Category: Applied Physics Lab

Building better evacuation plans for U.S. municipalities

October 31, 2011

Imagine trying to plan for the evacuation of a populated coastal area without a major bridge to safety, or having to adjust an evacuation if a wildfire suddenly rendered an interstate highway unusable. State and local emergency management agencies need accurate, reliable evacuation plans covering these different scenarios, but creating those plans often requires complex […]

On the path to Pluto: APL creates New Horizons app

October 31, 2011

The team behind the New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt has launched a free app that takes iPhone and iPad users along on this historic voyage to the planetary frontier. Now available in the iTunes App Store, New Horizons: A NASA Voyage to Pluto brings users the latest news and pictures from […]

Orbital observations of Mercury reveal unprecedented surface detail

October 3, 2011

After only six months in orbit around Mercury, NASA’s Messenger spacecraft—built and operated by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory—is sending back information that has revolutionized the way scientists think about the innermost planet. Analyses of new data from the spacecraft show, among other things, new evidence that flood volcanism has been widespread on Mercury, […]

APL particle-detector heads for Jupiter on NASA spacecraft

August 15, 2011

A Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory instrument that will delve into the dynamics of the solar system’s largest planetary magnetic field was launched Aug. 5 aboard NASA’s Juno spacecraft. The Jupiter Energetic-particle Detector Instrument, or JEDI, will measure energetic particles that flow through and are trapped within Jupiter’s space environment, called a “magnetosphere,” and study […]

APL sets its sights on Titan’s seas

May 9, 2011

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory is managing a project to explore the organic seas of Saturn’s moon Titan, one of three proposals selected by NASA last week as candidates for the agency’s next Discovery Program mission. The Titan Mare Explorer, or TiME, would perform the first direct inspection of an ocean environment beyond […]

Ignition Grants create sparks at Applied Physics Lab

March 28, 2011

For David L. Porter, an oceanographer at Johns Hopkins’ Applied Physics Laboratory, his idea for the iBuoy came from an ad for a tablet computer. For robotics scientist Chris Brown, his inspiration for a miniature robot was based on the needs of special operations troops. And for Vina Nguyen, Kalman Hazins and Christina Pikas, it […]

Messenger spacecraft is primed for orbit mission at Mercury

March 14, 2011

On March 17, NASA’s Messenger spacecraft will execute a 15-minute maneuver that will place it into orbit about Mercury, making it the first craft ever to do so, and initiating a one-year science campaign to understand the innermost planet. Antennas from each of the three Deep Space Network ground stations are on a round-the-clock vigil, […]

Applied Physics Lab tapped to provide solar probe instrument

January 31, 2011

Already on board to design and build NASA’s Solar Probe Plus spacecraft, APL has been tapped to provide an instrument for the sun-swooping probe that will measure key properties of the energetic particles blasted off the sun. Set to launch by 2018, Solar Probe Plus will venture into the sun’s outer atmosphere—called the corona—and gather […]

Applied Physics Lab creates two new senior posts

November 29, 2010

The Applied Physics Laboratory, which throughout its history has encouraged and fostered innovation, has recently put a new leadership structure in place to ensure that the Lab operates efficiently, effectively and strategically well into the 21st century. Director Ralph Semmel has created two senior administration positions to make sure that the Lab is “well-positioned to […]

APL shapes ‘precursor’ mission for exploration of an asteroid

September 13, 2010

Ten years ago, NASA’s Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous mission made history as the first spacecraft to orbit and land on an asteroid. Now the team behind that successful mission proposes a sequel that could pave the way for astronauts to explore an asteroid for the first time. Engineers and scientists at Johns Hopkins’ Applied Physics […]

APL-led team demonstrates space weather observation system

August 30, 2010

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, with help from Boeing Co. and Iridium Communications, has successfully implemented a new system to monitor Earth’s space environment. Known as the Active Magnetosphere and Planetary Electrodynamics Response Experiment, or AMPERE, the system provides real-time magnetic field measurements using commercial satellites as part of a new observation network […]

APL breaks ground for spacecraft integration facility

August 2, 2010

Officials from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, along with government and construction industry representatives, broke ground July 16 for a new spacecraft assembly and testing facility on the APL campus in Laurel, Md. Designated as Building 30, the $30 million facility is scheduled to open by fall 2012. The 47,500-square-foot structure will include […]

APL gets funding to test thought-controlled prosthetic limb

July 19, 2010

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded a contract for up to $34.5 million to the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory to manage the development and testing of the Modular Prosthetic Limb, or MPL, on a human subject, using a brain-controlled interface. APL scientists and engineers developed the underlying technology under DARPA’s Revolutionizing […]

Ralph Semmel named next director of Applied Physics Laboratory

June 21, 2010

Ralph D. Semmel, who currently oversees a variety of research and development activities at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, has been selected to lead the Laboratory as its next director. On July 1, Semmel will succeed Richard T. Roca, who has served as APL’s director since January 2000. In announcing the appointment, Stuart […]

Dynamic chamber puts chemical weapons sensors to the test

January 25, 2010

Applied Physics Laboratory engineers have constructed a first-of-its-kind chamber to test the viability of sensors designed to detect chemical warfare agents under realistic battlefield conditions. While the use of chemical weapons was outlawed by the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993, terrorists have increasingly deployed chemical armaments against civilian and military populations over the past decade. […]

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