Technology Readiness Levels

Technology Readiness Level Definitions

Description of Technology Readiness Level Definitions
Technology Readiness Level Definition
TRL 1—Basic principles observed and reported Lowest level of technology readiness. Scientific research begins to be translated into applied research and development. Examples might include paper studies of a technology's basic properties.
TRL 2—Technology concept and/or application formulated Invention begins. Once basic principles are observed, practical applications can be invented. Applications are speculative, and there may be no proof or detailed analysis to support the assumptions.
TRL 3—Analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof of concept Active research and development is initiated. This includes analytical studies and laboratory studies to physically validate the analytical predictions of separate elements of the technology.
TRL 4—Product and/or process validation in laboratory environment Basic technological products and/or processes are tested to establish that they will work.
TRL 5—Product and/or process validation in relevant environment Reliability of product and/or process innovation increases significantly. The basic products and/or processes are integrated so they can be tested in a simulated environment.
TRL 6—Product and/or process prototype demonstration in a relevant environment Prototypes are tested in a relevant environment. Represents a major step up in a technology's demonstrated readiness. Examples include testing a prototype in a simulated operational environment.
TRL 7—Product and/or process prototype demonstration in an operational environment Prototype near or at planned operational system and requires demonstration of an actual prototype in an operational environment (e.g. in a vehicle).
TRL 8—Actual product and/or process completed and qualified through test and demonstration Innovation has been proven to work in its final form and under expected conditions. In almost all cases, this TRL represents the end of true system development.
TRL 9—Actual product and/or process proven successful Actual application of the product and/or process innovation in its final form or function.