Applied Physics Laboratory
University of Washington
1013 NE 40th Street
Seattle, WA 98105-6698
APL-UW was formed in 1943 at the request of the U.S. Navy to bring university resources to bear on urgent WWII defense problems. From a wartime beginning focused on effective torpedo exploders, APL-UW initiated acoustic studies and oceanographic research programs to understand how variations in the ocean environment affected the performance of Navy systems.
Decades of acoustic and oceanographic studies yielded an understanding of the world's deep oceans, and now APL-UW scientists are developing expertise in coastal and small-scale oceanography and the new physics required for tactical superiority in shallow water environments. Our scientists and engineers make important contributions to understanding the earth's climate cycles with satellite and in situ sensing of ocean winds, currents, and air-sea fluxes; observations of Arctic sea ice, its variations and effects on mid-latitude oceans; and ocean tomography that reveals how the abyssal ocean mixes and sequesters carbon. APL-UW continues to lead research in the basic and applied physics of sound—from sonars used to probe the geology of the deep ocean floor to hand-held high-frequency focused ultrasound devices to image and stop internal bleeding without surgery.