Definitions of Technology Readiness Level

Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) is a well-known method of understanding the development of a specific technology when it is in its procurement phase. The TRL allows the engineers access to a continuous stream of data, references, and everything for the concise understanding of the evolution of technology, without any concern about its technical background. 

TRLs and What Do They Measure:

The Technology Readiness Level was originally developed by NASA in the ’70s; the fundamental purpose of it was for space exploration and its related technologies. The use of the TRL is to measure the level of maturity of technology throughout its life cycle, the stages frequently depicted as research, development, and the procurement phase. 

Even though it was introduced by NASA, the concept has been adopted and implemented by many organizations for their use. Like the European Union (EU), it normalized the NASA level definitions of the idea and allowed for more straightforward translations of the concept. This helped in a multitude of industries benefitting from the design and was not limited to just space exploration. 

How Does it Work?

The TRL is a type of system used for measurement, assessment of the maturity level of a specific technological advancement. Every project about the technology is judged and evaluated based on particular parameters, and a technology level is assigned to the projects according to their progress. There are a total of nine levels of technology readiness. TRL-9 being the highest level, and TRL-1 being the lowest. 

The TRL level 1 technology indicates that scientific research has just begun, and the results of that research are now being translated into the research and development for the future. TRL level 2 is when the basic principles of the analysis have been studied, and the role of the practical application comes into view for the initial findings. This level of TRL is highly speculative because there is very little experimental evidence for the concept of the said technology. 

When it is time for the research to become active, and the designing begins, the technology is moved on to the status of TRL level 3. Typically, both the laboratory and the analytical studies are a must for this level. It determines whether technology is suitable and ready for further proceeding via the process of development. 

Once the evidence of the concept and technology is finally completed, the technology moves up to TRL level 4. During this level, many components of the technology are tested simultaneously. TRL level 5 is a slightly advanced continuation of TRL level 4. More severe testing of the technology is done than the TRL-4. 

TRL level 6 encompasses a fully functional model or design of the technology or any other system. In TRL level 7, the order or the technique is demonstrated in real-time or an operational environment to knows its capabilities. TRL level 8 encompasses that the system is fully functional and qualified. The final level that is the TRL level 9 is given to the ultimately approved system that has been demonstrated in an operational environment.