The control system of a spacecraft

Electronic systems engineers design, build and qualify the avionics subsystem of a spacecraft. Each mission presents unique requirements that impact the spacecraft electrical system. These requirements drive creative designers to achieve the optimal balance of performance, mass, power and durability. The electrical architecture is modular, and reusable elements are identified and developed as multi-mission products, where appropriate. We also develop custom equipment to meet the rigorous test and qualification requirements for flight hardware, and support terrestrial and prototype hardware development activities with challenging performance or environmental requirements.


APL has designed, built and operated more than 70 innovative spacecraft over its six decades of spaceflight experience. Click below to learn about some of the missions that made revolutionary discoveries, and spacecraft that will push the boundaries of exploration and investigate outstanding scientific mysteries.


Scientists and engineers at APL have designed, built and operated more than 300 novel space instruments and methods to conduct cutting-edge research and make groundbreaking discoveries. Click below to learn about some of these instruments and their role in shaping our understanding of space and the solar system.


Go inside APL’s space missions and research, and check out the latest news, features and discoveries from the teams that are probing mysteries from the Sun to the edge of the solar system and beyond.