Technology Highlights

Photo of two men with the SAGE IV instrument hardware on a tripod
Earth
Nov 10, 2020
The miniaturized SAGE IV Pathfinder instrument may one day enable a constellation of small satellites to continue and enhance atmospheric ozone monitoring.
Feb 19, 2020
This tiny CubeSat demonstrated low-cost, lowrisk, millimeter wave radiometer technology that will enable constellations of small satellites to provide the first temporal observations of cloud and precipitation processes on a global scale.
Hurricane Florence satellite image
Universe
Feb 10, 2020
An X-ray camera is being developed with 3168 pixels and ground-breaking capability to resolve different “colors” of X-rays. This technology will allow observations of the dynamics and composition of hot energetic material in galaxy clusters and around black holes. Scientists can use these images to... Read More
photo of x-ray camera equipment
Solar System
Feb 3, 2020
To help protect future space assets from dangerous effects that arise from radiation exposure, NASA is developing a new series of vacuum electronics.
Team of scientists in lab
Sun
Jan 28, 2020
The balloon-borne PMC Turbo experiment successfully provided information about small-scale instabilities and turbulence in the mesosphere that will ultimately contribute to improving weather and climate models.
Photo of payload (left) and imaging data (right)
Solar System
Jan 15, 2020
The capability to operate in harsh environments is crucial for spacecraft to explore the most forbidding regions in the solar system. Recent advances in silicon carbide (SiC) electronics have changed the paradigm of what is possible for exploration of such environments, including the surface of... Read More
Photo of scientist in lab gear working on computer testing chips
Sun, Earth’s Space Environment
Jan 6, 2020
X-rays from the Sun help us probe the highest-energy phenomena that occur in our solar system, including solar storms and their origins. The Sun presents some unique challenges to researchers attempting to unravel its high-energy behavior. To deal with these challenges, a sounding rocket experiment... Read More
X-ray image of sun
Solar System, Mars
Dec 30, 2019
The Mars Helicopter is a technology demonstration for the Mars 2020 rover mission, intended to show the feasibility and utility of using helicopters for Mars exploration. This technology may enable future missions to perform reconnaissance or independent science, and to access terrain not reachable... Read More
Artist's concept of the Mars Helicopter with the Mars 2020 rover in the background
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
Illustration of satellite orbiting earth
Universe
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
Photo of Final product of the Phase 1 master oscillator package
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
Artist depiction of 3 small satellites orbiting Earth
Solar System
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.
Photo of hyperdust prototype
Earth
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
Color chart of precipitation profile of a Typhoon
Universe, Exoplanets
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
Photo of scientist looking into vacuum chamber
Earth
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.
Photo of a deep convection cloud