Draper’s roots date to the 1930s when Dr. Charles Stark Draper created a teaching laboratory at MIT to develop the instrumentation needed to make precise measurements of angular and linear motion. The Laboratory was renamed for its founder in 1970 and remained a part of MIT until 1973 when it became an independent, not-for-profit research and development corporation.
HeritageA primary focus of Draper’s efforts throughout its history has been the development and early application of advanced guidance, navigation, and control (GN&C) technologies to meet DoD’s and NASA’s needs. The Laboratory’s record of outstanding achievements includes the design and development of the world’s most accurate and reliable guidance systems for intercontinental ballistic missiles as well as the highly precise, ultra-reliable GN&C systems needed to guide the first astronauts to the moon and back safely to Earth. Draper’s pioneering work has contributed substantially to the development of today’s complement of precise inertial sensors, software, and ultra-reliable systems that are critical for precision GN&C of commercial and military aircraft, submarines, strategic and tactical missiles, spacecraft, and unmanned vehicles.