Technology Highlights

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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.
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.
Photo of a lab desk with a hardware set up; a monitor is on above a box with dozen of colored connected cables and a green light emts from a metal box on a nearby desk
Oct 18, 2022
An SMD-sponsored team has taken major steps towards providing the new detector arrays needed for future far-infrared space missions.
Photo of a woman in protective lab clothing sitting at a computer in a cleanroom with 9 green squares on the screen
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.
Close up photo of a green and gold image sensor with numbers and text on it.
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
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.
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
Nov 9, 2021
The search for and characterization of extra-solar planets (‘exoplanets’) that might host life is one of NASA’s highest ambitions. But observing exoplanets and distinguishing them from the scattered light coming from the stars that they orbit is a difficult challenge.
Sep 14, 2021
Gravitational waves are minute ripples in space-time caused by the most energetic events in the universe—like the collision of two supermassive black holes. To detect gravitational waves, we will measure the tiny variations in the motion of purely free-falling test masses housed in three Sun-... Read More
Photograph of two women and one man in a testing lab with computers and hardware on the desks
Aug 3, 2021
Advanced technology micro-shutters enable NASA to study galaxy evolution across cosmic time.
Two scientists wearing white lab jumpers in a lab; the male on the left is wearing blue rubber gloves and holding an array prototype that looks like a small grid.
May 18, 2021
“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 sustain life requires telescopes that are larger and more stable than any previous... Read More
Photo of large mirror being assembled in a NASA facility.
Mar 23, 2021
A NASA-sponsored team at the MIT Space Nanotechnology Lab is developing high-performance space instrumentation for more powerful future X-ray telescopes that will study the dynamics of the high-energy universe.
Photo of mirror and hardware
Jan 5, 2021
Space telescopes have historically been expensive to plan, build, and launch. Leveraging the development of small spacecraft, CubeSats, enable capable and reliable platforms with well-focused goals, rapid development times, and affordable costs.
Two men and one woman in blue lab jackets work on HaloSat hardware on a table.
Dec 8, 2020
The far-IR is a powerful but relatively unexplored spectral band that can enable study of the birth and infancy of galaxies. 
Collage of photos of 5 scientists and researchers.
Aug 18, 2020
The ultraviolet spectral range is rich with information about the atmospheres of exosolar planets, star formation, supernovae, the circumgalactic medium, and much more. Two future flagship mission concepts, Habitable Exoplanet characterization (HabEx) and Large Ultraviolet/Optical/Infrared survey... Read More
Photo of a male and female scientist is a lab full of equipment