Rapid Prototyping Capability (RPC) Guidelines

Keywords prototyping guidelines rapid prototyping

Goals and Objectives:

The overall goal of the RPC is to provide for an accelerated simulation and testing of candidate configurations with current and future Earth observation mission measurements and research results in accordance with NASA’s 2006 Strategic Plan:

“NASA’s Applied Sciences program will continue the Agency’s efforts in benchmarking the assimilation of NASA research results into policy and management decision-support tools that are vital for the Nation’s environment, economy, safety, and security.”

The primary objective of the RPC guidelines outlined here is to provide a framework within which Rapid Prototyping experiments can be conducted that target the twelve priority focus areas of National Applications utilizing research results from current and future Earth-observation missions:
• Adopt innovative and predictive capabilities critical for meeting this objective within a science and engineering framework,
• Provide a set of guidelines for proposing, selecting, conducting, and documenting experiments to demonstrate the benefits of the results of Rapid Prototyping studies to agency partners and government stakeholders.


The NASA Applied Sciences Program extends the results of NASA Earth Science Division (ESD) research and knowledge beyond the scientific and research communities to contribute to national priority applications with societal benefits. The program focuses on, (1) assimilation of NASA Earth Science Division research results to improve decision support systems, and (2) the transition of NASA research results to evolve improvements in future operational systems. NASA’s Research and Analysis Program (R&A) within the ESD has established six research focus areas to study the complex processes associated with Earth-system science: Atmospheric Composition, Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems, Climate Variability and Change, Earth Surface and Interior, Water and Energy Cycle, and Weather.

Results of NASA research conducted in these six diverse science-discipline focus areas provide the basis for candidate solutions that demonstrate the capacity to improve future operational systems through activities administered by NASA’s Applied Sciences Program.

Successfully extending NASA research results to operational organizations requires science rigor and capacity throughout the pathways from research to operations. Implementation of the process to extend research results from all the science focus areas benefits from flexible science support from a network of research and operational organizations. Figure 1 provides a graphical depiction of a framework for the extension of applied sciences activities that involves a RPC to accelerate the evaluation of research results in an effort to identify candidate configurations for future Benchmarking efforts.

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