What Technology Gaps Are and Are Not
Technology gaps are what separates the current state of the art (SOTA) from what is needed to enable or enhance future strategic Astrophysics missions, usually driven by science gaps.
Technology gap entries need to:
- Be clear, well defined, unique, accurate, compelling, and complete
- Require technology development (i.e., at TRL lower than 6 for the stated requirements)
- Focus on missions prioritized in Astro2020 and/or the Astrophysics Implementation Plan
- Be directly applicable to Program objectives
- Describe gaps between the SOTA and what’s required to achieve the targeted science objective
- Follow the guidelines provided in the Technology Gap entry form, including the approximate length requested in each field (e.g., don’t include 800 words where 100-150 words are requested).
Technology gap entries should not:
- Be outside our purview (e.g., gaps associated with launch vehicles, rovers, avionics, spacecraft systems, etc.)
- Duplicate or be a subset of an existing gap
- Be a specific solution, or advocate for one
- Endorse or advertise any organization, mission, or person
- Contain proprietary, or EAR/ITAR-restricted information
Why We Solicit and Prioritize Technology Gaps
We solicit technology gaps biennially to help NASA Astrophysics Division (APD) identify technology gaps applicable and relevant to APD strategic objectives as described in the Decadal Survey and Astrophysics Implementation Plan (AIP).
We prioritize these gaps to support APD’s decision-making regarding which gaps are critical to close in the coming few years, which are important, and which can be put off temporarily or indefinitely. Our priority ranking considers alignment with strategic Astrophysics missions, the level of benefit to such missions, the estimated schedule margin until the gaps need to be closed, and how cross-cutting each gap is across multiple Astrophysics missions.
The prioritized list accomplishes several purposes:
- Informs the SAT solicitation and other NASA technology development programs (APRA, SBIR, and other OCT and STMD activities)
- Informs technology developers of APD technology gaps to help focus efforts
- Informs selection of technology awards to align with APD goals and science objectives
- Improves transparency and relevance of APD technology investments
- Informs the community and engages it in our technology development process
- Helps leverage technology investments of external organizations by defining our strategic technology gaps and identifying NASA as a potential customer