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Strategic University Research Partnerships

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FY18 Strategic Topics

JPL has identified the science and technology areas that are essential for JPL’s continuing contribution to NASA’s future success and for which JPL’s leadership is key. The topic areas are provided below.

The SURP Program encourages proposals that address the strategic topic areas identified below. Preference will be given to proposals that are aligned with these topic areas, but selection of an exceptional proposal outside these areas is not precluded.

1. Solar System Science
    Solar system origin, structure and evolution
    Planetary Atmospheres and Geology
    Solar System characteristics and origin of life
    Primitive solar systems bodies
    Lunar science
    Preparing for returned sample investigations

2. Earth Science
    Atmospheric Composition
    Weather and Atmospheric Physics
    Land and solid earth processes
    Water Cycle
    Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems
    Oceans and Cryosphere
    Climate Science
    Earth analogs to planets

3. Astronomy and Fundamental Physics
    Origin, evolution, and structure of the universe
    Gravitational astrophysics and fundamental physics
    Extra-solar planets and star and planetary formation
    Solar and Space Physics
    Formation and evolution of galaxies

4. In-Space Propulsion Technologies
    Chemical propulsion
    Non-chemical propulsion
    Electric propulsion

5. Space Power and Energy Storage
    Power generation
    Energy storage
    Power management & distribution

6. Robotics, Tele-Robotics and Autonomous System
    Manipulation technology
    Human-systems interfaces
    Autonomous rendezvous & docking
    Systems engineering

7. Communication and Navigation
    DSN Science
    Optical communications & navigation technology
    Radio frequency communications
    Position, navigation and timing
    Active radar instruments
    Distributed spacecraft formation
    Revolutionary concepts
    Pointing systems

8. Human Exploration Destination Systems
    In-situ resource utilization
    Cross-cutting systems

9. Science Instruments, Observatories and Sensor Systems
    Science Mission Directorate Technology Needs
    Remote Sensing instruments/sensors
    Observatory technology
    Advanced optics and telescopes
    In-situ instruments/sensor technologies
    Visible/IR/submillimeter, in-situ and remote sensing instruments
    Visible/IR/submillimeter focal planes

10. Entry, Descent and Landing Systems
    Aerobraking, aerocapture, and entry systems
    Precision Landing
    Vehicle system technology

11. Nanotechnology
    Engineered materials
    Energy generation and storage
    Electronics, devices and sensors

12. Modeling, Simulation, Information Technology and Processing
    Flight and ground computing
    Information processing

13. Materials, Structures, Mechanical Systems and Manufacturing
    Mechanical systems

14. Thermal Management Systems
    Cryogenic systems
    Thermal control systems
    Thermal protection systems