Innovative Instrumentation

APL’s long heritage of space technology innovation reaches back six decades, and includes building more than 300 specialized instruments. APL instruments have provided the first images of Saturn’s magnetic field; contributed to the discovery of ancient water across Mars, delivered the first close-up views of Pluto and its moons; and helped determine when humankind – through Voyager 1 – left the solar system for the first time.

Optical Instruments

APL optical instruments range from telescopic cameras that deliver high-resolution images of worlds across the solar system, to imaging spectrometers that can “read” hundreds of colors in reflected sunlight to detect the mineral makeup of a planet’s surface.

LORRI

Mission

New Horizons

Destinations

Pluto, Kuiper Belt Objects & Comets
The Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) is a telescopic camera built to enable distant imaging of the farthest regions of the solar system.

L'LORRI

Mission

Lucy

Destinations

Asteroids
The Lucy-Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (L’LORRI) is a telescopic camera built to image Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids.

GUVI

Mission

TIMED

Destinations

Earth
The Global Ultraviolet Imager (GUVI) observes Earth’s thermosphere, ionosphere and mesosphere.

MISE

Mission

Europa Clipper

Destinations

Outer Moons
The Mapping Imaging Spectrometer for Europa (MISE) will map elements on the surface of Jupiter's icy moon.

EIS

Mission

Europa Clipper

Destinations

Outer Moons
The Europa Imaging System (EIS) will map and image Jupiter’s icy moon Europa in unprecedented resolution.

DRACO

Mission

DART

Destinations

Asteroids
The Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Camera for Optical navigation (DRACO) provides asteroid imaging and spacecraft navigation on the first planetary defense mission.

CRISM

Mission

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

Destinations

Terrestrial Planets
The Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) maps minerals on the Martian surface to study how the crust formed and was altered by water.

Particle Instruments

APL develops devices – like highly sensitive mass spectrometers – that can determine a charged particle’s elemental composition by measuring how long it takes the particle to fly through the instrument.

ULEIS

Mission

ACE

Destinations

Sun & Solar Wind
The Ultra Low Energy Isotope Spectrometer (ULEIS) determines the range and abundances of isotopes during massive solar events.

Ultra

Mission

IMAP

Destinations

Interstellar Medium, Sun & Solar Wind
Ultra will image energetic particles at the edge of the heliosphere.

SIS

Mission

Solar Orbiter

Destinations

Sun & Solar Wind
The Suprathermal Ion Spectrograph (SIS) determines elements by measuring how long it takes a particle to move through the instrument.

PEPSSI

Mission

New Horizons

Destinations

Pluto, Kuiper Belt Objects & Comets, Sun & Solar Wind
The Pluto Energetic Particle Spectrometer Science Investigation (PEPSSI) is the most compact, lowest-power directional energetic-particle spectrometer flown in space.

PIMS

Mission

Europa Clipper

Destinations

Giant Planets, Outer Moons
The Plasma Instrument for Magnetic Sounding (PIMS) will use space physics to investigate Europa’s ice shell and ocean.

JoEE/JENI

Mission

JUICE

Destinations

Outer Moons, Giant Planets
The Jovian Energetic Neutrals and Ions (JENI) and the Jovian Energetic Electrons (JoEE) detectors will "see" the invisible, super-heated plasma and gas around Jupiter and its icy moons.

LECP

Mission

Voyager

Destinations

Sun & Solar Wind, Interstellar Medium
The Low-Energy Charged Particle (LECP) detectors have measured ions and electrons in the outer solar system and beyond.

JEDI

Mission

Juno

Destinations

Giant Planets
Jupiter Energetic Particle Detector Instrument (JEDI) studies Jupiter’s magnetosphere and aurora.

EPI-Lo

Mission

Parker Solar Probe

Destinations

Sun & Solar Wind
The Energetic Particle Instrument-Low Energy (EPI-Lo) is investigating the Sun’s energetic particles from an unprecedented distance.

EPD-EIS

Mission

MMS

Destinations

Earth
The Energetic Ion Spectrometer (EIS) measures energetic particles to study magnetic reconnection and acceleration in Earth’s magnetosphere.

EPAM

Mission

ACE

Destinations

Sun & Solar Wind
The Electron, Proton and Alpha Monitor (EPAM) is designed to detect energetic particles from the Sun, the galaxy and interstellar space.

Gamma-Ray and Neutron Instruments

Gamma-ray spectroscopy can infer composition tens of inches beneath a planetary body, either remotely from orbit or while sitting directly on the surface, and quantify the elements present throughout that depth.

MEGANE

Mission

MMX

Destinations

Terrestrial Planets
The Mars-moon Exploration with GAmma rays and NEutrons (MEGANE) spectroscopy instrument will study the Martian moon Phobos.

Psyche GRNS

Mission

Psyche

Destinations

Asteroids
The Gamma-Ray and Neutron Spectrometer (Psyche GRNS) instrument will determine the composition of the asteroid Psyche.

DraGNS

Mission

Dragonfly

Destinations

Outer Moons
The Dragonfly Gamma-ray and Neutron Spectrometer (DraGNS) will measure the surface composition of Titan.

Other Instruments

APL develops radar and other sensors to map surfaces and assess conditions on and above our Moon and other worlds.

DraGMet

Mission

Dragonfly

Destinations

Outer Moons
The Dragonfly Geophysics and Meteorology Package (DraGMet) is a suite of geophysical and meteorological sensors to assess conditions on Saturn's moon Titan.

Mini-RF

Mission

LRO

Destinations

Moon
Mini-RF data is advancing our understanding of the lunar poles — prime targets for humankind’s return to the Moon.