R&D Focus Area

Earth and Space

Exploring our universe to understand and protect our environment

Aurora borealis over the Sondrestrom Research Facility, Greenland

SRI’s interdisciplinary earth and science teams increase our scientific knowledge of Earth and space, develop new solutions for pressing environmental problems, and engineer new space technology.

  • 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. SRI's Communications, Radar, and Sensing Program also operates the Hat Creek Radio Observatory to to study space science and to deliver related scientific services to the research community.
  • To deepen our knowledge of the oceans and to strengthen maritime security, researchers in SRI’s Marine Technology Program study surface and subsurface marine environments. The program also develops and deploys advanced sensors that can detect a wide range of compounds, including pesticides, chemical threats, and explosives.
  • For clean and renewable energy, SRI has developed affordable processes for producing solar-grade silicon and capturing carbon.
  • SRI helps clients and partners develop a range of products, from quantum sensors to satellites and other space technology.

In addition to NSF, clients include other earth and space research organizations such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the National Marine Fisheries Service, among many others.