Technology Stories

Photo of Salvatore Oriti and Scott Wilson inspect power converter TDC #13 in NASA GRC’s Stirling Research Laboratory
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.
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
Universe
Jul 29, 2019
Colloid microthrusters enable two exciting new areas of astronomy and astrophysics research.
Artist concept of LISA Pathfinder spacecraft
Earth
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
Solar System
Jul 8, 2019
This blog post originated in the 2017 Science Mission Directorate Technology Highlights Report (33 MB PDF).
Artist depiction of Dragonfly mission with two parachute rotorcraft above the surface of the moon Titan
Earth
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
Solar System
Jun 17, 2019
This blog post originated in the 2017 Science Mission Directorate Technology Highlights Report (33 MB PDF).
Photo of magnetometer sensor comparable in size to a penny
Earth
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
Sun
Apr 16, 2019
Earth’s ionosphere is increasingly recognized as a region of space that directly impacts the development and use of space assets for modern society. Monitoring the state of the ionosphere requires space-based instrumentation and preferably a fleet of spacecraft with identical instrumentation. 
3D rendering of Dual VUV Photomultiplier tubes
Solar System
Mar 18, 2019
Aerocapture technologies have the potential to enable orbital missions to the outer planets and their satellites by the judicious use of aerodynamic forces in a planetary atmosphere. 
Image of Saturn's moon Titan
Universe, Exoplanets
Feb 4, 2019
This blog post originated in the 2017 Science Mission Directorate Technology Highlights Report (33 MB PDF).
Artist’s rendition of a starshade blocking starlight from a nearby planetary system
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
Nov 26, 2018
A team of scientists and engineers at Goddard Space Flight Center is developing innovative technologies to expand the opportunities for neutron and gamma-ray detection from space on small satellite platforms.
Photo of large-area arrays and carrier board
Nov 13, 2018
Europa is one of 53 confirmed moons orbiting Jupiter. While slightly smaller than Earth’s moon, Europa primarily consists of silicate rock and is intriguing in that its crust consists of frozen water. Future missions under consideration to Europa would be enhanced by the ability to penetrate the... Read More
Conceptual design for ARCHIMEDES on Juptier's moon Europa
Universe
Oct 31, 2018
Relic radiation from the Big Bang—the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB)—provides a Rosetta stone for deciphering the content, structure, and evolution of the early universe. Current theoretical understanding suggests that the universe underwent a rapid exponential expansion, called “inflation,” in... Read More
Photo of CLASS telescope