NAWCAD Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Systems


Lakehurst, New Jersey


Arianda Sugar -

Operating Status Summer 2024:

Hybrid (The internship will be performed partly at the lab and partly off-site)

Student Requirements:

Students must be solely U.S. citizens. (Dual citizens and permanent residents are not eligible.) Students must be turning 18 years old at time of application. They must also have a driver’s license and their own transportation to the site.


The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD), Lakehurst, New Jersey provides full spectrum lifecycle support for Aviation Support Equipment (SE) and Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment (ALRE) and has technical responsibility that fixed and rotary wing aircraft operate safely and effectively from aircraft carriers, air capable ships and expeditionary airfields worldwide. Our workforce provides engineering and logistics support in the design, development, evaluation, verification, and fielding/operations for both SE and ALRE. We provide systems engineering for development programs and acquisition management for the delivery of SE and ALRE for U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Foreign Military Sales.

About the Lab

NAWCAD Lakehurst is located in Central New Jersey, located 60 miles South of New York City and 70 miles East of Philadelphia, PA, and 20 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. We are an organization of 2,200+ employees spanning across 21 different locations, both inside and outside of the United States.

What is unique about this lab?

NAWCAD Lakehurst is the world leader in Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment (ALRE) and Naval Aviation Support Equipment (SE). NAWCAD Lakehurst conducts programs of acquisition management, technology development, systems integration, engineering, rapid prototyping/manufacturing, developmental evaluation and verification, fleet engineering support and integrated logistics support management. NAWCAD Lakehurst is responsible for maintaining fleet support and infusing modern technology across the entire spectrum of equipment needed to launch, land and maintain aircraft from ships at sea and austere expeditionary airfields. NAWCAD Lakehurst is also home to aircraft carrier replicated ALRE test-sites such as Jet Car Test Site (JCTS) and Runway Arrested Landing Site (RALS).

About the Internship

We are looking for motivated students with an interest in innovating, expanding knowledge, and engaging in hands-on experiences in advanced technologies such as electromagnetics, aviation information systems, avionics, diagnostics, unmanned aerial systems, test and evaluation, material science, modeling and simulation, jet propulsion, artificial intelligence and machine learning, cybersecurity, systems analysis, systems engineering and more!

What will I do any given day as an intern at this lab?

Interns participate in lab functions in a number of ways including (but not limited to) assisting mentors with guided research projects; job and project shadowing with professional researchers; networking with STEM professionals and other interns; team and leadership development; attending technical meetings, seminars and/or conferences; group mentoring sessions; touring labs; and other professional development activities.

What Subjects Should Students Be Studying To Be A Good Fit For Interning At This Lab?

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Computer Science
  • Engineering
  • Programming
  • Robotics

What will I learn as an intern at this lab?

As part of the internship, you will get hands-on experience supporting Naval projects, experiments, test and engineering evaluations, cybersecurity assessments, STEM activities, and tool development under the guidance of experienced engineering mentors. You will also get expert technical guidance in various technical areas such as mathematics, electronics, electrical systems, hydraulic systems, material science engineering and much more.

What kinds of projects do interns at this lab participate in?

NAWCAD Lakehurst’s mission is to provide full spectrum lifecycle responsibility for Aviation SE and ALRE and assure that fixed and rotary wing aircraft operate safely and effectively from aircraft carriers, air capable ships and expeditionary airfields worldwide. This includes designing, prototyping, testing and contracting.

The following are examples of projects to which interns may be assigned:

Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment. This includes hardware and software design, development, analysis and testing of:

  • Catapult/launching systems, including jet blast deflectors
  • Arrestment/recovery systems
  • Visual landing aids
  • Information systems
  • Expeditionary airfield systems

Support Equipment, including hardware and software design, development, analysis and testing of:

  • Advanced avionics systems
  • Aircraft handling, servicing and maintenance
  • Propulsion
  • Maintenance information systems
  • Weapons handling equipment

The following are our most recent projects: Analysis of Commercial-Off-the-Shelf Robot Operating System (ROS) software:

  • Analysis and Translation of Assets to ROS-2
  • Panoramic Asset Tracking of RealTime Ouija Tabletop (PATRIOT) Algorithms
  • Assistance with Cable Analysis utilizing Triboelectric Effect
  • Improving the Cybersecurity Posture of PMA-260 Support Equipment Systems
  • Software Development for the Digital Integrated Launch and Recovery Television Surveillance (ILARTS) System