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Goddard Innovates

Driven to push the boundaries of our scientific and technical limits, we then develop the tools and technologies to push beyond.

GODDARD'S INNOVATORS

Portrait of Kevin Denis, Goddard's FY23 IRAD Innovator of the Year

Goddard's 2024 Innovator of the Year for his work advancing Photon Sieves

Goddard Researcher Dr. Antonia Gambacorta

Goddard Leader in Innovation developing hyperspectral microwave sensors

Vivek Dwivedi

Goddard engineer and master of atomic layer deposition

Mahmooda Sultana with the Multifunctional Nanosensor Platform created using additive manufacturing techniques.

Manipulating the physics of light to reveal the chemistry of planets

Berhanu Bulcha

Goddard Engineer Develops Terahertz Laser

Jack Sadleir

Wrangling quantum physics to search for life around other stars

Ryan McClelland

Pioneering AI-Evolved Structures for NASA missions

Goddard’s Chief Technologist

Goddard’s Office of the Chief Technologist supports advanced technology research and development to enable NASA’s mission.

As the primary point of contact for technology innovation, Goddard’s OCT manages the center’s internal technology investments and assists with long-range planning to promote well-integrated, strategic, and opportunity-driven investigations. We manage Goddard’s Internal Research and Development (IRAD) program and NASA’s Center Innovation Fund in alignment with the center’s major science and exploration strengths, or Lines of Business.

We foster strong collaboration and partnerships through the Goddard Working Group, comprising Assistant Chiefs of Technology from key divisions across the Engineering and Technology Directorate, the Sciences and Exploration Directorate, the Flight Programs and Projects Directorate, and NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility. This board provides valuable insights and advice to Goddard’s management on technology matters.

Focus Areas and Capabilities

Goddard plays a pivotal role across all aspects of NASA’s missions. Goddard's technology research and development fall into these Lines of Business.

illustration of a black hole

Astrophysics

Focusing on missions and technologies aimed at answering: How do galaxies, stars, and planetary systems form and evolve? What is the diversity of worlds beyond our own solar system? Which planets might harbor life? What happens to space, time, and matter at the edge of a black hole? 

The hyperwall at Ames Research Center, a wall of monitors combined to display a giant image. In this case, it is showing a map of the world.

Earth Science

Developing technologies needed to observe and understand changes in Earth's climate system including state-of-art remote sensor and aircraft-based and surface-based observational platforms. 

orange sun with yellow spots and flares on black background

Heliophysics

Solar structure and magnetic activity, solar wind, solar disturbances, and the effects on Earth's upper atmosphere are some of the research areas that fall under the Heliophysics line of business. Wavelength coverage spans gamma rays to microwaves and includes particles and fields.

Titan with Saturn in background.

Planetary Science

Supports new instruments and scientific measurements to explore the solar system whether by landers or orbiting spacecraft. 

ILLUMA-T and LCRD communicating over red laser links.

Communications and Navigation

Systems and technologies for responsive communications and navigation are critical to NASA's exploration, space operations, and science missions in near-Earth and deep-space environments. 

laser on a bench

Cross-Cutting Technology and Capabilities

Addressing proficiencies applicable to more than one strategic line of business: from nano-materials, electronics, and detectors, to system architectures.

A sounding rocket in mid-launch off the launch pad with a bright white plume the spreads out underneath the rocket when it hits the ground. The rocket is white on the bottom and darker up to the top.

Suborbital Platforms and Range Services

Focusing on technologies that allow carriers to fly at new locations, altitude regimes, and for extended durations. Reducing the weight of instruments flying on NASA’s Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) platforms. 

More information

Meet the Office of the Chief Technologist’s Staff

Annual Reports

The CuttingEdge Archive on issuu.com