for communications and distributed information systems (referred to henceforth simply as distributed systems) at the Laboratory as determined by a review of related efforts described by several APL staff members during presentations to the Senior Leadership Team. A context for the discussion is provided by considering the nature of current and future communications and distributed systems supporting the exercise of command and control for the DoD. In addition, examples of signifi cant, ongoing APL communications and distributed systems programs are discussed. Finally, those communications and distributed systems S&T initiatives presented to the Senior Leadership Team are summarized, and conclusions and recommendations regarding the state of such S&T efforts at the Laboratory are offered. Science, Technology, and Systems Engineering To set the stage for what follows, it is worthwhile to take a moment for a brief philosophical diversion to discuss the notions of science, technology, and systems engineering and their relationship to one another. This special issue of the Technical Digest is devoted to explorin
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