START, an effort to optimize technology research and development primarily for NASA missions, was developed within the System Modeling and Analysis Program Office, reporting to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Associate Director for Strategic Planning and Project Formulation.
We offer systems for quantifying and comparing the risks, costs, and potential returns of technologies that are candidates for funding, whether for the near-to-midterm or for futuristic missions requiring revolutionary innovations. Our methods can be enormously helpful both in selecting technologies for development -- within the constraints of budget, schedule, and other resources -- and in monitoring their progress.
START's methods are applicable to everything from individual tasks to multiple projects comprising entire programs of investigation. They can address virtually any technology assessment issue, including the ongoing need to devise and measure objective criteria for allocating tasks among humans, robots, and human-robot teams.
We seek to extend our methodology to additional application areas relevant to space and to other problems of national significance.