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book coverReview Criteria for Successful Treatment of Hydrolysate at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant   (BAST)
Released 2015-10-05

In 1993, the United States signed the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), an international treaty outlawing the production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons. The chemical weapons stockpiles at five of the U.S. chemical weapons storage sites have now been destroyed. At those sites, the munitions were robotically opened and the chemical agent was removed, collected, and incinerated. One of the remaining sites with chemical weapons stockpiles is the Blue Grass Army Depot near Richmond, Kentucky. In this case, caustic hydrolysis will be used to destroy the agents and energetics, resulting in a secondary waste stream known as hydrolysate. Review Criteria for Successful Treatment of Hydrolysate at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant develops criteria for successfully treating the hydrolysate, identifies systemization data that should factor into the criteria/decision process, suggests potential modifications to suggested treatment that would allow continued onsite processing, and assesses waste disposal procedures. This study further examines the possibility of delay or failure of the existing technology and examines possible alternatives to onsite treatment.

Report Brief (PDF)
book coverImproving the Air Force Scientific Discovery Mission: Leveraging Best Practices in Basic Research Management: A Workshop Report   (AFSB)
Released 2015-09-25

In 2014, the Air Force Studies Board conducted two workshops to review current research practices employed by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR). Improving the Air Force Scientific Discovery Mission summarizes the presentation and discussion of these two workshops. This report explores the unique drivers associated with management of a 6.1 basic research portfolio in the Department of Defense and investigates current and future practices that may further the effective and efficient management of basic research on behalf of the Air Force.

book coverOwning the Technical Baseline for Acquisition Programs in the U.S. Air Force: A Workshop Report   (AFSB)
Released 2015-07-23

The U.S. Air Force has experienced many acquisition program failures - cost overruns, schedule delays, system performance problems, and sustainability concerns - over program lifetimes. A key contributing factor is the lack of sufficient technical knowledge within the Air Force concerning the systems being acquired to ensure success. To examine this issue, the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition requested that the Air Force Studies Board of the National Research Council undertake a workshop to identify the essential elements of the technical baseline - data and information to establish, trade-off, verify, change, accept, and sustain functional capabilities, design characteristics, affordability, schedule, and quantified performance parameters at the chosen level of the system hierarchy - that would benefit from realignment under Air Force or government ownership, and the value to the Air Force of regaining ownership under its design capture process of the future. Over the course of three workshops from November 2014 through January 2015, presenters and participants identified the barriers that must be addressed for the Air Force to regain technical baseline control to include workforce, policy and process, funding, culture, contracts, and other factors and provided a terms of reference for a possible follow-on study to explore the issues and make recommendations required to implement and institutionalize the technical baseline concept. Owning the Technical Baseline for Acquisition Programs in the U.S. Air Force summarizes the presentations and discussion of the three workshops.

book coverReview Criteria for Successful Treatment of Hydrolysate at the Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant   (BAST)
Released 2015-03-26

One of the last two sites with chemical munitions and chemical materiel is the Pueblo Chemical Depot in Pueblo, Colorado. The stockpile at this location consists of about 800,000 projectiles and mortars, all of which are filled with the chemical agent mustard. Under the direction of the Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternative Program (ACWA), the Army has constructed the Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant (PCAPP) to destroy these munitions. The primary technology to be used to destroy the mustard agent at PCAPP is hydrolysis, resulting in a secondary waste stream referred to as hydrolysate. PCAPP features a process that will be used to treat the hydrolysate and the thiodiglycol - a breakdown product of mustard - contained within. The process is a biotreatment technology that uses what are known as immobilized cell bioreactors. After biodegradation, the effluent flows to a brine reduction system, producing a solidified filter cake that is intended to be sent offsite to a permitted hazardous waste disposal facility. Water recovered from the brine reduction system is intended to be recycled back through the plant, thereby reducing the amount of water that is withdrawn from groundwater. Although biotreatment of toxic chemicals, brine reduction, and water recovery are established technologies, never before have these technologies been combined to treat mustard hydrolysate. At the request of the U.S. Army, Review Criteria for Successful Treatment of Hydrolysate at the Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant reviews the criteria for successfully treating the hydrolysate. This report provides information on the composition of the hydrolysate and describes the PCAPP processes for treating it; discusses stakeholder concerns; reviews regulatory considerations at the federal, state, and local levels; discusses Department of Transportation regulations and identifies risks associated with the offsite shipment of hydrolysate; establishes criteria for successfully treating the hydrolysate and identifies systemization data that should factor into the criteria and decision process for offsite transport and disposal of the hydrolysate; and discusses failure risks and contingency options as well as the downstream impacts of a decision to ship hydrolysate offsite.

book coverOpportunities for the Employment of Simulation in U.S. Air Force Training Environments: A Workshop Report   (AFSB)
Released 2015-03-10

Simulators currently provide an alternative to aircraft when it comes to training requirements, both for the military and for commercial airlines. For the U.S. Air Force, in particular, simulation for training offers a cost-effective way, and in many instances a safer way in comparison with live flying, to replicate real-world missions. Current technical issues related to simulation for training include simulation fidelity and multi-level security, among others, which will need to be addressed in order for the Air Force to take full advantage of this technology. The workshop held in November, 2014 examined the current status of simulation training, alternative uses, current and future technologies, and how the combination of simulation and live training can improve aircrew training. The scope of the workshop focused on technologies and practices that could be applicable to high-end aircraft simulations.

book coverA Review of the U.S. Navy Cyber Defense Capabilities: Abbreviated Version of a Classified Report   (NSB)
Released 2015-01-23

In order to conduct operations successfully and defend its capabilities against all warfighting domains, many have warned the Department of Defense (DoD) of the severity of the cyber threat and called for greater attention to defending against potential cyber attacks. For several years, many within and outside DoD have called for even greater attention to addressing threats to cyberspace. At the request of the Chief of Naval Operations, the National Research Council appointed an expert committee to review the U.S. Navy's cyber defense capabilities. The Department of the Navy has determined that the final report prepared by the committee is classified in its entirety under Executive Order 13526 and therefore cannot be made available to the public. A Review of U.S. Navy Cyber Defense Capabilities is the abbreviated report and provides background information on the full report and the committee that prepared it.