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Space Technology

SRI's interdisciplinary teams provide integration skills, technology, and expertise in the management of complex projects to meet the evolving requirements of space missions and monitoring, including

  • Sources and sensors: from novel power components and imagers to robotics and microfabrication
  • Launch integration services: optimization of launch outcomes in collaboration with government clients
  • Mission assistance: from studies of space weather to entirely new mission concepts
  • Small satellite technologies: from pico- and nanoscale components to CubeSats
  • Novel devices: from the SRI-developed Spindt cold cathode emitter to microsystems for harsh environments

SRI's Center for Geospace Studies, Space and Marine Technology Laboratory, and Center for Fracture Physics offer expertise gained from working with the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Specialized facilities and equipment suitable for tests in extreme conditions that mimic space environments include

  • MEMS fabrication facilities
  • Small satellite technology evaluation laboratory
  • CubeSat integration laboratory
  • Spacecraft materials integration laboratory
  • Space particle source test laboratory
  • RF ground systems
  • Avionics test facility
  • Thermal vacuum chambers
  • Clean rooms and other resources, such as Sensitive Compartmented Information facilities (SCIFs) for flight hardware


concept illustration of solar orbiter spacecraft approaching the sun

Solar Orbiter Heliospheric Imager (SoloHI)

SRI is developing a customized CMOS imager for the Solar Orbiter spacecraft that will allow scientists to study the sun from a closer distance than any previous mission.

spectral glow

Terrestrial Atmosphere Studies: Iron Oxide in the Mesosphere

Spectral emission studies reveal meteorites’ contribution to airglow.

SRI researcher looks at a Deep STARE imager and camera system.

Deep-STARE Imager and Camera System

To keep astronauts, equipment, and satellites out of harm’s way, SRI provides a rare capability to quickly track tens of thousands of objects in near-Earth space.

Two SRI researchers work on a RAX CubeSat

Radio Aurora Explorer (RAX) CubeSat

Disruptions in Earth's ionosphere from solar activity can cause communications blackouts, negatively affecting GPS and radio signals. SRI’s revolutionary small satellites offer a novel way to monitor such conditions.