At the ATC, innovation extends beyond incremental change. We push for first-of-a-kind capability with enduring impact. Whatever the application, our charter is to create game-changing technologies.
We are the research labs for Lockheed Martin Space. The ATC creates foundational technologies that inspire, protect and connect our world. Our history goes back to 1956, founded in Palo Alto, California, helping seed what would become Silicon Valley. Today, we still carry on the legacy that started our labs, like the very beginnings of solar science and rocket technology (even underwater). We continue to evolve and lead the way in new realms, like lasers, nanomaterials and informatics. At the ATC, we’re driving change in our endless pursuit of what’s next.
ATC’s inventions and innovations create first-of-a-kind of capability. Its technology paved the way for the first imaging satellites, showing our majestic planet from orbit. We built the first solar instruments that illuminated the source of solar storms, honed systems that can shoot down UAVs with directed energy, see the unseen with lidar and ladar and developed precision controls that allow our telescopes to zoom in to 1 percent of the sun’s surface. We also developed the foundational technology that launched the first submarine-launched ballistic missile. The ATC team continues to make a difference with projects in three technology categories: Current, supporting existing programs and capabilities; Next Gen, applying new thinking for near-future applications; and Gen After Next, where lies the visionary value of the ATC, predicting challenges for our customers and creating new technologies that form the future.
Applying proven methods in new ways to advance missions in production.
Get To Know: : Our star hunter for the Webb Telescope
Developing and inventing evolutionary technology for emerging opportunities.
Get To Know: Nanocopper
Gen After Next
Researching solutions and shaping opportunities for far-future challenges.
Get to Know: SPIDER
Phenomenology, Sensors & Exploitation
Materials & Nanosystems
Optics & Electro-Optics
RF, Photonics & Communications
Control Systems & Information Sciences
Thermal & Energy Sciences
Spacecraft & Instruments
500 Technologists, scientists and engineers advancing the state of the art
Through our own skills and those of our partners—including universities and research labs around the world—we’re able to put vision in motion. While we are a part of Lockheed Martin’s space division, our technologies are far reaching across domains.
Napkin sketches of lasers that can shoot down UAVs—we made it real. Changing molecules so metals behave differently? We invented that. How about training telescopes to act together so we get a precise look at what’s in orbit thousands of miles away? We made that possible. Creating space observatories that can zoom in on 1 percent of the sun’s surface? We did it. And sometimes what we develop benefits other industries, like graphene advancements could help filter drinkable water or treat diseases inside the body.
ATC’s story is written in the success of missions here on Earth and far, far into space. Sixty years after it was founded, the ATC continues a legacy of innovation that is delivering the future faster.