Technology Stories

This screen capture from the TCIS tool shows some of the enhancements to interactive region selection, model and data acquisition, statistical comparison, and visualization.
Dec 4, 2017
TCIS is a tool that fuses hurricane models and observations within a web-based system to improve forecasting capabilities.
Solar System
Nov 6, 2017
NASA’s future planetary exploration efforts, including missions to Venus, require electronics capable of surviving temperatures of 470° C and above for long durations. Such durable electronics eliminate the need for cooling systems to enable sustained operations. A team at NASA Glenn Research... Read More
photo of planet Venus
Earth, Earth’s Space Environment
Oct 23, 2017
In 2016, scientists at Goddard Space Flight Center produced mirrors with the highest reflectance ever reported in the farultraviolet spectral range. To develop these mirrors, the team developed a new three-step physical vapor deposition process to coat aluminum mirrors with protective magnesium... Read More
The ICON FUV spectrograph.
Universe, Stars
Oct 10, 2017
Technology Development: Questions about how and when stars are formed continue to tug at human curiosity. Star formation is governed by gravity and heat. Gravity causes molecular clouds to collapse and eventually form stars and planetary systems, but to complete the process, heat needs to be... Read More
Close-up of a Schottky diode, showing the air-bridge that connects the anode
Sep 25, 2017
Technology Development: A NASA-led team is designing an extremely compact origami rover for new extreme terrain applications in both the planetary and Earth science domains. PUFFERs (Pop-Up Flat Folding Explorer Robots) utilize a folding printed circuit board (PCB) as the rover chassis, which... Read More
Photo of scientist testing PUFFER on snowy surface
Earth, Ice
Sep 11, 2017
Technology Development: A new instrument, the Ultrawideband Software-Defined Microwave Radiometer (UWBRAD), aims to provide measurements of ice sheet thermal emission to remotely sense internal ice sheet temperature information.
Photograph of Canadian Rocky mountains, view from airplane
Universe, Stars
Aug 28, 2017
Technology Development: In the last three years, a NASAsponsored team at the University of Colorado has developed a facility that allows “shooting stars” to be generated in laboratory conditions. The heart of this unique capability is a three-million-Volt electrostatic accelerator that is capable... Read More
Photo of dust accelerator setup in laboratory
Jul 31, 2017
Technology Development: The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat mission launched on November 11, 2016 as a secondary payload on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
Photo of model of RAVAN with deployed solar panels
Jul 11, 2017
Cutaway CAD model representation of proposed HIRMES instrument design. (Credit: GSFC HIRMES Instrument Team)
illustrated diagram
Apr 20, 2017
Technology Infused: In March 2015, NASA launched an exciting new mission to investigate how the sun’s and Earth’s magnetic fields connect and disconnect, explosively transferring energy from one field to the other. This process—called magnetic reconnection—influences celestial bodies throughout the... Read More
Artist concept of mission spacecraft flying through magnetic fields around earth
Apr 13, 2017
Technology Infused: The Mars 2020 mission has recently adopted a baseline that includes SMD-sponsored technology developments that will enable its rover to drive faster, more safely, and with improved energy efficiency. Planetary rovers have traditionally been limited by the available computational... Read More
Video still frame of new rover navigating rocky terrain
Apr 6, 2017
Technology Infused: On December 3, 2015, the LISA Pathfinder mission, led by the European Space Agency, blasted into space carrying the most stable spacecraft thruster system ever qualified for use in space. Developed by NASA JPL, the Space Technology 7 (ST-7) Disturbance Reduction System (DRS) is... Read More
Artist illustration of LISA pathfinder spacecraft in orbit around earth
Solar System
Mar 31, 2017
Technology Infused: The Lunar polar Hydrogen Mapper (LunaH-Map) mission is a CubeSat that will detect the amount of hydrogen at the moon’s South Pole.
Photo of propulsion system for LunaH-Map
Mar 23, 2017
Technology Infused: After over 20 years of tests and development, NASA’s Balloon Program team is on the cusp of expanding the envelope in high-altitude, heavylift ballooning with its super pressure balloon (SPB) technology. SMD technology investments that enabled development of SPB, the first... Read More
Photograph of balloon being inflated on airport tarmac
Solar System
Mar 16, 2017
Technologies Infused: When NASA launches its mission to explore Jupiter’s moon Europa in the 2020s, seven instruments enabled by SMD technology investments or flight development efforts will be onboard to help achieve mission science goals.
Illustration of spacecraft approaching Europa