Quality and Value-added Support

The Satellite Communications Facility at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory traces its genesis to the early days of Sputnik. Ever since the first days of the Space Age, innovative engineers at APL have been tracking Earth-orbiting spacecraft, recovering valuable scientific information, commanding spacecraft, and making the unimaginable commonplace.

Established in 1961 to support the command requirements of the world's first satellite navigation system under contract to the U.S. Navy, the APL station has provided nearly 50 years of ground contact support to our sponsors. The station has conducted 75,000 satellite passes in the last 15 years alone. With available, on-call technical support, the station has been conducting unattended spacecraft contacts since 1995.

With a 50-year legacy of crafting high-quality, reliable space solutions, APL can craft a solution for your ground station requirements.

Assets at APL include two independent operational antenna systems. This mid-latitude station can be configured to support a wide variety of missions ranging from Low Earth Orbit (LEO) through Deep Space, with a variety of data formats, including TDM and CCSDS. Current capabilities include support for L-band, S-band, and X-band communications.

Recent system improvements and technology enhancements enable these systems to provide future customers with advanced capability at competitive prices. The new paradigm of "Shared Services, Multi-mission Ground Systems" makes the remote scheduling and data transfer capabilities of these systems highly attractive for commercial operations on a non-exclusive basis. While these systems are conducting routine daily contacts, their availability for additional contacts is still over 80%. Portions of these facilities are owned by the U.S. government and some restrictions on their use may apply.

Station Location

Latitude: 39:10 N
Longitude:76:53 W
Altitude: ~140 Meters AMSL


W. Dove

Station Manager
240-228-3766 Washington, DC
443-778-3766 Baltimore, MD

T. Garcia
Station Systems Engineer
240-228-9535 Washington, DC
443-778-9535 Baltimore, MD