Hughes Research Laboratories

Hughes Research Laboratories

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HRL Laboratories was the research arm of the Hughes Aircraft
Hughes Aircraft
Hughes Aircraft Company was a major American aerospace and defense contractor founded in 1932 by Howard Hughes in Culver City, California as a division of Hughes Tool Company...

 Company. Its dedicated research center was established in 1960 in Malibu
Malibu
Malibu may refer to:Places:* Malibu, Baja California, a beach in Rosarito Beach Municipality, Baja California* Malibu, British Columbia, a camp near the entrance of Princess Louisa Inlet...

. Currently owned by General Motors Company and Boeing
Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

, the research facility is housed in two large, white multi-storey buildings overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

History


In the 1940s, Howard Hughes
Howard Hughes
Howard Robard Hughes, Jr. was an American business magnate, investor, aviator, engineer, film producer, director, and philanthropist. He was one of the wealthiest people in the world...

 created a R&D facility in Culver City
Culver City, California
Culver City is a city in western Los Angeles County, California. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 38,883, up from 38,816 at the 2000 census. It is mostly surrounded by the city of Los Angeles, but also shares a border with unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. Culver...

, California; by 1960, it moved to Malibu, California. In 1984 the U.S. Federal Courts declared in a court case that the Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Howard Hughes Medical Institute is a United States non-profit medical research organization based in Chevy Chase, Maryland. It was founded by the American businessman Howard Hughes in 1953. It is one of the largest private funding organizations for biological and medical research in the United...

, in order to retain its non-profit status, must divest itself of Hughes Aircraft
Hughes Aircraft
Hughes Aircraft Company was a major American aerospace and defense contractor founded in 1932 by Howard Hughes in Culver City, California as a division of Hughes Tool Company...

 Company and subsidiaries. General Motors
General Motors
General Motors Company , commonly known as GM, formerly incorporated as General Motors Corporation, is an American multinational automotive corporation headquartered in Detroit, Michigan and the world's second-largest automaker in 2010...

 purchased Hughes Aircraft in 1985, and almost immediately began selling off parts of the company. GM sold the Hughes aerospace and defense operations to Raytheon
Raytheon
Raytheon Company is a major American defense contractor and industrial corporation with core manufacturing concentrations in weapons and military and commercial electronics. It was previously involved in corporate and special-mission aircraft until early 2007...

 in 1997, and spun off Hughes Research Laboratories (legally renamed "HRL Laboratories, LLC"), with GM and Raytheon as co-owners. GM sold the Hughes satellite operations to Boeing
Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

 in 2000, and the co-owners became Boeing, GM, and Raytheon. In 2007, Raytheon decided to sell its stake, though it still maintains research and contractual relations with HRL. For more details, please see Hughes Aircraft
Hughes Aircraft
Hughes Aircraft Company was a major American aerospace and defense contractor founded in 1932 by Howard Hughes in Culver City, California as a division of Hughes Tool Company...

. HRL receives funding from its LLC partners, US defense contracts, and other commercial customers.

HRL focuses on advanced developments in microelectronics
Microelectronics
Microelectronics is a subfield of electronics. As the name suggests, microelectronics relates to the study and manufacture of very small electronic components. Usually, but not always, this means micrometre-scale or smaller,. These devices are made from semiconductors...

, information
Information science
-Introduction:Information science is an interdisciplinary science primarily concerned with the analysis, collection, classification, manipulation, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information...

 & systems science
Systems science
Systems science is an interdisciplinary field of science that studies the nature of complex systems in nature, society, and science. It aims to develop interdisciplinary foundations, which are applicable in a variety of areas, such as engineering, biology, medicine and social sciences.Systems...

s, materials, sensors, and photonics
Photonics
The science of photonics includes the generation, emission, transmission, modulation, signal processing, switching, amplification, detection and sensing of light. The term photonics thereby emphasizes that photons are neither particles nor waves — they are different in that they have both particle...

; their workspace spans from basic research to product delivery. It has particularly emphasized capabilities in high performance integrated circuits, high power lasers, antennas, networking, and smart materials.

With downsizing during the aerospace industry's contraction of the 1990s, HRL still continues to be the largest employer in Malibu.

Notable accomplishments

  • The first working model of the laser
    Laser
    A laser is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of photons. The term "laser" originated as an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation...

     was created at Hughes Research Laboratories in 1960 by Theodore Maiman
    Theodore Harold Maiman
    Theodore Harold "Ted" Maiman was an American physicist who made the first LASER...

     (1927–2007).
  • HRL began research on atomic clocks in 1959. In the late 1970s they produced experimental maser oscillators for NRL, which eventually led to space-based GPS atomic clocks.
  • HRL began research on ion propulsion in 1961. This research led to the Hughes developed xenon ion propulsion system (XIPSTM). XIPS was used as the primary propulsion system on NASA
    NASA
    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

    's Deep Space 1
    Deep Space 1
    Deep Space 1 is a spacecraft of the NASA New Millennium Program dedicated to testing a payload of advanced, high risk technologies....

     (launched in 1998). It is a standard option for primary stationkeeping on the Hughes/Boeing 601HP (first use: PAS-5, 1997) and the 702 (first use: Galaxy-XI, 1999) geostationary satellite families.
  • HRL claims to have developed the liquid crystal watch in 1975.
  • HRL developed the metallic microlattice
    Metallic microlattice
    A metallic microlattice is a synthetic porous metallic material, consisting of an ultra-light form of metal foam. Its creators claim it is the "lightest structural material" known, with a density as low as 0.9 mg/cm3...

    , the world's lightest material, in 2011

See also

  • Cognitive Technology Threat Warning System – CT2WS
    Cognitive Technology Threat Warning System
    The Cognitive Technology Threat Warning System, otherwise known as , is an artificial cognitive science program designed to analyze sensory-data and then alert foot-soldiers to any possible threats, passive or direct. CT2WS is part of U.S...


External links