area manages an internal research and development program to pursue technologies and concepts in the following research areas.

Tailored Communications

Adversaries are becoming increasingly adept at denying or degrading our freedom of movement and dominance of the spectrum. Semi-permissive and denied areas of operation demand technical capabilities that can operate under novel constraints informed by a holistic understanding of the threat environment.

Surveillance Technologies: From Sensors to Sense Making

Our research seeks to enable sponsors to autonomously and precisely deliver capabilities into highly contested, dynamic, and complex environments.

These environments increasingly require signature management, autonomous systems, and multi-modal sensing to reliably operate independent from human supervision.

System Exploitation and Defeat

We seek to develop highly customized capabilities for extracting intelligence and enabling targeted effects in challenging environments. This activity includes technological solutions for access, persistence, and exfiltration, as well as analytical and technical approaches for targeted exploitation.

Information Operations

We pursue research, concepts, and technologies that support active foreign engagement on U.S. values and interests, in environments with limited or incomplete data.

Biothreat Intelligence and Mitigation

We seek to advance capabilities to detect, characterize, and mitigate enhanced, advanced, novel, and emergent biological threats.