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June 2013



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June 2013

New Releases

U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Capabilities in the 21st Century Security Environment
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U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Capabilities in the 21st Century Security Environment: A Workshop Summary

Changes in the 21st century security environment require new analytic approaches to support strategic deterrence. [more]


Making the Soldier Decisive on Future Battlefields
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Making the Soldier Decisive on Future Battlefields

The U.S. military does not believe its soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines should be engaged in combat with adversaries on a “level playing field.” [more]

High Magnetic Field Science and Its Application in the United States
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High Magnetic Field Science and Its Application in the United States: Current Status and Future Directions

The Committee to Assess the Current Status and Future Direction of High Magnetic Field Science in the United States was convened by the National Research Council [more]

Overcoming Barriers to Electric-Vehicle Deployment
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Overcoming Barriers to Electric-Vehicle Deployment: Interim Report

The electric vehicle offers many promises—increasing U.S. energy security by reducing petroleum dependence, [more]

Directed Evolution for Development and Production of Bioactive Agents
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Directed Evolution for Development and Production of Bioactive Agents: A Meeting Summary

In 2012 the Defense Intelligence Agency approached the National Research Council ... [more]


Future of Battlespace Situational Awareness
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Future of Battlespace Situational Awareness: A Workshop Summary

Future Battlespace Situational Awareness is the third workshop in an ongoing series ... [more]



Report Aims at Making Soldiers Decisive in Combat

The U.S. military does not believe its soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines should be engaged in combat with adversaries on a “level playing field.” Our combat individuals enter engagements to win. To that end, the United States has used its technical prowess and industrial capability to develop decisive weapons that overmatch those of potential enemies. In its current engagement—what has been identified as an “era of persistent conflict”— the nation’s most important weapon is the dismounted soldier operating in small units. Today’s soldier must be prepared to contend with both regular and irregular adversaries. Results in Iraq and Afghanistan show that, while the U.S. soldier is a formidable fighter, the contemporary suite of equipment and support does not afford the same high degree of overmatch capability exhibited by large weapons platforms—yet it is the soldier who ultimately will play the decisive role in restoring stability. This National Research Council (NRC) report establishes the technical requirements for overmatch capability for dismounted soldiers operating individually or in small units. It prescribes technological and organizational capabilities needed to make the dismounted soldier a decisive weapon in a changing, uncertain, and complex future environment and provides the Army with 15 recommendations on how to focus its efforts to enable the soldier and tactical small unit (TSU) to achieve overmatch.


Read the report | Report in Brief (PDF)


Top 10 Energy Report Downloads

Energy is a hot topic at the National Academies. Here are the 10 most downloaded energy reports and the number of downloads:


  1. What You Need to Know About Energy (DEPS)
  2. Hidden Costs of Energy: Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use (DEPS, PGA, DELS)
  3. Renewable Fuel Standard: Potential Economic and Environmental Effects of U.S. Biofuel Policy (DEPS, DELS)
  4. America's Energy Future: Technology and Transformation (DEPS)
  5. The National Academies Summit on America's Energy Future: Summary of a Meeting (DEPS)
  6. Water Implications of Biofuels Production in the United States (DELS)
  7. Electricity from Renewable Resources: Status, Prospects, and Impediments(NAE)
  8. Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles  DEPS)
  9. The Hydrogen Economy: Opportunities, Costs, Barriers, and R&D Needs (DEPS, NAE)
  10. Terrorism and the Electric Power Delivery System (DEPS)

ISS Astronaut Gives Out of This World Performance

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield spent five months on board the International Space Station delighting earth-bound viewers with videos of life in space. He also has a Twitter following of about 800,000 and has sent back amazing photographs. His goal, according to this interview from CBC News was to generate interest in space flight with behind-the-scenes views.

On Monday, May 13 he released a video of himself singing David Bowie's "Space Oddity" and playing guitar. Commander Hadfield and his crew landed safely in Kazakhstan the same day.

Read the DEPS report Research for a Future in Space: The Role of Life and Physical Sciences for more about how unique characteristics of the space environment can be used to address complex problems in the life and physical sciences.



Click image to watch the video


Disposal Options Impact for Rocket Motors from Nerve Agent Rockets Stored at Blue Grass

Mr. Scott Rowden, environmental manager for the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Disposal Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) project briefed the standing Committee on Chemical Demilitarization on the impact of the 2012 Board on Army Science and Technology report Disposal Options for the Rocket Motors from Nerve Agent Rockets Stored at Blue Grass Army Depot.

Approximately 70,000 M55 rockets are stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot (BGAD) in Kentucky. These rockets are filled with either of the nerve agents GB or VX. BGCAPP is built to dispose of these rockets and the other chemical munitions stockpiled at BGAD. In the disposal process, the rocket motors will be separated from the chemical warheads and disposed of by a separate yet to be determined process outside of BGCAPP. The rockets and their motors were manufacture in the mid to late 1960s. The propellant has degraded to some extent over that time. Also, the modern electromagnetic environment is radically different from the 1960s. For example, cell phones and their ubiquitous emissions did not exist when the rockets were designed and manufactured. The authoring committee was formed to review and evaluate options for the disposal of these motors.

The committee considered options to dispose of the motors both on-site at BGAD and off-site, and either through open disposal means (emissions released directly to the atmosphere) or in a contained technology (where the disposal and resulting emissions would be contained, captured, and any emissions cleaned prior to release). The committee also considered safety issues including propellant degradation due to age, heat and humidity and electromagnetic hazards (whether a stray signal would initiate the electric igniter on a motor).

The committee ultimately recommended that the motors be disposed of on the grounds of BGAD using a contained technology, and the BGCAPP project concurred. The committee also recommended that motor storage and transportation boxes be designed to minimize the influences of heat and humidity on the aged and degraded propellant, and that the potential impacts of the electromagnetic environment be investigated and mitigated. Again, the BGCAPP project concurred. Overall, the report contained 14 recommendations and the BGCAPP project concurred with 13 of them.

Upcoming Meetings

June 11
National Gallery Best Practices to Meet Mission and Energy Costs Targets
Federal Facilities Council
Washington, DC
Details and Online Registration

June 13
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Tag IT Lab Results
Federal Facilities Council
Washington, DC
Details and Online Registration

June 17-18
Committee on Review of Test Protocols Used by the DOD to Test Combat Helmets
Board on Army Science and Technology
Washington, DC

June 19-21
Committee on Human Spaceflight: Technical Panel
Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board
Beckman Center
Irvine, California


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