R&D Focus Area

Earth and Space

Developing systems and solutions to explore our earth, seas, and universe to understand and protect our environment

Aurora borealis over the Sondrestrom Research Facility, Greenland

SRI’s interdisciplinary teams increase our scientific knowledge of Earth and space, develop new solutions for pressing environmental problems, and engineer new space and marine technology. Here are some examples of our work:

  • Through our Center for Geospace Studies, we examine the fundamental processes governing the upper atmosphere and space. Through cooperative agreements with the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Center operates, manages, and conducts research at the Sondrestrom Research Facility in Greenland, at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, at Poker Flat in Alaska, with AMISR systems at Poker Flat in Alaska, and at Resolute Bay in northern Canada. The Center is also constructing high-power radars at Resolute Bay, Canada, in Argentina, and other locations.
  • Our Communications, Radar, and Sensing Program operates the Hat Creek Radio Observatory to to study space science and to deliver related scientific services to the research community.
  • Researchers in SRI’s Space Technology and Integration group are fluent in space systems and applications. Teams specialize in space payload and instrument development, systems engineering, flight mission integration, and ground facilities for mission support. Our unique small-satellite paradigm is reinvigorating space technology innovation.
  • To deepen our knowledge of the oceans, our Marine and Space Sensing group studies surface and subsurface marine environments. We develop and deploy advanced sensors to detect a wide range of compounds, including pesticides, chemical threats, and explosives. We are experts in optical sensors and systems, high-resolution underwater mapping and imaging systems, underwater mass spectrometry, and rapid test and prototyping of marine sensor systems.
  • For clean and renewable energy, SRI has developed affordable processes for producing solar-grade silicon and capturing carbon.

Clients include earth and space research organizations such as the National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Department of Defense, and the National Marine Fisheries Service, among many others.