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ENGINEERING & TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT

USRA has extensive expertise in the development of next-generation technologies, facilitating exploration and innovation across a range of scientific disciplines.

Areas of expertise include:

FLIGHT HARDWARE DEVELOPMENT & INSTRUMENTATION

Engineer with instrumentationUSRA scientists have end-to-end expertise in the design, development, and deployment of flight hardware, sensors, and instrumentation. USRA scientists play key roles in the development of instruments for orbital and sub-orbital missions, deep-space systems, and aircraft and high-altitude platforms. This technology development supports applications in Earth science, astronomy, and astrophysics areas of research.

MICROGRAVITY

Drop towerKnown for their expertise in fluid mechanics, cryogenic fluid management, combustion, spacecraft fire safety, phase change processes, capillary flows and phenomena, heat transfer, and thermodynamics, USRA physicists and engineers apply this knowledge to the microgravity environment. While this research is central to spaceflight, USRA scientists use these microgravity experiments as a testbed to improve materials and processes back on Earth.

ENERGY STORAGE & NUCLEAR PROPULSION

Beyond low earth orbit, spaceflight exploration and future planetary bases will require the need for safe, reliable energy storage and propulsion systems. USRA physicists and engineers are exploring nuclear technologies, such as fast nuclear reactors and radioisotopes coupled to thermal capacitors, as methods to produce rocket thrust and store electrical power. These innovations offer significant benefits not only to spacecraft and rovers, but also to tools, computers, and anything requiring power and energy storage.

MATERIALS SCIENCE

Space exploration requires both the development of new advanced technologies for power and propulsion generation, and the fabrication of materials that can withstand extreme operating temperatures while adhering to strict weight limitations. From nanosensors to radioisotope materials, USRA scientists and engineers are leveraging their collective chemistry and physics expertise to address the challenges of long-duration air and space travel.

RESEARCH HIGHLIGHT

Scientists Bring Astronomical Radiation Detection Techniques Down to Earth

Scientists bring astronomical radiation detection techniques down to Earth.