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Applied Physics Systems’ History

Applied Physics Systems was founded in 1976 by Dr. Bill Goodman after earning an B.S. in Electrical Engineering and PhD. In Physics from the University of Virginia. Applied Physics started in a 1,500 square foot facility and began supplying custom electronic assemblies to companies for a variety of products and applications while beginning development of the line of magnetometer and orientation sensors that would become the company’s main products in the years to come. One such early product was an LED “take a ticket” number sign for supermarkets or butcher shops, another had to do with a custom label printing solution for commercial food manufacturers. Applied Physics no longer manufactures these older products but we still produce our superconducting rock magnetometer systems that are the primary research tools utilized by the paleomagnetic community, yielding new discoveries about the Earth and its 4.5 billion year history.

In the 1990’s Applied Physics combined its expertise in fluxgate magnetometers with complementary technology accelerometer sensors to create a line of directional instruments capable of providing 3D orientation/compass information. With these instruments Applied Physics was exposed to different industries and applications involving navigation and the oil and gas (O&G) industry where the company developed business as a supplier of components for OEM applications while also providing complete turn-key drilling systems.

Development of these new products opened up collaborative opportunities and in 2008 Applied Physics launched an effort to design and build an electromagnetic (EM) based measurement while drilling system (MWD) called the AP250 EM MWD System. Creation of this new system gave the company access to markets of much greater size and potential than before and the AP250 has become one of the company’s’ most successful products, providing the basis for the development of a range of MWD products and tools.

In 2014 volatility in oil prices had a large effect on the industry causing customers to shift from a CapEx intensive model of purchasing equipment to a lower cost model of renting equipment. Applied Physics adapted to this market shift and opened offices in Calgary, Alberta and Houston Texas to service these needs. These field offices are set up to run the rental operations which require heavy equipment and a highly trained staff to track and maintain the equipment and ensure its reliable operation.

Most recently a new magnetometer technology called the Optically Pumped Magnetometer (OPM) has emerged that has created opportunities to design new products and reach markets not currently served by the company. In 2020 we released our Model 110 Optically Pumped Rock Magnetometer (OPRM) system and have other projects to develop OPM based systems for medical and other applications that we believe will be the basis for the companies continued growth and expansion.

Today, Applied Physics Systems is a leading manufacturer of sensors and systems based on magnetometers and accelerometers used in energy, defense, industrial, and scientific applications. We remain the technology company that our Founder created and are still a technology company, committed to innovation and creating new products with complementary technologies within our areas of expertise.