IMPaCT enables comprehensive information on current NASA missions, prospective future missions, and the technologies that NASA is investing in, or considering investing in, to be accessed from a common Web-based interface. It allows dependencies to be established between missions and technology, and from this, the benefits of investing in individual technologies can be determined. The software also allows various scenarios for future missions to be explored against resource constraints, and the nominal cost and schedule of each mission to be modified in an effort to fit within a prescribed budget.

The objective is to establish linkages between future missions and technologies so that a more rational technology investment program can be carried out and the benefits of technologies to missions can be explored systematically. The software manages the primary data elements of Technology Sets, Technologies, Mission Sets, Missions, Time Lines, and Funding Profiles. The software reports and graphs the interrelationships (dependencies) among these elements in an aggregating Portfolio.

A Portfolio in IMPaCT is a set of missions and/or mission concepts and their associated technologies that can be selected by the user for the purpose of analyzing and exploring mission scenario options. Portfolios are particularly useful for understanding how a set of missions and technologies can be accommodated in a constrained funding profile by changing launch dates and/or reducing mission costs.

IMPaCT can display this information interactively or it can also be downloaded using reporting routines to standard formats such as Adobe .pdf files, MS Excel, or MS Word. IMPaCT has been developed at JPL under NASA’s Planetary Science Program Support task to aid NASA in planning and defining a viable portfolio of missions and technologies.

This work was done by Carlos P. Balacuit, James A. Cutts, Craig E. Peterson, Patricia M. Beauchamp, Susan K. Jones, Winnie N. Hang, and Shahin D. Dastur of Caltech for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For more information, go to the IMPaCT web site:

This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Daniel Broderick of the California Institute of Technology at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. NPO-48197

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the January, 2013 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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