Concepts for Ocean worlds Life Detection Technology (ROSES 2016)

Funding Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

The Concepts for Ocean worlds Life Detection Technology (COLDTech) Program supports the development of spacecraft-based instruments and technology for surface and subsurface exploration of ocean worlds such as Europa, Enceladus, and Titan. The goal of the program is to develop and reduce the technical risk of instruments and technology for potential future missions so that they may eventually be proposed in response to future Announcements of Opportunity (AOs) for flight missions. Note that the COLDTech Program itself does not solicit instruments or technology for a flight opportunity. 

Specifically, COLDTech seeks to a) develop and advance the maturity of science instruments, especially those focused on the detection of evidence of life, especially extant life, in the ocean worlds of the outer Solar System (e.g., Enceladus, Europa, and Titan); b) sample acquisition, delivery and analysis systems for such missions, and c) spacecraft technologies required to access the oceans. Such spacecraft technologies may include, but are not limited to, technologies required to safely land on a poorly characterized or unknown surface, low power/mass/volume tools to melt or drill through an icy surface, high-radiation environment electronics, and low temperature power systems. Sample distribution systems capable of parsing and delivering samples to multiple instruments (and to one instrument multiple times) are of interest in order to reproduce results with the same, as well as different, instruments. Efforts that focus on advancing the technology readiness level (TRL) of a system composed of multiple existing technologies at various TRLs are allowed under this opportunity. While instruments focused on the detection of evidence of life, especially extant life, in the ocean worlds of the outer Solar System are especially of interest, COLDTech will not be limited to such instruments. NASA is currently studying a potential Europa lander mission, and instruments and technologies relevant to such a mission are also especially of interest.

The goal of the COLDTech program is to develop and reduce the technical risk of instruments and technologies so they can be proposed for future missions. Specific TRLs or missions are not prescribed for the COLDTech program since a broad range of technology maturity is solicited. 

Deadlines:

  • Required Step-1 Proposals: Jun. 17, 2016
  • Step-2 Proposals: Aug. 12, 2016

Eligibility

Faculty

Category

Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences

External Deadline

June 17, 2016