Our Solicitations

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.

The 2021 solicitations for AIST and DSI are open

Our Process

Step 1 // Solicitation is released. 

We release solicitations through NASA’s NSPIRES system in one of six distinct categories:

  • Components
  • Instruments
  • Information Systems
  • Validation of Technology in Space
  • Sustainable Landsat Technologies
  • Technologies to Study Surface Topography & Vegetation and Planetary Boundary Layer

Background image of project planning

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

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 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

Funding Lines

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

  • Focus: Component Development
  • TRL Entry: 2-3 // TRL Exit: 3-4
  • Average Funding (per year): $400k
  • Duration (years): 3
  • 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)

  • TRL Entry: 1-2 // TRL Exit: 2-3
  • Average Funding (per year): $500k
  • Duration (years): 1.5
  • IIP – Instrument Development & Demonstration (IIP-IDD)

  • TRL Entry: 2-3 // TRL Exit: 4-5
  • Average Funding (per year): $1.5M
  • Duration (years): 3
  • For more information, visit the IIP program page.

    AdvancedInformation Systems Technology (AIST)
    2021 AIST SOLICITATION IS NOW OPEN
    Next Open Solicitations: Q2 2023, Q2 2025.

    • Focus: Data Analysis and Modeling // Space System Architecture and Management
    • TRL Entry: 2-4 // 
    • TRL Exit: 5-6

    For more information, visit the AIST 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.

    ESTO Solicitations

    SolicitationLink To SolicitationLink To Award
    DSI ROSES 2021Solicitation (link)-
    AIST ROSES 2021Solicitation (link)-
    IIP ROSES 2021Solicitation (link)-
    InVEST ROSES 2020Solicitation (link)Awarded Projects
    ACT ROSES 2020Solicitation (link)Awarded Projects
    SLI-T ROSES 2019Solicitation (link)Awarded Projects
    IIP ROSES 2019Solicitation (link)

    + 5/15 Bidder's Conference presentation (PDF)
    Awarded Projects
    AIST ROSES 2018Solicitation (link)Awarded Projects
    InVEST ROSES 2017Solicitation (link)Awarded Projects
    ACT ROSES 2017Solicitation (link)Awarded Projects
    AIST ROSES 2016Solicitation (link)

    + Preproposal Virtual Bidders' Conference
    Awarded Projects
    IIP ROSES 2016Solicitation (link)Awarded Projects
    SLI-T ROSES 2015Solicitation (link)Awarded Projects
    InVEST ROSES 2015Solicitation (link)Awarded Projects
    AIST ROSES 2014Solicitation (link)Awarded Projects
    ACT ROSES 2013Solicitation (link)Awarded Projects
    IIP ROSES 2013Solicitation (link)

    Preproposal Bidders' Conference Q&A (PDF)
    Awarded Projects
    InVEST ROSES 2012Solicitation (250 K PDF)Awarded Projects
    AITT ROSES 2012Solicitation (link)Awarded Projects
    Space Validation RFISolicitation (link)[not applicable]
    AIST ROSES 2011Solicitation (135 K PDF)Awarded Projects
    ACT ROSES 2010Solicitation (90 K PDF)Awarded Projects
    IIP ROSES 2010Solicitation (144 K PDFAwarded Projects
    AITT ROSES 2009Solicitation (link)Awarded Projects
    AIST ROSES 2008Solicitation (112 K PDF)Awarded Projects
    ACT ROSES 2008Solicitation (100 K PDF)Awarded Projects
    IIP ROSES 2007Solicitation (156 K PDF)Awarded Projects
    AIST ROSES 2005Solicitation (432 K PDF)Awarded Projects
    ACT ROSES 2005Solicitation (168 K PDF)Awarded Projects
    IIP NRA 2004Solicitation (820 K PDF)Awarded Projects
    AIST Master NRA 2004Solicitation (177 K PDF)
    Mini-Solicitation NNG04ZY4001N (51 K PDF)
    [not applicable]
    Awarded Projects
    ACT NRA 2002Solicitation (176 K PDF)Awarded Projects
    AIST NRA 2002Solicitation (998 K PDF)Awarded Projects
    IIP NRA 2002Solicitation (282 K PDF)Awarded Projects
    IIP NRA 2001Solicitation (940 K PDF)Awarded Projects
    AIST NRA 1999Solicitation (227 K PDF)Awarded Projects
    ATI NRA 1999Solicitation (160 K PDF)Awarded Projects
    IIP NRA 1998Solicitation (166 K PDF)Awarded Projects