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Concepts for Ocean worlds Life Detection Technology (COLDTech)

Artist rendering of tethered optical fiber and acoustic communication on icy world, Image credits: Alexander Pawlusik, LERCIP Internship Program NASA Glenn Research Center

Last Solicitation Timeline:

  • ROSES Solicitation Release – February 2020
  • Step 1 Proposals Submitted – December 2020
  • Step 2 Proposals Submitted – February 2021
  • Selection – April 2021

Solicitation Overview:

  • COLDTech supports the advanced development of spacecraft-based technology for surface and subsurface exploration of ocean worlds such as Europa and Enceladus to develop and reduce the technical risk of technology so that they may eventually be incorporated into future flight missions
  • NASA had not specified the science objectives and the mission architecture for future ocean worlds missions at the time of solicitation. A driving requirement for any such a mission is the sampling strategy, particularly the depth from which a sample is acquired. Specific technologies sought for this COLDTech opportunity are:
  • Autonomy for landed operations
  • Technology to enable communication through many kilometers of ice thickness
  • Radiation-hard digital devices
  • Specific technology readiness levels (TRLs) were not prescribed in the last HOTTech solicitation

Project InfoInstrument/PlatformInstrument/Technology TypeActivity_1st_YrPI_InstitutionPI_LNamePI_FNameActivity_Title
COLDTechPlatformElectronics2020Georgia Technology UniversityCresslerJohnEnvironmentally-Invariant Silicon-Germanium Electronics for On-Surface Ocean Worlds Exploration
COLDTechPlatformRF and Acoustic (Non-tether) Communication2020Jet Propulsion LaboratoryBar-CohenYosephMaturation and demonstration of technology to enable through deep-ice communication (CryoComm) on Europa
COLDTechPlatformSoftware for Autonomous operations and fault management2020Lockheed MartinDixonEricCausal And Reinforcement Learning (CARL) for Concepts for Ocean Worlds Life Detection Technology (COLDTech)
COLDTechPlatformRF and Magnetoinductive (Non-tether) Communication2020Jet Propulsion LaboratoryChengMichaelHybrid Radio Frequency (RF) and Magneto-Inductive (MI) Transceiver for Europa Sub-Ice Communications
COLDTechPlatformElectronics2020Vanderbilt UniversityHolmanWilliamA Radiation-Hardened Analog-to-Digital Converter for Outer Planetary Missions
COLDTechPlatformCommunication Tether with Drill2020HoneybeeZacnyKrisTether based communication system for the SLUSH (Search for Life Using Submersible Heated drill) Europa probe
COLDTechPlatformSoftware for Autonomous Terrain Sampling2020University of Illinois, Urbana-ChampaignOrnikMelkiorDRILLAWAY: aDaptive, ResIlient Learning-enabLed oceAn World AutonomY
COLDTechPlatformOptical Communication Tether and RF Relay Module2020Johns Hopkins University / Applied Physics LabCraftKathleenTechnology for Sending Signals Through the Ice (STI Tech) on Ocean Worlds
COLDTechPlatformSoftware for Autonomous operations and onboard planning2020University of ColoradoMcMahonJayExpert-Informed Autonomous Science Planning for In-situ Observations and Discoveries
COLDTechPlatformSoftware for Autonomous Operations of Sampling Equipment2020California Institute of TechnologyBurdickJoelRobust, Explainable Autonomy for Scientific Icy Moon Operations
COLDTechPlatformRF (Non-tether) Communication2020Stone Aerospace, Inc.StoneWilliamPARTI Pucks

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