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Earth Science Technology

Advanced technologies play a major role in Earth science research and applications. The robust, ongoing development of new sensors, instruments, space systems, and information technologies is critical to improved observations of Earth and to a better understanding of the Earth system.

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From remote sensing instruments to data access, ESTO technologies enable the full range of Earth science measurements.

As the lead technology office within the Earth Science Division, the NASA Earth Science Technology Office (ESTO)  funds and develops a wide range of advanced technologies to enable new Earth science measurements, missions, operational requirements and practical applications for society at large. These technologies are making crucial contributions to many NASA Earth science endeavors. Investments made years ago by ESTO helped to pioneer many of the measurement concepts recommended by the 2007 NRC Decadal Survey. Today, ESTO technologies support all of the Decadal Survey missions as well as many other future measurement objectives.

ESTO employs a unique and highly-successful approach to technology development:

  • Technology investments are fundamentally science-driven: careful planning and engagement with the science community help ensure an ever-evolving set of useful, mature technologies and tools for Earth science.
  • Technology investments are competitively selected: ESTO awards are selected by peer-reviewed, competitive solicitations.
  • Technology investments are actively managed and infused: progress is measured against established goals and benchmarks and ESTO seeks every opportunity for the demonstration, validation, and infusion of maturing technologies.

The ESTO portfolio includes over 600 active and completed investments and principal investigators on those projects represent over 100 different organizations – small and large corporations; college and universities; Federal laboratories; and NASA centers.

For more information on the ESTO technology portfolio and technology development for Earth science, including solicitations for new projects, visit the Earth Science Technology Office website.