Capabilities, Facilities and Methodology
APL is recognized as a leader in mission design and navigation; instrument development; mechanical engineering; mechanical design, thermal, and instrument accommodation; communications hardware; electrical subsystems and power; precision timekeeping devices, mission operations, and scientific research. Our facilities are essential to support our spaceflight build process and scientific discoveries.
APL operates with an AS9100C certified quality management system. That certification is specific to the Laboratory's spaceflight program management, systems engineering, design, development, production, integration, test and operation processes. APL maintains an impressive record of delivering high-quality space systems on time and on budget.
See Our Labs and Facilities
Teams use the APL Concurrent Engineering Laboratory (ACE Lab) to formulate mission concepts.
Atomic clocks in the Time and Frequency Lab support NASA and APL space missions.
The ETF hosts a range of equipment to prepare flight hardware for the extreme conditions of launch and outer space.
The Laboratory for Spectroscopy under Planetary Environmental Conditions (LabSPEC) hosts ultraviolet, visible and near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy experiments.
This planetary science research facility is equipped for investigating meteorites and geochemical processes in our solar system.
Our Mission Operations Centers (MOCs) serve as "command central" for APL spacecraft across the solar system.
This facility is the proving ground for optical instrumentation for spaceflight.
Researchers use this laboratory to investigate the nature of impacts on bodies across the Solar System.
Researchers use this facility to design, develop and test gamma-ray and neutron sensors.
In this Lab, APL's planetary protection team ensures that a mission's flight hardware is clear of microbes or other biological "hitchhikers."
The Radio Science Lab is used to build, test, calibrate and deploy surface-based and suborbital radio frequency measuring capabilities.
The "SCF" provides commanding, ranging, telemetry and Doppler tracking services for sponsor missions and commercial space activities.
Researchers use this facility to perform thermal infrared investigations of geologic materials in realistic planetary environments.