University Affiliated Research Center (UARC)

Collaborative research partnerships between universities and the Government are vital to national defense and homeland security missions. As the dedicated UARC for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), SDL maintains essential engineering, research, and development capabilities and serves as subject matter experts for our core areas of expertise.


  • One of the original 6 Department of Defense (DoD) UARCs in the nation, currently one of 14
  • Provide and maintain core capabilities for the DoD
    • Ease of access to technical resources
    • Respond quickly to evolving government requirements
    • Technical development
    • Independent assessment
    • Results in government-owned solutions to problems of national importance
    • Free from real or perceived conflicts of interest

SDL's UARC Core Competencies

  • Electro-optical sensor systems research and development
    • Innovative sensor components and systems
    • Cryo-system thermal design, development, and handling
    • Sensor calibration, characterization, test, and evaluation
  • Ground, airborne, and space-rated instruments and payloads development, test and evaluation, integration, validation, and operations to include technology insertion including form, fit, function, and miniaturization of mechanical, optical, and electronic devices
  • Modular Open Systems Architecture for airborne, space, and ground applications
  • Autonomous and intelligent unmanned sensor systems
  • Geo-based active stabilization and pointing for airborne, space, and ground applications
  • Large-scale data processing, handling, compression/decompression, and visualization techniques for sensor analysis, data exploitation, data fusion, and dissemination
  • Phenomenology measurements, modeling, and simulation
  • Sensor modeling and simulation
  • Small/micro satellite sensor systems and components
  • Prototype development of ground systems to support ground, airborne, and space instruments
    • Multi-domain command and control (C2), including C2 research and analysis and developing C2 concept of operations (CONOPS)
  • Cyber analytics and high speed networks