Technology Highlights

Photo of some members of the WASSR team loading science gear onto an aircraft
Solar System
Jul 14, 2020
NASA researchers are exploring a new radar-based method to map water vapor both in Earth’s atmosphere and near the surface of Mars.
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
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
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
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
Sep 9, 2019
This blog post originated in the 2018 Science Mission Directorate Science and Technology Report.
Artist rendition of a sounding rocket in space
Universe, Exoplanets
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.
Scientists in lab inspecting a sensor plate
Solar System
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.
Photo of Salvatore Oriti and Scott Wilson inspect power converter TDC #13 in NASA GRC’s Stirling Research Laboratory
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.
Art concept of IceCube satellite in orbit
Jul 29, 2019
Colloid microthrusters enable two exciting new areas of astronomy and astrophysics research.
Artist concept of LISA Pathfinder spacecraft