Explore APL’s Critical Contributions to Critical Challenges

  • AlphaDogfight

    AlphaDogfight Trials

    APL served as a core member of the Air Combat Evolution program team created by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for the 2020 AlphaDogfight Trials, a showdown between eight AI research teams from across the United States.
    Learn more about AlphaDogfight Trials
  • Golden Horde

    Golden Horde

    Achieving networked, collaborative offensive weapons systems that will learn from their environment and autonomously work together to defeat integrated air and missile defenses.
    Learn more about Golden Horde
  • Johns Hopkins APL's 60-foot dish antenna illuminated at night

    Preventing Traffic Jams in Space

    Providing greater situational awareness to enhance safety and security for those who plan to operate in cislunar space and on the Moon.
    Learn more about Preventing Traffic Jams in Space
  • Deep Space Advanced Radar Concept (DARC)

    Deep Space Advanced Radar Capability (DARC) Technology Demonstration

    APL is leading solutions for the Space Force with the DARC technology demonstrator program.
    Learn more about Deep Space Advanced Radar Capability (DARC) Technology Demonstration
  • Artist's rendering of Dragonfly


    Dragonfly is a NASA mission that will explore Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. Led by APL, this revolutionary rotorcraft-lander expedition will study the atmosphere, carbon-based chemistry, and geology of this cold yet Earthlike moon and ultimately advance our understanding of life’s chemical origins.
    Learn more about Dragonfly
  • Artist's rendering of IMAP spacecraft

    Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP)

    Set to launch in 2025, NASA’s Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP) mission will help researchers better understand what happens at the boundary of the heliosphere, where the Sun’s protective magnetic field ends.
    Learn more about Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP)
  • DART crashing into an asteroid

    Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART)

    NASA’s first planetary defense mission—the APL-led Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART)—is the first mission to demonstrate what’s known as the kinetic impactor technique, which involves striking an asteroid to shift its orbit and deflect it from Earth.
    Learn more about Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART)
  • Artist's rendering of Europa Clipper

    Europa Clipper

    The search for life in the solar system beyond Earth gets a boost when NASA’s Europa Clipper mission launches in the mid-2020s to explore under the icy crust of Jupiter’s moon Europa.
    Learn more about Europa Clipper
  • Artist's rendering of New Horizons

    New Horizons

    Not even four years after NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft left Pluto and its moons in the rearview mirror—and revolutionized humankind’s view of these small, dynamic worlds on the edge of our solar system—the APL-built and -operated probe conducted a flyby of an ancient Kuiper Belt object, named Arrokoth, on New Year’s Day 2019.
    Learn more about New Horizons
  • Artist's rendering of Parker Solar Probe

    Parker Solar Probe

    NASA’s Parker Solar Probe—designed and built at APL—launched in August 2018 and has already traveled closer to the Sun than any spacecraft in history.
    Learn more about Parker Solar Probe
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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)
  • Image of Boundary Layer Transition (BOLT) flight hardware

    Boundary Layer Transition (BOLT)

    Hypersonic vehicles move fast—faster than five times the speed of sound, or Mach 5.
    Learn more about Boundary Layer Transition (BOLT)
  • 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