How the Precision Backplane Gives NASA’s James Webb Primary Mirror its Focus
Advanced Technology and Innovation
Solving the mysteries of the universe. That’s Defining Possible.
For some, the word impossible ends discussions. For us, it’s a starting point.
At Northrop Grumman, we work every day to define — and redefine — what’s possible. Our teams are constantly questioning, problem-solving and creating new ways to tackle seemingly impossible challenges. The result? A shared purpose that puts us at the forefront of innovation and technological advancements, contributing everywhere from the depths of the ocean to the mysterious expanse of space.
Defining Possible is more than the practical application of our shared purpose, it’s a promise to our team and customers that we’ll always rise to the challenge. It’s the codification of our mission to ensure that a brighter future starts right here, right now. It’s reflected in all the work we do and seen in everything we create — including autonomous underwater vehicles, digital defenses for physical assets, the world’s first stealth bomber, the most powerful telescope ever created and much more. Ultimately, our push to define the future is driven by a singular focus: accomplishing the impossible.
Solving the mysteries of the universe is impossible. Until it’s not.
At Northrop Grumman, we’re on the forefront of national security and space exploration.
Every day, Northrop Grumman is working with our partners to learn more and defend throughout the space domain, one of the most important factors in national security.
In addition to securing our world, we’ve always pioneered exploration and discovery. Our teams designed the iconic Apollo Lunar lander and were instrumental in returning the Apollo 13 crew safely home. This passion for deep space continues today with cutting-edge exploration programs such as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), safety initiatives such as the Launch Abort System (LAS) and purpose-built spacecraft designed to change the way we view space exploration.
Bottom line? If it’s been to space, is already in orbit or is being built to defend and explore the great beyond, there’s a good chance Northrop Grumman was in on the ground floor
Bending the Laws of Physics to See the Farthest Reaches of Space
Creating Zero G on a Planet Weighed Down by Gravity
Northrop Grumman engineers can mimic the weightlessness of zero G using weights, pulleys and other forms of ground support equipment.
Digital Modeling for Out-of-This-World Environments: The James Webb Space Telescope
What happens when a razor-thin umbrella the size of a tennis court hitches a ride to space on a noisy, bumpy rocket?
The Backplane of NASA’s Webb Telescope Offers a Strong, Steady Hand
The JWST will rely on a support structure that aims to carry more than two tons of hardware and provide stability to the spacecraft.
Strengthening Missile Defense through Suborbital Target Vehicles
Detecting, identifying and defeating ballistic threats
Rocket Design Team Helps Launch New Space Opportunities
Researching and creating new rocket designs can take engineers and manufacturing teams years to test and refine.
Water on Mars: The Deployables That Helped to Learn More about Martian H20
Thanks to innovative space deployable structures made by Astro Aerospace, we are learning more about the Red Planet every day.
How the MIMIC Program Catalyzed Northrop Grumman Leadership in Space
Since the dawn of the space age, Northrop Grumman has partnered with the U.S. government to define and implement many of the nation’s most challenging space mis…
Virtual Reality Brings Engineers to the Moon
How do you go to the moon without actually going to the moon? Virtual reality (VR).
Foiling Failure: the Value of Forensic Science in Aerospace Engineering
Northrop Grumman uses specialized forensic science teams in Reliability Analysis Labs to foil future failures.
SharkSat Scales Up to Deliver Advanced Technology Demonstration
Northrop Grumman’s SharkSat explores the potential impact of Ka-band, software-defined radio in space.
Digital Engineering Triumph MEV Revitalizes Satellites in Space
Northrop Grumman is reimagining satellite services, creating a line of industrious spacecraft that refuel and repair satellites.
Beyond the Boneyard
Northrop Grumman finds creative solutions to end-of-life management. From STEM education to technician training and public display, Northrop Grumman is demonstr…
Preparing to Launch Landsat 9
Northrop Grumman fault management engineers consider all scenarios for Landsat 9, the next satellite in a 49-year history of documenting the Earth’s surface.
Rocketing Forward: Inside the Countdown to Launch
Every solid rocket motor design is a balancing act among performance, cost and complexity.
The Coolest Technology: Cryocoolers
These machines keep sensors extremely cold so that satellites and space telescopes can take pictures on long-term missions
Navigating Mars and Beyond with LN-200 Inertial Measurement Units
When NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover lands on the Red Planet in February 2021 and begins exploring the Jezero Crater for signs of microbial life, it will be…
Launching Solutions into Space: The Innovation Technology Paradox
Navigating the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope
The team behind Northrop Grumman’s Scalable Space Inertial Reference Unit navigation system is working to make sure the Roman Space Telescope can stabilize and …
DAWN Spacecraft: Uncovering the Relics of the Early Solar System
NASA’s DAWN spacecraft, designed and built by Northrop Grumman, captured over 100,000 images of the two different proto-planets, allowing scientists to catalog …
Cosmic Outfitters: Dressing Spacecraft for Mission Success
Before launching onto the celestial stage, Northrop Grumman experts dress spacecraft to protect it from extreme space temperatures.
Engineering Marvel: The JWST Mega Sunshield Takes its Shape
Imagine having to squeeze an enormous mirror and a sunshield that’s the size of a tennis court into a rocket ship. This is the reality of an intricate deploymen…
A New Space Paradigm Calls for Purpose-Built Spacecraft
Northrop Grumman is accelerating the pace of new space technology development, deploying DARPA’s R3D2 with extreme speed and incredible innovation.
High Performance Computing Will Take Us to the Far Reaches of Space
Northrop Grumman’s propulsion systems engineers use high performance computing capabilities to design the rocket boosters for NASA’s Space Launch System.
Meet R3D2 — the progenitor of purpose-built spacecraft paradigms
Space solutions in a pinch: The positional Pinch Polarizer
Safety first! The Launch Abort System (LAS) helps to protect Orion astronauts as they achieve orbit.
Todd Mott: Clearing the Smoke on Data Reduction
A New Space Paradigm Calls for Purpose-Built Spacecraft
Pioneering change with speed and precision.
Utilizing Lean-Agile methodologies, we are at the forefront of developing discriminating and innovative technologies for our customers.
At Northrop Grumman, our teams are constantly challenging the status quo with new ways to approach existing and developing capabilities. The digital thread is woven into the fabric of our organization. We are at the cutting edge of the defense industry’s digital transformation and evolution. Our user-centered digital-based capabilities provide advanced technology to stay ahead of sophisticated threats. Our priority is to ensure our warfighters have the confidence to make real-time decisions in complex environments.
Lights, Camera, Tomcat
From the set with Tom Cruise to the real TOPGUN
Beyond the Mind’s Eye
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Help Engineers Visualize What’s Possible
Gray Wolf Missile Design
A Feat of Digital Engineering and Open Architecture
MQ-4C Triton Takes Flight with Multi-Intelligence Upgrade
Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command celebrated the successful first test flight of the newest configuration of the the MQ-4C Triton maritime…
Putting Cockpits under Glass in Vertical Lift Military Aircraft
Northrop Grumman leads digital integrated avionics for military aircraft by upgrading the analog cockpit of UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter with an all-digital gl…
Ditching the Documents
Digital Engineering Speeds Development and Deployment of Advanced Weapons
Digital Sustainment Tools Enhance Mission Readiness
Sustainment is a vital element of any product’s lifecycle.
Using Automation and Robotics in Advanced Aircraft Production
Supporting the latest in fighter aircraft.
LIDAR Technology at Work: The Pathfinder Reconnaissance Drone
A drone fitted with LIDAR technology could fly into a dangerous urban environment and give American troops a quick, real-time look at layout, obstacles, and haz…
The End Game: Extended Reality (XR) Transforms Platform Sustainment
Northrop Grumman uses XR to improve program performance, efficiency and affordability in delivering platform sustainment and modernization.
Incubating and Investing Bring Innovation to Life
Finding bold new solutions to some of the biggest challenges in aerospace.
Ahead of the Curve: Scouting for Disruptive Technologies
Northrop Grumman continuously monitors new and disruptive ideas to harness new tech and ideas for customers and their missions.
RQ-4 Global Hawk Modernized Ground Segment Comes in From the Cold
Northrop Grumman’s Ground Segment Modernization Program (GSMP) contract with the Air Force is changing the way the RQ-4 Global Hawk aircraft gathers intel.
Interoperability Leads to LongShot
New Unmanned Autonomous Vehicle Highlights Advanced Weapons Technology
Busting Myths about Military Technology and the Electromagnetic Spectrum
Northrop Grumman busts myths about the broad range of electronic warfare techniques that can be used to detect threats, hide from threats and jam signals.
Finding a Single Source of Truth with Model-Based Systems Engineering
Know a systems engineer? Then you know a communicator and a translator – from the world of engineering.
Project MOSQUITO Has the Wings to Change How Military Aircraft Are Built
Northrop Grumman employed digital engineering and Lean-Agile development methods to get Project MOSQUITO off the ground and ensure successful project delivery.
Revolutionizing Military Operations with Augmented Reality
Northrop Grumman engineers developed an idea for a Microsoft HoloLens 2 AR interface for the military to use to evaluate assets in the field.
Future Vertical Lift The Agile-built Helicopter for the Modern Military
Future Vertical Lift will be the most sophisticated rotorcraft to enter military service. All systems are connected by the digital backbone, allowing the next g…
Creating Force Multipliers
Northrop Grumman’s integrated digital environment is a digital engineering SaaS (Software as a Service) approach for building advanced technology.
Mentorship and Digital Engineering Go Hand in Hand
Northrop Grumman is invested in developing a strong foundation in digital engineering to answer requirements our customers create.
Digital Engineering Adopts 3D Virtual Reality Tools
Northrop Grumman engineers were early testers of 3D VR tools and have since adopted this key tool to dramatically reduce testing time and effort as well as impr…
Going DA/RC: A Bright Future for Battlefield Management
As a leader in digital transformation for defense, Northrop Grumman is looking to what’s next in battlefield management. The future of defense may be in a soft…
Brawn Brains and Beauty
Northrop Grumman is at the forefront of Industry 4.0. The latest industrial revolution is about leveraging four key digital technologies to optimize resources, …
Digital Twins Facilitate Program Success
The use of digital twins is a critical element of digital transformation success as Northrop Grumman works with government and industry partners.
Quantum 2.0: Qubits, communication and cryptography
Hiding in plain sight — the benefits of binary-based hardware defense
Turning Imaging into Intelligence
AI has the potential to transform every system, product and service that we produce for our customers, worldwide. We develop advanced capabilities to solve the world’s most challenging problems in space, aeronautics, maritime defense, cyberspace and intelligence. The stakes are high—and our standards for ethics and security are even higher.
Real-time Insights with a Future Bent
AI and Machine Learning Predict the Life of Systems with an OODA Loop
Artificial Intelligence Helps Protect Troops in Denied GPS Environments
Northrop Grumman uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to combat threats to navigation systems using innovative software techniques.
Defense AI Technology: Worlds Apart From Commercial AI
AI Ethics: Building Security and Responsibility into Intelligent Systems
Northrop Grumman is collaborating with U.S. Government organizations to determine if an AI model is sufficiently safe, secure, and ethical for DoD use.
Applying AI to Systems Thinking: Every Engineer Has a Story
Everyone has a story to tell, even engineers and systems they build. While there’s no surprise that it’s complex work to design intricate and integrated sys…
Can Artificial Intelligence Apply Gaming to Military Strategy?
What’s the Frequency? An AI Algorithm Can Help with That
While chaos, disorder and panic can follow a disaster if public communication breaks down, Michelle Jin realized an AI algorithm could essentially cut through c…
Startup Investments Sharpen Focus on Innovation
Northrop Grumman has partnered with Philadelphia-based startup, Deepwave Digital, a developer and provider of radio frequency and wireless systems powered by ar…
Advanced Manufacturing: Deep Learning for Electronics Inspections
Powerful robots will soon get artificial eyes and a brain. This next gen upgrade in advanced manufacturing is what engineers at Northrop Grumman are developing …
Looking for direction? We’ve got you.
Tucked inside modern fighter jets and smart munitions, inertial navigation systems have a suite of sensors, including accelerometers that measure linear motion and gyroscopes that measure rotation. The latest navigational technology also includes magnetometers — small but mighty instruments that measure magnetic fields. Read about the future of inertial navigation >
Military aircraft and ships still rely heavily on electronic sensors to conduct their missions, however Northrop Grumman makes multifunction sensors that operate on the electromagnetic spectrum, allowing our customers to see in all directions all the time. Read about the electromagnetic spectrum and multifunction sensors >
Leading the evolution.
From the world’s first stealth bomber to autonomous undersea and aerial vehicles, Northrop Grumman has always been on the forefront of advanced manufacturing.
We’re Defining Possible by embracing the evolution of manufacturing initiatives underpinned by the expanding impact of carbon fiber 3D printing, deep learning robotics and data-driven hypersonic testing.
This ongoing shift is an outcome of us embracing Agile methodologies, and has become part of our core mission to define — and redefine — what’s possible in military aircraft and aerospace manufacturing. Just as Ford’s process revolutionized the speed and standardization of parts rolling off the line, we recognize the intrinsic and innovative value of digitally integrated solutions that can help make our manufacturing lineup stronger, faster and smarter. Allowing us to better help our customers achieve their goals.
Flight Status: Composite Technology is Right on Time
Advances in composite technology are helping the aerospace industry prepare for increased pressure to get new aircraft out the door and into the skies.
Advanced Manufacturing Technology and Innovation
Northrop Grumman uses additive manufacturing to evolve the aerospace industry.
The Flexibility of Firebird
Firebird can switch from a manned configuration to autonomous operations in little time, giving organizations flexibility to fly different types of missions.
Manufacturing the Very Lightweight Torpedo
Northrop Grumman is driving the vision for a less expensive torpedo design that’s also light enough to be carried on new generations of smaller delivery platfor…
Solving the biggest survivability challenges in aerospace engineering with carbon nanotubes and 3D printing
ESD PEKK: The Additive Acronym of Advanced Aerospace Manufacturing
Double vision? Upgrading robot accuracy with digital twins and machine learning
Five Innovations Made Possible With Carbon Nanotubes
Creation combination — the future of fiber and plastic in 3D printing
The Brains Behind Military Electronics
When designing high tech electronic systems for the military, standard electronic components simply won’t cut it. While many consumer goods are built on standard microchips, military systems operate on application specific integrated circuits (ASICs). Northrop Grumman engineers are responsible for designing these custom chips to ensure secure processing for the Department of Defense (DOD).
Sustainable Advancements Preserving our World
Environmental tech for a new future. That’s Defining Possible.
At Northrop Grumman, we’re committed to action when it comes to sustainable technological developments and renewable energy strategies.
With clear-water monitoring efforts, helping to rebuild the Chesapeake Bay oyster population, no-touch turtle tracking and autonomous vehicle ice mapping, we’re finding and exploring new ways to interact with our environment — while ensuring its sustainability for future generations.
Time for a sea-change: More oysters mean cleaner water for Chesapeake Bay
Shell game — no-touch UAS tracking helps to map turtle movements
Aquatic Agility: Repurposing Wastewater as an Ultra-Pure Resource
For Northrop Grumman’s Advanced Technology Laboratories near Baltimore, repurposing wastewater as an ultra-pure resource takes aquatic agility.
Ready to change the world? Discover new opportunities, drive transformative development and help to define what’s possible with Northrop Grumman.
History demonstrates that no weapon is invincible. Northrop Grumman, in partnership with the U.S. government and industry, can neutralize these hypersonic threats and protect our nation and its armed forces against these modern destructive weapons.
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Mission Unlimited: Inventing Autonomous Recharging of Unmanned Underwater Vehicles
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Rising to the Occasion: Northrop Grumman and the Sentinel (GBSD) Program
Upgraded Radio Frequency Switch to Push Communications into the Future
A meaningful upgrade to the component responsible for guiding and shaping the radio signal, called a radio frequency switch, has lagged for decades. Until now.