Technology Highlights 2019
Sep 12, 2023
Projects in NASA’s HOTTech Program are developing technologies that will operate on the surface of Venus for at least 60 days. Since previous Venus landers have only survived for several hours, long-duration operation represents a paradigm shift in landed spacecraft technology. The GEER... Read More
Aug 29, 2023
A new class of X-ray detector with unprecedented energy resolution and array size could help transform our understanding of the cosmos through unparalleled vision into the otherwise invisible universe.
Feb 21, 2023
NASA and Advanced Thermal Batteries, Inc. are developing a high-temperature battery system to power a long-lived lander on the Venus surface.
Feb 7, 2023
A pair of NASA projects will help researchers better understand the relationship between solar radiation and phenomena on Earth like severe weather and climate change.
Universe, Exoplanets, Stars
Jan 24, 2023
Multi-star wavefront control technology enables imaging planets in systems with multiple suns (such as Alpha Centauri, the nearest star system to us) and searching them for signs of life.
Jan 11, 2023
Two species of quantum gases have been created to coexist and interact for the first time in space. Accessing resonant interactions among these gases will allow scientists to explore few-body physics, quantum chemistry, and fundamental physics in novel energy regimes—without the perturbing force of... Read More
Dec 20, 2022
A team of NASA personnel and contractors has prototyped a new set of algorithms that will enable instruments in space to process data more efficiently. Using these algorithms, space-based remote sensors will be able to provide the most important data to scientists on the ground more quickly and may... Read More
Dec 6, 2022
“Are we alone in the universe?” may be one of the most compelling questions of our generation. Direct imaging of planetary systems around other stars to detect and characterize Earth-like planets that could potentially sustain life requires telescopes that are large and extremely stable.
Nov 22, 2022
Detection of extraterrestrial life would be an incredible discovery, revolutionizing humanity’s perception of life and providing us insight into how life begins and persists in various environments.
Nov 1, 2022
Excess nutrients and pollutants washed off land by rainstorms can degrade water quality and harm marine life and humans. Identifying these problems before they can affect us is a constant challenge for water resource managers.
Oct 18, 2022
An SMD-sponsored team has taken major steps towards providing the new detector arrays needed for future far-infrared space missions.
Oct 4, 2022
An advanced temperature control technique developed for future NASA missions can also make charging electric vehicles easier and faster—potentially paving the way for increased adoption of electric cars.
Sep 20, 2022
NASA’s HARP instrument was the first hyper-angular polarimeter to fly in space and pioneered new technologies for observing cloud and aerosol properties—all on a tiny CubeSat!
Aug 30, 2022
NASA has developed technologies to enable an autonomous lunar surface station that will revolutionize data gathering on the Moon in the same way that scattered ocean buoys revolutionized collection of meteorological data on Earth.
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.
Dec 23, 2019
Space-based methods to measure soil moisture on Earth typically entail either sensing the extremely weak emission of microwaves from water in the soil using an instrument call a radiometer or using a radar, which transmits a signal toward Earth, and then receives the signal after it reflects from... Read More
Dec 9, 2019
This blog post originated in the 2018 Science Mission Directorate Science and Technology Report. PROJECT Laser Transmitter for the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) Mission
Sun, Earth’s Space Environment
Dec 2, 2019
This blog post originated in the 2018 Science Mission Directorate Science and Technology Report. PROJECT The Microwave Electrojet Magnetogram (MEM) KEY POINTS The low SWaP MEM sensor enables cost-effective implementation of future high-impact ionospheric current investigations on resource-... Read More
Nov 12, 2019
Hyperdust’s unique ion optics design combines the ability to provide high-performance composition measurements with the aperture that is needed to detect a statistically significant number of particles in space over a standard mission duration of a few years.
Oct 31, 2019
RainCube successfully demonstrated Ka-band precipitation radar technology on a low-cost, quick-turnaround platform. This new technology will enable constellations of small spacecraft that can track storms and provide data about how the storms evolve in short time scales—capabilities that are needed... Read More
Oct 7, 2019
Earth-like planets orbiting other stars can be 10 billion times dimmer than their host star. To detect these planets and to search for spectroscopic signatures of life in their atmospheres, a space telescope must be used, and the light from the host star must be blocked so the planet comes into... Read More
Sep 23, 2019
The Super Cloud Library—a big data analysis and visualization tool for Earth science applications—has been infused into the Data Analytics and Storage System (DASS) at the NASA Center for Climate Simulation and is producing results over twenty times faster than previously deployed manual processes.
Sep 9, 2019
This blog post originated in the 2018 Science Mission Directorate Science and Technology Report.
Aug 27, 2019
Future-generation large space telescopes under study at NASA will require very large, high-resolution, high-sensitivity, low-noise sensors capable of measuring ultraviolet through visible wavelengths.
Aug 13, 2019
Understanding potential failure modes can lead to improved designs that will enable Dynamic RPS to provide highly reliable power to planetary science missions for up to 17 years of operational life.
Earth, Climate Change, Ice
Aug 5, 2019
IceCube—a tiny, bread loaf-sized satellite—has produced the world’s first map of the global distribution of atmospheric ice in the 883-Gigahertz (GHz) band. Information about cloud ice enables researchers to better understand Earth’s weather and changing climate.
Jul 29, 2019
Colloid microthrusters enable two exciting new areas of astronomy and astrophysics research.
Jul 18, 2019
The RAVAN CubeSat has met its goal of validating two new technologies to measure Earth’s radiation imbalance—the difference between the amount of energy from the Sun that reaches Earth and the amount that is reflected and emitted back into space.
Jul 8, 2019
This blog post originated in the 2017 Science Mission Directorate Technology Highlights Report (33 MB PDF).