We are focused on creating cutting edge technologies that enable future Earth science research. Through an open, peer-review solicitation process, we’ve funded over 800 projects led by investigators from more than 100 institutions. Our projects aim to revolutionize how scientists study Earth and sometimes make it to the Moon and other planets.
Step 1 // Solicitation is released.
We release solicitations through NASA’s NSPIRES system in one of six distinct categories:
- Information Systems
- Validation of Technology in Space
- Sustainable Landsat Technologies
- Technologies to Study Surface Topography & Vegetation and Planetary Boundary Layer
Scroll down to the solicitations table below to see what’s open. If you’ve got an idea for a proposal but the relevant solicitation isn’t open yet, sign up for alerts at the bottom of the page – we’ll let you know when it opens.
Step 2 // Proposals are reviewed.
Once the call for solicitations closes, we assemble a team of subject-matter-experts to review and analyze each proposal
for relevance, merit and cost effectiveness.
For more information on general criteria and the peer review process, please review the following resources:
Step 3 // Projects are awarded.
And the work begins!
Each new principal investigator (PI) will be assigned an ESTO task manager who will provide guidance and support throughout the duration of the project. PIs report on the progress of their work quarterly and annually, and ESTO hosts an annual conference to share our work with the broader community.
Not sure which Technology Readiness Level (TRL) fits your project?
This NASA Procedural Requirements chart is here to help.View Chart
ESTO’s primary activity is building new technologies. Through open solicitations, we fund projects that have potential for substantially advancing the needs of the Earth science community as laid out in the 2017 Earth Science Decadal Survey. Our principal investigators (PIs) design and develop new components, instruments and information systems for the next generation of science measurements.
Advanced Component Technologies (ACT)
Next Open Solicitations: Q2 2022, Q2 2024
For more information, visit the ACT program page.
Instrument Incubator Program (IIP)
Next Open Solicitations: Q2 2023, Q2 2025. Each IIP solicitation has two main focus areas:
IIP – Instrument Concept Demonstration (IIP-ICD)
IIP – Instrument Development & Demonstration (IIP-IDD)
For more information, visit the IIP program page.
In-Space Validation of Earth Science Technologies (InVEST)
Next Open Solicitation: Q4 2023
- Focus: Validation in Space
- TRL Entry: 5-6 // TRL Exit: 9
- Average Funding (per year): $2M
- Duration (years): 3
For more information, visit the InVEST program page.
Sustainable Land Imaging – Technology (SLI-T)
Next Open Solicitations: Q2 2022, Q2 2025. Each SLI-T solicitation has two main focus areas:
SLI-T – Advanced Technology Demonstrations (SLI-T ATD)
- Focus: Advanced Prototypes/Instrument Development for near-term LandSat
- TRL Entry: 3-5 // TRL Exit: 6+
- Average Funding (per year): $1.4M
- Duration (years): 5
SLI-T – Technology Investments (SLI-T TI)
- Focus: Component/Instrument Development for future LandSat
- TRL Entry: 2-3 // TRL Exit: 5
- Average Funding (per year): $300k
- Duration (years): 3
For more information, visit the SLI-T program page.
Decadal Survey Incubation (DSI)
2021 DSI SOLICITATION IS NOW OPEN
The Decadal Survey Incubation (DSI) program explores and develops new technologies to help define the Planetary Boundary Layer and Surface Topography and Vegetation study areas defined by the National Academies of Science.
Fore more information, visit the DSI program page.