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How to use Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) (Step by Step Guide)

Developing products can be hard, especially if you're not familiar with all the different phases and terminology. You've probably heard of the term "TRLs" before, but what do they actually mean? How do you use them in your product development process? This guidebook was written to answer those questions and more. It covers everything from what TRLs are, to how to use them in your product development process, to examples of how they've been used in the past. Whether you're a first-time product developer or a seasoned pro, this guidebook is for you.

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How to use Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) (Step by Step Guide)
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FAQs

How do NASA and the EU both use TRLs?

The table below shows how NASA and the European Union translate TRLs:

TRL Current NASA usage European Union
1 Basic principles observed and reported Basic principles observed
2 Technology concept and/or application formulated Technology concept formulated
3 Analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof of concept Experimental proof of concept
4 Component and/or breadboard validation in laboratory environment Technology validated in lab
5 Component and/or breadboard validation in relevant environment Technology validated in relevant environment (industry-relevant environment in the case of key enabling technologies)
6 System/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment (ground or space) Technology demonstrated in relevant environment (industry-relevant environment in the case of key enabling technologies)
7 System prototype demonstration in a space environment System prototype demonstration in operational environment
8 Actual system completed and "flight qualified" through test and demonstration (ground or space) System complete and qualified
9 Actual system "flight proven" through successful mission operations Actual system proven in operational environment (competitive manufacturing in the case of key enabling technologies, or in space)

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