D
Definitions for Technology Readiness Levels

Table D.1, “Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs),” is reprinted from Appendix J of NPR [NASA Procedural Requirements] 7120.8, “NASA Research and Technology Program and Project Management Requirements.” (That document is still in draft form, but the definitions in it will supersede the previous TRL definitions.)

TABLE D.1 Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs)

TRL

Definition

Hardware Description

Software Description

Exit Criteria

1

Basic principles observed and reported.

Scientific knowledge generated underpinning hardware technology concepts/applications.

Scientific knowledge generated underpinning basic properties of software architecture and mathematical formulation.

Peer reviewed publication of research underlying the proposed concept/application.

2

Technology concept and/or application formulated.

Invention begins, practical application is identified but is speculative, no experimental proof or detailed analysis is available to support the conjecture.

Practical application is identified but is speculative, no experimental proof or detailed analysis is available to support the conjecture. Basic properties of algorithms, representations and concepts defined. Basic principles coded. Experiments performed with synthetic data.

Documented description of the application/concept that addresses feasibility and benefit.

3

Analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof of concept.

Analytical studies place the technology in an appropriate context and laboratory demonstrations, modeling and simulation validate analytical prediction.

Development of limited functionality to validate critical properties and predictions using non-integrated software components.

Documented analytical/ experimental results validating predictions of key parameters.

4

Component and/or breadboard validation in laboratory environment.

A low fidelity system/component breadboard is built and operated to demonstrate basic functionality and critical test environments, and associated performance predictions are defined relative to the final operating environment.

Key, functionally critical, software components are integrated, and functionally validated, to establish interoperability and begin architecture development. Relevant environments defined and performance in this environment predicted.

Documented test performance demonstrating agreement with analytical predictions. Documented definition of relevant environment.



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D Definitions for Technology Readiness Levels Table D.1, “Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs),” is reprinted from Appendix J of NPR [NASA Procedural Requirements] 7120.8, “NASA Research and Technology Program and Project Management Requirements.” (That document is still in draft form, but the definitions in it will supersede the previous TRL definitions.) TABLE D.1 Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) TRL Definition Hardware Description Software Description Exit Criteria 1 Basic Scientific knowledge generated Scientific knowledge generated Peer reviewed principles underpinning hardware underpinning basic properties of publication of research observed and technology software architecture and underlying the reported. concepts/applications. mathematical formulation. proposed concept/application. 2 Technology Invention begins, practical Practical application is identified Documented concept and/or application is identified but is but is speculative, no experimental description of the application speculative, no experimental proof or detailed analysis is application/concept formulated. proof or detailed analysis is available to support the conjecture. that addresses available to support the Basic properties of algorithms, feasibility and benefit. conjecture. representations and concepts defined. Basic principles coded. Experiments performed with synthetic data. 3 Analytical and Analytical studies place the Development of limited Documented experimental technology in an appropriate functionality to validate critical analytical/ critical function context and laboratory properties and predictions using experimental results and/or demonstrations, modeling and non-integrated software validating predictions characteristic simulation validate analytical components. of key parameters. proof of prediction. concept. Documented test 4 Component A low fidelity Key, functionally critical, software performance and/or system/component breadboard components are integrated, and demonstrating breadboard is built and operated to functionally validated, to establish agreement with validation in demonstrate basic functionality interoperability and begin analytical predictions. laboratory and critical test environments, architecture development. Relevant environment. and associated performance environments defined and Documented definition predictions are defined relative performance in this environment of relevant to the final operating predicted. environment. environment. continued 58

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TRL Definition Hardware Description Software Description Exit Criteria 5 Component A medium fidelity End-to-end software elements Documented test and/or system/component brassboard implemented and interfaced with performance breadboard is built and operated to existing systems/simulations demonstrating validation in demonstrate overall conforming to target environment. agreement with analytical predictions. relevant performance in a simulated End-to-end software system, tested Documented definition environment. operational environment with in relevant environment, meeting of scaling realistic support elements that predicted performance. Operational requirements. demonstrates overall environment performance performance in critical areas. predicted. Prototype Performance predictions are implementations developed. made for subsequent development phases. Documented test 6 System/ A high-fidelity Prototype implementations of the subsystem system/component prototype software demonstrated on full-scale performance model or that adequately addresses all realistic problems. Partially demonstrating prototype critical scaling issues is built integrate with existing agreement with demonstration and operated in a relevant hardware/software systems. analytical predictions. in an operation environment to demonstrate Limited documentation available. environment. operations under critical Engineering feasibility fully environmental conditions. demonstrated. 7 System A high fidelity engineering unit Prototype software exists having all Documented test performance prototype that adequately addresses all key functionality available for demonstrating demonstration critical scaling issues is built demonstration and test. Well agreement with in an and operated in a relevant integrated with operational analytical predictions. operational environment to demonstrate hardware/software systems environment. performance in the actual demonstrating operational operational environment and feasibility. Most software bugs platform (ground, airborne, or removed. Limited documentation space). available. 8 Actual system The final product in its final All software has been thoroughly Documented test completed and configuration is successfully debugged and fully integrated with performance verifying “flight demonstrated through test and all operational hardware and analytical predictions. qualified” analysis for its intended software systems. All user through test operational environment and documentation, training and platform (ground, airborne, or documentation, and maintenance demonstration. space). documentation completed. All functionality successfully demonstrated in simulated operational scenarios. Verification and Validation (V&V) completed. 9 Actual system The final product is All software has been thoroughly Documented mission flight proven successfully operated in an debugged and fully integrated with operational results. through actual mission. all operational hardware/software successful systems. All documentation has mission been completed. Sustaining operations. software engineering support is in place. System has been successfully operated in the operational environment. NOTE: Generic TRL descriptions are found in NASA, NASA Systems Engineering Processes and Requirements, NPR 7123.1, Table G-19. 59