Advanced Optical Technologies
Type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz (reviewed)
Methodologies for the assessment of technology’s maturity are widely used in industry and research. Probably the best known are technology readiness levels (TRLs), initially pioneered by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). At the beginning, only descriptively defined TRLs existed, but over time, automated assessment techniques in the form of questionnaires emerged in order to determine TRLs. Originally TRLs targeted equipment for space applications, but the demands on industrial relevant equipment are partly different in terms of, for example, overall costs, product quantities, or the presence of competitors. Therefore, we present a commonly valid assessment methodology with the aim of assessing laser-based equipment for industrial use, in general. The assessment is carried out with the help of a questionnaire, which allows for a user-friendly and easy accessible way to monitor the progress from the lab-proven state to the application-ready product throughout the complete development period. The assessment result is presented in a multidimensional metric in order to reveal the current specific strengths and weaknesses of the equipment development process, which can be used to direct the remaining development process of the equipment in the right direction.