Science Areas of Expertise

Beautiful image of the interstellar space


Developing new observational strategies and analytical techniques to help unravel the mysteries of the stars, galaxy and universe.

Data analysis image of Earth's magnetosphere

Data Analysis

Providing the expertise, software and visualization tools to ensure a mission is successful, from design and conceptualization to data extraction and analysis.

Satellite image of a hurricane over water near a coastline

Earth Science

Conducting groundbreaking research and modeling to track cloud structure, air pollution, climate change and the health of Earth’s plants and oceans

Planets of another solar system

Exoplanets and Astrobiology

Studying the composition, dynamics and chemistry of planetary atmospheres in the solar system and beyond to explore planet formation, evolution and habitability

Image of Earth from space, illuminated by the Sun

Earth’s Upper Atmosphere

Understanding the state of the upper atmosphere —the ionosphere and thermosphere—and its response to solar and geomagnetic drivers through modeling and measurements

Close-up image of Moon's surface with a colored radar overlay

Lunar Science and Exploration

Expanding our knowledge of the Moon’s formation and evolution through new measurements and models of its geology, structure and volatile molecules and providing the knowledge to enable human exploration of the Moon.

Blue and red magnetic field lines surrounding a planet


Uncovering the physical processes that drive the space environment around planets and their moons

A woman sits at a desk and works at a computer while a man works at an equipment station behind her

Planetary Defense

With an asteroid collision always possible, APL is leveraging its capabilities and expertise to build the tools and collect the knowledge to defend Earth

Close-up image of Pluto's icy "heart"

Planetary Science

Probing the bodies of the solar system — from asteroids and comets to moons and planets — through particle detectors, spectrometers, imagers, novel spacecraft and cutting-edge research

Red and blue-colored lines forming swirling shapes of magnetic fields

Solar and Space Physics

Leading trailblazing research on the Sun, its atmosphere, interplanetary space, and the outer edge of our protective heliosphere

A blue and green aurora appearing over a body of water and a mountain range in the background

Space Weather

Understanding and predicting the Sun's flares and mass ejections, which can halt Earth's technosphere and harm astronauts