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book coverExperimentation and Rapid Prototyping in Support of Counterterrorism   (NSB)
Released 2009-11-17

The U.S. military forces currently face a nontraditional threat from insurgents and terrorists who primarily employ improvised explosive devices and have shown a cycle of adaptation of less than 12 months to responses by U.S. forces to counter these attacks. This constantly evolving threat requires U.S. military forces to adapt and respond more rapidly with modified tacticts, technologies, and/or equipment. In response to this need for new technologies, the Rapid Reaction Technology Office (RRTO) was established in 2006 to develop technologies that can mature in 6 to 18 months for purposes of counterterrorism. Although RRTO appears to be successfully fulfilling its mission, the agency seeks to understand and address barriers to and opportunities for meeting future counterterrorism needs--including the need to accelerate the transition of technologies for counterterrorism with an eye to countering emerging and anticipated threats. This book reviews RRTO approaches and provides a set of recommendations for portential improvements to help meet these needs for rapid technology development.

book coverToward a Universal Radio Frequency System for Special Operations ForcesAbbreviated Version   (AFSB)
Released 2009-09-28

Could state of the art radio frequency (RF) systems be produced with universal capabilities to support Special Operations Forces (SOF) missions? The report, sponsored by U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), provides recommendations and examines (1) the unique requirements of SOF for radio frequency (RF) systems, (2) current handheld and manpackable RF systems, (3) capabilities that could be provided by SOF-specific RF systems, and (4) the deployability over time for universal RF systems for SOF.

book coverPersistent Forecasting of Disruptive Technologies   (AFSB)
Released 2010-01-15

Technological innovations are key causal agents of surprise and disruption. In the recent past, the United States military has encountered unexpected challenges in the battlefield due in part to the adversary's incorporation of technologies not traditionally associated with weaponry. Recognizing the need to broaden the scope of current technology forecasting efforts, the Office of the Director, Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E) and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) tasked the Committee for Forecasting Future Disruptive Technologies with providing guidance and insight on how to build a persistent forecasting system to predict, analyze, and reduce the impact of the most dramatically disruptive technologies. The first of two reports, this volume analyzes existing forecasting methods and processes. It then outlines the necessary characteristics of a comprehensive forecasting system that integrates data from diverse sources to identify potentially game-changing technological innovations and facilitates informed decision making by policymakers.

book coverEvaluation of NSF's Program of Grants for Vertical Integration of Research and Education in the Mathematical Sciences (VIGRE)   (BMSTA ,BMSA)
Released 2009-12-22

In 1998, the National Science Foundation (NSF) launched a program of Grants for Vertical Integration of Research and Education in the Mathematical Sciences (VIGRE). These grants were designed for institutions with PhD-granting departments in the mathematical sciences, for the purpose of developing high-quality education programs, at all levels, that are vertically integrated with the research activities of these departments. To date, more than 50 departments at 40 institutions have received VIGRE awards. As requested by NSF, the present volume reviews the goals of the VIGRE program and evaluates how well the program is designed to address those goals. The book considers past and current practices for assessing the VIGRE program; draws tentative conclusions about the program's achievements based on the data collected to date; and evaluates NSF's plans for future data-driven assessments. In addition, critical policy and programmatic changes for the program are identified, with recommendations for how to address these changes.

book coverDisposal of Activated Carbon from Chemical Agent Disposal Facilities   (BAST)
Released 2009-09-08

For the last two decades, the United States has been destroying its entire stockpile of chemical agents. At the facilities where these agents are being destroyed, effluent gas streams pass through large activated carbon filters before venting to ensure that any residual trace vapors of chemical agents and other pollutants do not escape into the atmosphere in exceedance of regulatory limits. All the carbon will have to be disposed of for final closure of these facilities to take place. In March 2008, the Chemical Materials Agency asked the National Research Council to study, evaluate, and recommend the best methods for proper and safe disposal of the used carbon from the operational disposal facilities. This volume examines various approaches to handling carbon waste streams from the four operating chemical agent disposal facilities. The approaches that will be used at each facility will ultimately be chosen bearing in mind local regulatory practices, facility design and operations, and the characteristics of agent inventories, along with other factors such as public involvement regarding facility operations.

book coverOptimizing U.S. Air Force and Department of Defense Review of Air Force Acquisition Programs   (AFSB)
Released 2009-06-29

The Department of Defense (DOD) spends over $300 billion each year to develop, produce, field and sustain weapons systems (the U.S. Air Force over $100 billion per year). DOD and Air Force acquisitions programs often experience large cost overruns and schedule delays leading to a loss in confidence in the defense acquisition system and the people who work in it. Part of the DOD and Air Force response to these problems has been to increase the number of program and technical reviews that acquisition programs must undergo. This book looks specifically at the reviews that U.S. Air Force acquisition programs are required to undergo and poses a key question: Can changes in the number, content, or sequence of reviews help Air Force program managers more successfully execute their programs? This book concludes that, unless they do it better than they are now, Air Force and DOD attempts to address poor acquisition program performance with additional reviews will fail. This book makes five recommendations that together form a gold standard for conduct of reviews and if implemented and rigorously managed by Air Force and DOD acquisition executives can increase review effectiveness and efficiency. The bottom line is to help program managers successfully execute their programs.

book coverOpportunities in Neuroscience for Future Army Applications   (BAST)
Released 2009-06-16

Advances and major investments in the field of neuroscience can enhance traditional behavioral science approaches to training, learning, and other applications of value to the Army. Neural-behavioral indicators offer new ways to evaluate how well an individual trainee has assimilated mission critical knowledge and skills, and can also be used to provide feedback on the readiness of soldiers for combat. Current methods for matching individual capabilities with the requirements for performing high-value Army assignments do not include neuropsychological, psychophysiological, neurochemical or neurogenetic components; simple neuropsychological testing could greatly improve training success rates for these assignments. Opportunities in Neuroscience for Future Army Applications makes 17 recommendations that focus on utilizing current scientific research and development initiatives to improve performance and efficiency, collaborating with pharmaceutical companies to employ neuropharmaceuticals for general sustainment or enhancement of soldier performance, and improving cognitive and behavioral performance using interdisciplinary approaches and technological investments. An essential guide for the Army, this book will also be of interest to other branches of military, national security and intelligence agencies, academic and commercial researchers, pharmaceutical companies, and others interested in applying the rapid advances in neuroscience to the performance of individual and group tasks.

book coverAssessment of Explosive Destruction Technologies for Specific Munitions at the Blue Grass and Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plants   (BAST)
Released 2009-04-22

The Army's ability to meet public and congressional demands to destroy expeditiously all of the U.S. declared chemical weapons would be enhanced by the selection and acquisition of appropriate explosive destruction technologies (EDTs) to augment the main technologies to be used to destroy the chemical weapons currently at the Blue Grass Army Depot (BGAD) in Kentucky and the Pueblo Chemical Depot (PCD) in Colorado. The Army is considering four EDTs for the destruction of chemical weapons: three from private sector vendors, and a fourth, Army-developed explosive destruction system (EDS). This book updates earlier evaluations of these technologies, as well as any other viable detonation technologies, based on several considerations including process maturity, process efficacy, process throughput, process safety, public and regulatory acceptability, and secondary waste issues, among others. It also provides detailed information on each of the requirements at BGAD and PCD and rates each of the existing suitable EDTs plus the Army's EDS with respect to how well it satisfies these requirements.