The Planetary Instrument Concepts for the Advancement of Solar System Observations (PICASSO) Program supports the development of spacecraft-based instrument systems that show promise for use in future planetary missions. The goal of the program is to conduct
planetary and astrobiology science instrument feasibility studies, concept formation, proof of concept instruments, and advanced component technology development (technology readiness levels (TRL) 1 – 3) to the point where they may be proposed in response to the Maturation of Instruments for Solar System Exploration (MatISSE) Program.

The Maturation of Instruments for Solar System Exploration (MatISSE) Program supports the advanced development of spacecraft-based instruments that show promise for use in future planetary missions. The goal of the program is to develop and demonstrate planetary and astrobiology science instruments to the point where they may be proposed in response to future announcements of flight opportunity without additional extensive technology development (technology readiness levels (TRL) 3 – 6). The proposed instrument must address specific scientific objectives of likely future planetary science missions.


From 1998 – 2013, Astrobiology Science and Technology Instrument Development (ASTID) supported astrobiology related instrumentation development. ASTID, however, did not truly constitute an instrument development pipeline, and to completely develop an instrument to the point where it could be proposed for a mission required repeated and costly proposals to the program. As a result, the instrument development programs restructured to the current PICASSO and MatISSE programs.