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Science and Technology for Army Homeland Security: Report 1 Appendix C Criteria for Technology Readiness Levels TABLE C1 Criteria for Technology Readiness Levelsa TRL Task Accomplished Description 1 Basic principals observed and reported Lowest level of technology readiness. Scientific research begins to be translated into applied research and development. Examples might include paper studies of a technology’s basic properties. 2 Technology concept or application formulated Invention begins. Once basic principles are observed, practical applications can be invented. The application is speculative and there is no proof or detailed analysis to support the assumption. Examples are still limited to paper studies. 3 Analytical and experimental critical function or characteristics proof of concept Active research and development are initiated. These include analytical studies and laboratory studies to physically validate analytical predictions of separate elements of the technology. Examples include components that are not yet integrated or representative. 4 Component or breadboard validation in laboratory environment Basic technology components are integrated to establish that the pieces will work together. This is relatively “low fidelity” compared with the eventual system. Examples include integration of ad hoc hardware in a laboratory. aAdapted from Army Science and Technology Master Plan.
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Science and Technology for Army Homeland Security: Report 1 TRL Task Accomplished Description 5 Component or breadboard validation in relevant environment Fidelity of breadboard technology increases significantly. The basic technological components are integrated with reasonably realistic supporting elements so that the technology can be tested in a simulated environment. Examples include high-fidelity laboratory integration of components. 6 System/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment Representative model or prototype system, which is well beyond the breadboard tested for TRL 5, is tested in a relevant environment. Represents a major step up in a technology’s demonstrated readiness. Examples include testing a prototype in a high-fidelity laboratory environment or in a simulated operational environment. 7 System prototype demonstration in an operational environment Prototype near or at planned operational system. Represents a major step up from TRL 6, requiring the demonstration of an actual system prototype in an operational environment, such as in an aircraft, vehicle, or space. Examples include testing the prototype in a testbed aircraft. 8 Actual system completed and flight qualified through test and demonstration Technology has been proven to work in its final form and under expected conditions. In almost all cases, this TR represents the end of true system development. Examples include developmental test and evaluation of the system in its intended weapon system to determine if it meets design specifications. 9 Actual system flight proven through successful mission operations Actual application of the technology in its final form and under mission conditions, such as those encountered in operational test and evaluation. In almost all cases, this is the end of the last bug-fixing aspects of true system development. Examples include using the system under operational mission conditions.
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