B
Technology Readiness Level Descriptions

Technology Readiness Level (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 or application formulated

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

Invention begins, practical application is identified but is speculative, no experimental proof or detailed analysis is available to support the conjecture. Underlying algorithms are clarified and documented

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

3

Analytical and/or experimental critical function 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 or breadboard validation in laboratory

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 or breadboard validation in a relevant environment

A mid-level 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 a relevant 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 software partially integrated with existing hardware/software systems and demonstrated on full scale realistic problems

Documented test performance demonstrating agreement with analytical predictions

7

System prototype demonstration in space

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 is fully integrated with operational hardware/software systems demonstrating operational feasibility

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)

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)

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

The final product is successfully operated in an actual mission

Documented mission operational results

SOURCE: “NASA Research and Technology Program and Project Management Requirements,” NPR 7120.8, Appendix J, February 5, 2008.



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B Technology Readiness Level Descriptions Technology Readiness Level (TRL) Definition Hardware Description Software Description Exit Criteria Basic principles Scientific knowledge generated Scientific knowledge generated Peer reviewed observed and underpinning hardware technology underpinning basic properties of publication of research 1 reported concepts/applications software architecture and mathematical underlying the proposed formulation concept/application Invention begins, practical application Documented description Technology Invention begins, practical application is identified but is speculative, no of the application/ concept or is identified but is speculative, no experimental proof or detailed analysis concept that addresses application experimental proof or detailed analysis 2 is available to support the conjecture. feasibility and benefit formulated is available to support the conjecture Underlying algorithms are clarified and documented Analytical and/or Analytical studies place the technology Development of limited functionality to Documented validate critical properties and analytical/experimental experimental in an appropriate context and laboratory predictions using non-integrated results validating 3 critical function or demonstrations, modeling and software components predictions of key characteristic simulation validate analytical prediction parameters proof-of-concept A low fidelity system/component Key, functionally critical, software Documented test Component or breadboard is built and operated to components are integrated, and performance breadboard demonstrate basic functionality and functionally validated, to establish demonstrating validation in critical test environments and interoperability and begin architecture agreement with 4 laboratory associated performance predictions are development. Relevant environments analytical predictions. defined relative to the final operating defined and performance in this Documented definition environment environment predicted of relevant environment Documented test End-to-end software elements Component or A mid-level fidelity system/component performance implemented and interfaced with breadboard brassboard is built and operated to demonstrating existing systems/simulations validation in a demonstrate overall performance in a agreement with conforming to target environment. End- relevant simulated operational environment with analytical predictions. to-end software system, tested in realistic support elements that 5 environment Documented definition relevant environment, meeting demonstrates overall performance in of scaling requirements predicted performance. Operational critical areas. Performance predictions environment performance predicted. are made for subsequent development Prototype implementations developed. phases Prototype software partially integrated Documented test System/subsystem A high-fidelity system/component performance model or prototype that adequately addresses all with existing hardware/software demonstrating prototype critical scaling issues is built and systems and demonstrated on full scale 6 agreement with demonstration in a operated in a relevant environment to realistic problems analytical predictions relevant demonstrate operations under critical environment environmental conditions System prototype A high fidelity engineering unit that Prototype software is fully integrated Documented test demonstration in adequately addresses all critical scaling with operational hardware/software performance space issues is built and operated in a relevant systems demonstrating operational demonstrating environment to demonstrate feasibility agreement with 7 analytical predictions performance in the actual operational environment and platform (ground, airborne or space) The final product in its final The final product in its final Documented test Actual system configuration is successfully configuration is successfully performance verifying completed and demonstrated through test and analysis demonstrated through test and analysis analytical predictions flight qualified 8 for its intended operational for its intended operational through test and environment and platform (ground, environment and platform (ground, demonstration airborne or space) airborne or space) Actual system The final product is successfully The final product is successfully Documented mission flight proven operated in an actual mission operated in an actual mission operational results 9 through successful mission operations SOURCE: “NASA Research and Technology Program and Project Management Requirements,” NPR 7120.8, Appendix J, February 5, 2008. 81