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Proceedings Paper

A decade of NASA strategic astrophysics technology investments: technology maturation, infusion, and other benefits
Author(s): Thai Pham; Opher Ganel; Azita Valinia; Nicholas Siegler; Brendan Crill; Mario R. Perez
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Paper Abstract

NASA’s Astrophysics Division (APD) funds development of cutting-edge technology to enable its missions to achieve ambitious and groundbreaking science goals. These technology development efforts are managed by the Physics of the Cosmos (PCOS), Cosmic Origins (COR), and Exoplanet Exploration (ExE) Programs. The NASA Strategic Astrophysics Technology (SAT) Program was established in 2009 as a new technology maturation program to fill the gap in the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) range from 3 to 6. Since program inception, 100 SAT grants have been openly competed and awarded, along with dozens of direct-funded projects, leading to a host of technologies advancing their TRLs and/or being infused into space and suborbital missions and ground-based projects. We present the portfolio distribution in terms of specific technology areas addressed, including optics, detectors, coatings, coronagraphs, starshades, lasers, electronics, cooling systems, and micro-thruster subsystems. We show an analysis of the rate of TRL advances, infusion success stories, and other benefits such as training the future astrophysics workforce, including students and postdoctoral fellows hired by projects. Finally, we present APD’s current strategic technology maturation priorities for investment, enabling a range of future strategic astrophysics missions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 December 2020
PDF: 17 pages
Proc. SPIE 11451, Advances in Optical and Mechanical Technologies for Telescopes and Instrumentation IV, 1145107 (13 December 2020); doi: 10.1117/12.2562705
Show Author Affiliations
Thai Pham, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Opher Ganel, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Azita Valinia, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Nicholas Siegler, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Brendan Crill, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Mario R. Perez, NASA Headquarters (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11451:
Advances in Optical and Mechanical Technologies for Telescopes and Instrumentation IV
Ramón Navarro; Roland Geyl, Editor(s)

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