Collage of three different researchers

Mission Area

Research and Exploratory Development

Inventing the Future for APL and Our Nation

The Research and Exploratory Development (RED) Mission Area is Johns Hopkins APL’s research engine. We conduct pioneering research targeting game-changing breakthroughs to benefit national security missions. While each program within the RED Mission Area has a specific research focus, we recognize that innovation often happens at the intersection of technical disciplines. Therefore, we bring together multidisciplinary teams of talented scientists and engineers to tackle difficult challenges and invent the future for APL and our sponsors.

Research Programs



  • Climate Security

    Climate Security

    Climate change is reshaping nearly every aspect of life on our planet, with significant implications for national security. APL is bringing all of its core competencies to bear on this critical challenge area, exploring strategic opportunities to make the greatest impact on climate change.
    Learn more about Climate Security
  • James Johnson and Danielle Nachman in APL’s PFAS research laboratory.

    Eliminating Forever Chemicals

    Multiple studies have linked PFAS exposure to harmful health effects in humans and animals, and without a natural way to break them down, the chemicals persist in soil and contaminate the environment — including water. APL scientists are developing several technologies to capture and destroy these "forever chemicals."
    Learn more about Eliminating Forever Chemicals
  • Johnny Matheny uses APL's Modular Prosthetic Limb (MPL) to take a drink

    Revolutionizing Prosthetics

    Revolutionizing Prosthetics is an ambitious multiyear program—funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)—to create a neurally controlled artificial limb that will restore near-natural motor and sensory capability to upper-extremity amputee patients.
    Learn more about Revolutionizing Prosthetics

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