The PCOS Program Office has released the second installment of the Program Annual Technology Report (PATR). This report summarizes the status of technology development funded by the Program in FY12, includes the community-derived technology needs as provided by the PhysPAG and via technology needs forms submitted by the community. The PATR describes the Technology Management Board (TMB) prioritization of those technology needs and investment recommendations. The information in the PATR is one of several elements considered by the PCOS Program over the coming year as the calls for technology development proposals are drafted and investment decisions are made.
The PATR is intended to improve the transparency and relevance of technology investments, provide the community a voice in the process, contribute to open competition for funding, and leverage the technology investments of other organizations by identifying a need and a customer. Comments from the community are invited at every stage. We appreciate the hard work of the PhysPAG, its associated SAGs and broader PCOS community in developing the matrix of technology needs, and we look forward to working together again next year.
Updated PCOS Technology Needs Form is now available for download [DOCX].
NASA's Astrophysics Division funds the development of technology at all levels of maturity. The Astrophysics Research and Analysis (APRA) program funds technology development in the earliest phases, from basic research through the first feasibility demonstrations, (typically Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 1 through 3). The Strategic Astrophysics Technology (SAT) program matures technologies that address the needs of a specific future mission, taking them from the feasibility demonstration to a lab demonstration of a design that meets specific performance requirements (TRL 4 through 6). The final maturation stages (TRL 7 through 9) focus on proving the technology's flight-worthiness for a mission-specific application. Thus, these stages are addressed by incorporating the technology into a flight project's implementation plan through a vetted Technology Development Plan (TDP). Occasionally, a mission concept in pre-formulation is well-enough defined to have a vetted TDP. When budget constraints allow, the PCOS program will fund the development of those technologies through a specific funding allocation in the Supporting Research and Technology budget.