NASA Spinoff

Environmental and Agricultural Resources

Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Mineral Analyzer Shakes Answers Out of Soil and Rocks

NASA Technology

How do you search for signs of life on a planet you’ve never been to? If you’re NASA, you send robots to do your dirty work, sifting through the soil and rocks for clues. The tools sent with those robots need to be hardy and maintenance-free—qualities that make...

Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Organic Compound Turns Toxic Waste into Harmless Byproducts
Organic Compound Turns Toxic Waste into Harmless Byproducts

NASA Technology

In 2004, a team of researchers at New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU) was trying to develop a substance that would glow to indicate the presence of...

Organic Compound Turns Toxic Waste into Harmless Byproducts
Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
LED Lighting Improves Efficiency, Imaging, Cuts Maintenance
LED Lighting Improves Efficiency, Imaging, Cuts Maintenance

NASA Technology

When Stennis Space Center officials wanted to try more energy-efficient lighting in the center’s rocket engine test stands, they couldn’t simply go...

LED Lighting Improves Efficiency, Imaging, Cuts Maintenance
Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Plant Food for Space Grows Crops on Earth
Plant Food for Space Grows Crops on Earth

NASA Technology

The goal is a fresh and tasty salad on Mars. While other NASA programs are working on getting to the Red Planet, the Agency’s Veggie team is figuring out how to grow...

Plant Food for Space Grows Crops on Earth
Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Remote Sensing Technology Fights Forest Fires Smarter
Remote Sensing Technology Fights Forest Fires Smarter

NASA Technology

Fires were raging in Northern California in June 2008, at the height of one of the state’s most destructive wildfire seasons in history, and one blaze was...

Remote Sensing Technology Fights Forest Fires Smarter
Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Earth Images Enable Near-Perfect Crop Predictions
Earth Images Enable Near-Perfect Crop Predictions

NASA Technology

NASA has been taking pictures of Earth from space for as long as the Space Agency has been around—and well before Boston-based startup TellusLabs began using...

Earth Images Enable Near-Perfect Crop Predictions
Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Micronutrient Formula Strengthens Plants, Increasing Yields
Micronutrient Formula Strengthens Plants, Increasing Yields

NASA Technology

An apple a day keeps the doctor away—but how do you bring enough apples, and other fresh food, all the way to Mars and back? Given the limits on how...

Micronutrient Formula Strengthens Plants, Increasing Yields
Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Chemical Simulation Software Predicts Climate Change, Air Quality
Chemical Simulation Software Predicts Climate Change, Air Quality

NASA Technology

For climate scientists, the whole Earth is a laboratory. They need to observe what is happening across the entire planet over long swaths of...

Chemical Simulation Software Predicts Climate Change, Air Quality
Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
NASA Kite Invention Spurs Ever-Growing Educational Program
NASA Kite Invention Spurs Ever-Growing Educational Program

NASA Technology

When an educational agency contacted NASA engineer Geoff Bland in 2010, wondering about a way to monitor ponds and streams where water samples were being...

NASA Kite Invention Spurs Ever-Growing Educational Program
Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Building Sensor Monitors Power Usage, Device by Device
Building Sensor Monitors Power Usage, Device by Device

NASA Technology

When NASA wanted to build the greenest, most energy-efficient Federal building in the United States, it needed a way to keep track of the energy being...

Building Sensor Monitors Power Usage, Device by Device
Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Computer Learning Program Inventories Farmers’ Fields
Computer Learning Program Inventories Farmers’ Fields

NASA Technology

There are now countless Earth-imaging satellites circling the globe, with more being sent up each year than the previous year. Yet with all those lenses...

Computer Learning Program Inventories Farmers’ Fields
Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Low-Cost Flow Meters Bring Efficiency, Reliability to Nuclear Plants
Low-Cost Flow Meters Bring Efficiency, Reliability to Nuclear Plants

NASA Technology

The technology looks unassuming enough: circular metal plates with multiple holes in them. The plates usually sport a large central hole...

Low-Cost Flow Meters Bring Efficiency, Reliability to Nuclear Plants
Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Controlled-Release Fertilizer Takes Root in Fields, Groves Worldwide
Controlled-Release Fertilizer Takes Root in Fields, Groves Worldwide

NASA Technology

Astronaut ice cream may be an exotic treat for kids, but for real space explorers, it turns out a fresh, crunchy salad could sometimes really...

Controlled-Release Fertilizer Takes Root in Fields, Groves Worldwide
Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Satellite Imagery Sheds Light on Agricultural Water Use
Satellite Imagery Sheds Light on Agricultural Water Use

NASA Technology

Earth may be the “Blue Planet,” with more than 70 percent of its surface covered in water, but it is still a thirsty planet, with freshwater in heavy...

Satellite Imagery Sheds Light on Agricultural Water Use
Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Earth Observation Spots, Helps Prevent Rainforest Fires
Earth Observation Spots, Helps Prevent Rainforest Fires

NASA Technology

Since the launch of the first Landsat satellite in 1972, NASA’s observations of Earth from space have famously been used for charting trends in climate,...

Earth Observation Spots, Helps Prevent Rainforest Fires
Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
GPS Correction Technology Lets Tractors Drive Themselves
GPS Correction Technology Lets Tractors Drive Themselves

NASA Technology

There has been much talk of self-driving cars lately, as various automakers and technology companies such as Google race to put the first fully autonomous...

GPS Correction Technology Lets Tractors Drive Themselves
Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Software Helps Restore Fire-Ravaged Habitats
Software Helps Restore Fire-Ravaged Habitats

NASA Technology

Idaho is a nature-lover’s dream. Forests there blanket swaths of terrain, from the glassy lake regions of the northern Panhandle to the famous trout-fishing streams...

Software Helps Restore Fire-Ravaged Habitats
Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Wide Area Thermal Imaging System Brings the Landscape into Focus
Wide Area Thermal Imaging System Brings the Landscape into Focus

NASA Technology

Finding a forest fire can be more difficult than some would expect. Seeing smoke in the distance indicates a problem, but determining the exact...

Wide Area Thermal Imaging System Brings the Landscape into Focus
Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Buildings for Manipulating Magnetism Revolutionize Magnetometers
Buildings for Manipulating Magnetism Revolutionize Magnetometers

NASA Technology

In a corner of Ames Research Center in California stand a pair of rather unusual buildings, where mere mortals can control magnetic fields.

Buildings for Manipulating Magnetism Revolutionize Magnetometers
Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Photocatalytic Water Splitter Stores Energy as Hydrogen
Photocatalytic Water Splitter Stores Energy as Hydrogen

NASA Technology

At a glance, the surface of Mars appears to offer little in the way of natural resources. Scenes captured by the various rovers exploring the planet depict a...

Photocatalytic Water Splitter Stores Energy as Hydrogen
Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Multispectral Satellite Imagery Shows Farmers’ Fields in New Light
Multispectral Satellite Imagery Shows Farmers’ Fields in New Light

NASA Technology

L anny Faleide founded his Agri ImaGIS company, now called Satshot Inc., in 1994 on an idea that may have given offense to the day’s tillers...

Multispectral Satellite Imagery Shows Farmers’ Fields in New Light
Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Cost-Saving Method Yields Solar Cells for Exploration, Gadgets
Cost-Saving Method Yields Solar Cells for Exploration, Gadgets

NASA Technology

It’s expensive to fly to low-Earth orbit, let alone Mars and beyond. Engines are still propelled primarily by burning liquid fuel, but future...

Cost-Saving Method Yields Solar Cells for Exploration, Gadgets
Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Tiny Capsules Enable a World of Possibilities
Tiny Capsules Enable a World of Possibilities

NASA Technology

Big opportunities sometimes come in the smallest packages.

Tiny Capsules Enable a World of Possibilities
Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Flock of Nanosatellites Provides a Daily Picture of Earth
Flock of Nanosatellites Provides a Daily Picture of Earth

NASA Technology

Because of their expense, building and operating satellites has long been the purview of large companies and Government agencies. Having to manufacture...

Flock of Nanosatellites Provides a Daily Picture of Earth
Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Probes Measure Gases for Environmental Research
Probes Measure Gases for Environmental Research

NASA Technology

To understand climate change, we need to understand the movement of carbon, one of the planet’s most abundant resources and a building block of life that is...

Probes Measure Gases for Environmental Research
Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Remote Sensing Technologies Mitigate Drought
Remote Sensing Technologies Mitigate Drought

NASA Technology

California is an agricultural powerhouse. In 2012, its 81,500 farms and ranches produced $42.6 billion in cash receipts, the most by any state. But that abundance is...

Remote Sensing Technologies Mitigate Drought
Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Ruggedized Spectrometers Are Built for Tough Jobs
Ruggedized Spectrometers Are Built for Tough Jobs

NASA Technology

Curiosity is the undisputed hot rod of planetary rovers. Nine-and-a-half feet long, nearly 2,000 pounds, and powered by a thermo-nuclear power generator under its...

Ruggedized Spectrometers Are Built for Tough Jobs
Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Gas Conversion Systems Reclaim Fuel for Industry
Gas Conversion Systems Reclaim Fuel for Industry

NASA Technology

To understand the connection between the development of Martian power systems and technology that can pull oil from old wells or capture gases released during...

Gas Conversion Systems Reclaim Fuel for Industry
Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Satellite Data Inform Forecasts of Crop Growth
Satellite Data Inform Forecasts of Crop Growth

NASA Technology

Farming has never been more productive, but increasing demands from a growing economy and world population mean age-old risks such as insects and plant disease remain...

Satellite Data Inform Forecasts of Crop Growth
Spinoff: Environmental and Agricultural Resources
Landsat Data Enriches Google Earth
Landsat Data Enriches Google Earth

NASA Technology

When NASA launched the Earth Resources Technology Satellite, later known as Landsat, in July 1972, the first spacecraft dedicated to monitoring Earth’s surface carried two...

Landsat Data Enriches Google Earth