Producing Lasting Change and Creative Solutions
The Aerospace Corporation consistently delivers innovative ideas and solutions by leveraging technology and expertise to help our customers overcome the challenges of today and tomorrow. By blending efficiency with creativity, our team is able to develop technologies that either improve on existing systems or create entirely new ones.
In order to enhance the way Aerospace communicates about innovation, we have developed a framework of three defined categories that help illuminate the work that we do and the value it provides to our customers:
- Application of science or fundamental knowledge: involves putting to practical use a fundamental physical phenomenon or technology (e.g., lasers), which results in a substantial, formerly unknown engineering capability or engineered system. For example, Aerospace scientists and engineers are working with carbon nanotubes—strong, cylindrical structures with exceptional electrical, thermal, mechanical, and optical properties—to develop a specialized coating for creating thinner, lighter, stronger, and more flexible solar panels.
- Creative solutions: involves imagining or redefining a feasible technical option for a specific problem that leads the course of the work down a previously unanticipated, beneficial path. In this category, Aerospace has developed laser-processing techniques and laser micronanoengineering experimental stations for biomedical applications, including creating exquisite patterns, microstructures, and nanoelectrical architectures in implants and devices for enhancing cellular response and improving tissue fusion, bone growth, and bone remodeling, resulting in revolutionary new bioactive implants.
- Systems thinking and novel combinations: involves reframing a problem to create new solutions or capabilities, altering how our customers and the community work in a significant, long-lasting way. Aerospace has been using this method of innovation by changing the way we explore space. For many years, the instruments and technologies used to measure the space environment have been weighed down by unnecessarily large custom electronics. Aerospace has made a significant investment in miniaturizing the electronics required by space environment sensors. Aerospace researchers also pioneered the development of nano- and picosatellites.
Aerospace’s dedication to innovation inspired the creation of the Aerospace Technical Investment Program, which supports our scientists and engineers in innovative research and development, leveraging the breadth and depth of Aerospace expertise. Read more about Aerospace creativity and ingenuity in our Delivering Innovation newsletter.