Technology Highlights

Close up photo of a green and gold image sensor with numbers and text on it.
Aug 16, 2022
New imaging technology will help enable future large X-ray telescopes to trace the origin and growth of black holes and the ways they’ve shaped the cosmos.
Space Experiments, Space Biology
Aug 2, 2022
Determining how blood-flow patterns near valves in the veins affect the movement of red blood cells may identify ways to prevent blood clots in astronauts.
Photo of a man and woman in lab coats working at a computer and microscope
Jul 19, 2022
Endurance carried a new type of space plasma analyzer with extremely fine energy resolution to make the first measurements of Earth’s electrical potential. This technology could also enable new tools to measure plasmas in the laboratory and in industrial applications.
Photo of a rocket just seconds after take off with snow covered hills in the background
Jun 28, 2022
A new radar receiver will greatly enhance scientists’ ability to study storms, observe polar ice, predict floods, and measure sea surface height.
Satellite image of a hurricane passing over the Pacific Ocean.
Solar System
Jun 14, 2022
An SMD-sponsored team at Honeybee Robotics is developing a Pneumatic Sampler (P-SMP) to capture material on the surface of Mars’s moon, Phobos, for sample return to Earth. Successful infusion of this capability into JAXA’s MMX mission signifies the success of long-term SMD technology development... Read More
Jun 1, 2022
A new effort that combines two multiplexing techniques will help enable the large-format spectroscopic detector arrays needed for future x-ray astrophysics missions.
Collage of 3 photos: left - a man and a woman working on a large metal device, middle - a masked and gloved woman working on a metal device, right - a man in a lab coat, mask and hat working at a computer terminal
Space Experiments, Space Biology
May 17, 2022
Harvesting and containment technologies for microgreens may allow astronauts to add these delicious, nutritious crops to their space diet.
Earth, Climate Change
May 3, 2022
An SMD-sponsored team of researchers has demonstrated a novel software platform that will enable networks of dispersed sensors to share information with each other more efficiently; this capability has the potential to provide a far more comprehensive view of Earth than any single sensor ever could...
Two satellite images side by side to illustrate flood damage in the midwest.
Solar System, Planets of Our Solar System
Apr 19, 2022
Keeping NASA’s robotic explorers healthy takes smart software, especially in remote and harsh environments. An initial investment by NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program led to development of a new technology that may enable robotic exploration of distant destinations in our... Read More
Photo of Jupiter's moon Europa, light grey with brown streaks.
Apr 5, 2022
PROJECT Electron-beam Ruled Gratings for Future Ultraviolet/Optical Missions SNAPSHOT Advanced semi-conductor fabrication methods will help improve the performance—and potentially reduce the cost—of the next major ultraviolet/optical space observatory. 
PSU Researcher Professor Fabien Grisé prepares a substrate for the CU-LASP Dual-channel Extreme Ultraviolet Continuum Spectrograph (DEUCE, PI: Brian Fleming) sounding rocket grating prior to employing the new electron-beam lithography technique.
Mar 15, 2022
A team of researchers is developing a new instrument that will help scientists better understand the impact high-altitude ice clouds have on weather and climate change on Earth.
Satellite photo of thunderstorms scattered over a blue area on planet earth
Solar System
Mar 1, 2022
All space missions that involve atmospheric entry of a probe or science payload must utilize a Thermal Protection System (TPS) to protect the payload from the extreme heat experienced during atmospheric entry. 
Space Experiments
Feb 15, 2022
A NASA-sponsored team is developing soilless nutrient delivery and recovery technologies that will be demonstrated via plant tests aboard the International Space Station.
Photo of a man working on plants under grow lights
Feb 1, 2022
NEID will be used to characterize exoplanets discovered by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS).
Photo of three lab scientists in white lab gear wearing turquoise gloves and installing a prism into a white metal piece of equipment
Jan 18, 2022
NASA has developed a new type of instrument that can provide key information to predict and understand solar flares.
Photo of a large metal instrument in a lab