TRL

Definition

Hardware Description

Software Description

Exit Criteria

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.

5

Component and/or breadboard validation in relevant environment.

A medium fidelity system/component brassboard is built and operated to demonstrate overall performance in a simulated operational environment with realistic support elements that demonstrates overall performance in critical areas. Performance predictions are made for subsequent development phases.

End-to-end software elements implemented and interfaced with existing systems/simulations conforming to target environment. End-to-end software system, tested in relevant environment, meeting predicted performance. Operational environment performance predicted. Prototype implementations developed.

Documented test performance demonstrating agreement with analytical predictions. Documented definition of scaling requirements.

6

System/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in an operation environment.

A high-fidelity system/component prototype that adequately addresses all critical scaling issues is built and operated in a relevant environment to demonstrate operations under critical environmental conditions.

Prototype implementations of the software demonstrated on full-scale realistic problems. Partially integrate with existing hardware/software systems. Limited documentation available. Engineering feasibility fully demonstrated.

Documented test performance demonstrating agreement with analytical predictions.

7

System prototype demonstration in an operational environment.

A high fidelity engineering unit that adequately addresses all critical scaling issues is built and operated in a relevant environment to demonstrate performance in the actual operational environment and platform (ground, airborne, or space).

Prototype software exists having all key functionality available for demonstration and test. Well integrated with operational hardware/software systems demonstrating operational feasibility. Most software bugs removed. Limited documentation available.

Documented test performance demonstrating agreement with analytical predictions.

8

Actual system completed and “flight qualified” through test and demonstration.

The final product in its final configuration is successfully demonstrated through test and analysis for its intended operational environment and platform (ground, airborne, or space).

All software has been thoroughly debugged and fully integrated with all operational hardware and software systems. All user documentation, training documentation, and maintenance documentation completed. All functionality successfully demonstrated in simulated operational scenarios. Verification and Validation (V&V) completed.

Documented test performance verifying analytical predictions.

9

Actual system flight proven through successful mission operations.

The final product is successfully operated in an actual mission.

All software has been thoroughly debugged and fully integrated with all operational hardware/software systems. All documentation has been completed. Sustaining software engineering support is in place. System has been successfully operated in the operational environment.

Documented mission operational results.

NOTE: Generic TRL descriptions are found in NASA, NASA Systems Engineering Processes and Requirements, NPR 7123.1, Table G-19.

SOURCE: Reprinted from Appendix J of NPR [NASA Procedural Requirements] 7120.8, “NASA Research and Technology Program and Project Management Requirements.”



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement