Technology Highlights

Satellite map image of the earth showing solar radiation in green
Aug 31, 2021
A team at NASA’s Langley Research Center is developing a new state-of-the-art sensor and satellite platform to enable continued monitoring of Earth’s radiant energy system. The small, lightweight sensor will provide higher resolution data, and will allow us to learn more about important Earth... Read More
Jun 22, 2021
A NASA-sponsored team is developing machine-learning software to forecast air pollution events in Los Angeles.
Photo of a hazy sunrise behind the LA landscape.
Apr 6, 2021
HOT BIRD isn’t hot or a bird. It’s the world-class infrared detector that could revolutionize the way we see our planet from space.
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.
Photo of two men with the SAGE IV instrument hardware on a tripod
Sep 29, 2020
To help monitor ground deformation from space, NASA developed a new technology equipped with an S-band Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) for a small satellite platform.
Photo of 3 Sisters volcano
Aug 4, 2020
The Hyper-Angular Rainbow Polarimeter’s measurements help us better understand how clouds and aerosols impact weather, climate, and air quality.
Satellite image indicating cloud and aerosol coverage in the atmosphere
May 26, 2020
A new miniature sensor, in conjunction with robust data processing techniques, is enabling a satellite the size of a backpack is to reveal Earth’s temperature from space.
Photo of CIRiS taking off on a rocket in Cape Canaveral
Mar 31, 2020
A new instrument flew aboard NASA’s ER-2 airplane to measure the Moon’s brightness. Data from this instrument will eventually help other space-based sensors improve the Earth observations they collect.
Photo of air-LUCI deployment team
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
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
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 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.
Artist concept of the RAVAN CubeSat
Jun 24, 2019
A NASA-developed airborne instrument called DopplerScatt participated in two large-scale oceanographic experiments in April and May of 2017. A Ka-band Doppler scatterometer, DopplerScatt’s ability to take simultaneous measurements of ocean surface winds and water currents is a new science... Read More
Photo of DopplerScatt team at JPL and Photo of DopplerScatt aboard an aircraft
Jun 5, 2019
This blog post originated in the 2017 Science Mission Directorate Technology Highlights Report (33 MB PDF).
Photo of SoilSCAPE base station in a field in Alaska
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