Technology Highlights

Earth
Dec 17, 2018
A NASA-funded team has been exploring the use of quantum annealing computers for a scientifically meaningful application—to estimate the net annual ecosystem carbon flux over land using satellite data. Carbon flux is the exchange process of carbon dioxide (CO2) that takes place between growing or... Read More
Universe
Apr 2, 2018
An X-ray telescope is characterized by four parameters: angular resolution, effective area, mass, and production cost. Researchers at NASA GSFC have developed a new X-ray mirror technology that is expected to improve one or more of these parameters by at least an order of magnitude, compared to the... Read More
Photo of mirror reflecting NASA logo
Mar 19, 2018
Radioisotope power systems provide the efficient, long-lasting power sources vital to the success of numerous NASA space missions. NASA SMD is sponsoring technology development efforts to improve Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) performance, both in terms of the thermal-to-electric... Read More
Thermoelectric testing data
Earth
Mar 5, 2018
A team at NASA GSFC is working to develop new technology that will enable small satellites to measure direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC) electric field vectors in space. One element of this new technology involves development of coilable, narrow, composite booms, which when deployed,... Read More
Photo of cubesat
Sun, Earth’s Space Environment
Feb 20, 2018
Global wind and temperature measurements in the lower thermosphere (100-150 km above Earth) are the two most important variables needed to accurately predict space weather and climate change. An innovative technique is being developed jointly by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics... Read More
space weather
Universe
Feb 12, 2018
NASA is part of an international team developing a cutting edge microcalorimeter X-ray camera that will provide extraordinarily detailed information about energetic cosmic phenomena.
Photo of hybrid array
Earth
Jan 25, 2018
This blog post originated in the 2016 Science Mission Directorate Technology Highlights Report (20 MB PDF).
Photo of B200 aircraft and pilots
Universe
Jan 8, 2018
X-ray-optics technology has progressed such that future astrophysics X-ray observatories will have orders-of magnitude better performance than existing observatories such as NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.
Photo of large-area CAT grating size compared to US quarter coin