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book coverResponding to Capability Surprise: A Strategy for U.S. Naval Forces   (NSB)
Released 2013-12-31

From a military operational standpoint, surprise is an event or capability that could affect the outcome of a mission or campaign for which preparations are not in place. By definition, it is not possible to truly anticipate surprise. It is only possible to prevent it (in the sense of minimizing the number of possible surprises by appropriate planning), to create systems that are resilient to an adversary's unexpected actions, or to rapidly and effectively respond when surprised. Responding to Capability Surprise examines the issues surrounding capability surprise, both operational and technical, facing the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. This report selects a few surprises from across a continuum of surprises, from disruptive technologies, to intelligence-inferred capability developments, to operational deployments, and assesses what the Naval Forces are doing (and could do) about them while being mindful of future budgetary declines. The report then examines which processes are in place or could be in place in the Navy, the Marine Corps, and the Coast Guard to address such surprises. Today's U.S. naval forces continue to face a wide range of potential threats in the indefinite future and for this reason must continue to balance and meet their force structure needs. The recommendations of Responding to Capability Surprise will help to ensure more responsive, more resilient, and more adaptive behavior across the organization from the most senior leadership to the individual sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen.

book coverAssessment to Enhance Air Force and Department of Defense Prototyping for the New Defense Strategy: A Workshop Summary   (AFSB)
Released 2013-12-12

Assessment to Enhance Air Force and Department of Defense Prototyping for the New Defense Strategy is the summary of a workshop convened by the Air Force Studies Board of the National Academies' National Research Council in September 2013 to enhance Air Force and Department of Defense (DoD) prototyping for the new defense strategy. This workshop examined of a wide range of prototyping issues, including individual recommendations for a renewed prototype program, application of prototyping as a tool for technology/system development and sustainment (including annual funding), and positive and negative effects of a renewed program. Prototyping has historically been of great benefit to the Air Force and DoD in terms of risk reduction and concept demonstration prior to system development, advancing new technologies, workforce enhancement and skills continuity between major acquisitions, dissuasion of adversaries by demonstrating capabilities, maintaining technological surprise through classified technologies, and an overarching strategy of overall risk reduction during austere budget environments. Over the last two decades, however, many issues with prototyping have arisen. For example, the definitions and terminology associated with prototyping have been convoluted and budgets for prototyping have been used as offsets to remedy budget shortfalls. Additionally, prototyping has been done with no strategic intent or context, and both government and industry have misused prototyping as a key tool in the DoD and defense industrial base. Assessment to Enhance Air Force and Department of Defense Prototyping for the New Defense Strategy envisions a prototyping program that encourages innovation in new concepts and approaches and provides a means to assess and reduce risk before commitment to major new programs.

book coverAssessment of Supercritical Water Oxidation System Testing for the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant   (BAST)
Released 2013-10-10

Assessment of Supercritical Water Oxidation System Testing for the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant reviews and evaluates the results of the tests conducted on one of the SCWO units to be provided to Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. The Army Element, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives (ACWA) is responsible for managing the conduct of destruction operations for the remaining 10 percent of the nation's chemical agent stockpile, stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot (Kentucky) and the Pueblo Chemical Depot (Colorado). Facilities to destroy the agents and their associated munitions are currently being constructed at these sites. The Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) will destroy chemical agent and some associated energetic materials by a process of chemical neutralization known as hydrolysis. The resulting chemical waste stream is known as hydrolysate. Among the first-of-a-kind equipment to be installed at BGCAPP are three supercritical water oxidation (SCWO) reactor systems. These particular hydrolysate feeds present unique non-agent-related challenges to subsequent processing via SCWO due to their caustic nature and issues of salt management.This report provides recommendations on SCWO systemization testing inclusive of durability testing and discusses systemization testing objectives and concepts.

book coverThe Resilience of the Electric Power Delivery System in Response to Terrorism and Natural Disasters: Summary of a Workshop   (BEES)
Released 2013-10-22

The Resilience of the Electric Power Delivery System in Response to Terrorism and Natural Disasters is the summary of a workshop convened in February 2013 as a follow-up to the release of the National Research Council report Terrorism and the Electric Power Delivery System. That report had been written in 2007 for the Department of Homeland Security, but publication was delayed because of security concerns. While most of the committee's findings were still relevant, many developments affecting vulnerability had occurred in the interval. The 2013 workshop was a discussion of the committee\'s results, what had changed in recent years, and how lessons learned about the grid's resilience to terrorism could be applied to other threats to the grid resulting from natural disasters. The purpose was not to translate the entire report into the present, but to focus on key issues relevant to making the grid sufficiently robust that it could handle inevitable failures without disastrous impact. The workshop focused on five key areas: physical vulnerabilities of the grid; cybersecurity; mitigation and response to outages; community resilience and the provision of critical services; and future technologies and policies that could enhance the resilience of the electric power delivery system. The electric power transmission and distribution system (the grid) is an extraordinarily complex network of wires, transformers, and associated equipment and control software designed to transmit electricity from where it is generated, usually in centralized power plants, to commercial, residential, and industrial users. Because the U.S. infrastructure has become increasingly dependent on electricity, vulnerabilities in the grid have the potential to cascade well beyond whether the lights turn on, impacting among other basic services such as the fueling infrastructure, the economic system, and emergency services. The Resilience of the Electric Power Delivery System in Response to Terrorism and Natural Disasters discusses physical vulnerabilities and the cybersecurity of the grid, ways in which communities respond to widespread outages and how to minimize these impacts, the grid of tomorrow, and how resilience can be encouraged and built into the grid in the future.

book coverSelected Directed Energy Research and Development for U.S. Air Force Aircraft Applications: A Workshop Summary   (AFSB)
Released 2013-08-30

The U. S. Air force currently invests significantly in science and technology for directed-energy weapon (DEW) systems. Key elements of this investment include high-energy lasers and high-power microwaves. Other DEW research and development efforts include: optical beam control for high-energy lasers; vulnerability and lethality assessments; and advanced non-conventional and innovative weapons. Selected Directed Energy Research and Development for U.S. Air Force Aircraft Applications is the summary of three workshop sessions convened between February and April, 2013 by the Air Force Studies Board of the National Academies' National Research Council. Representatives from the Air Force science and technology community and DEW experts from the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency presented and discussed threats that DEW capabilities might defend against and assessments of foreign progress in DEW. This report examines the current status of DEW capabilities both in the U.S. and abroad, and considers future applications of DEW systems.

book coverReview of Biotreatment, Water Recovery, and Brine Reduction Systems for the Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant   (BAST)
Released 2013-06-17

The Pueblo Chemical Depot (PCD) in Colorado is one of two sites that features U.S. stockpile of chemical weapons that need to be destroyed. The PCD features about 2,600 tons of mustard-including agent. The PCD also features a pilot plant, the Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant (PCAPP), which has been set up to destroy the agent and munition bodies using novel processes. The chemical neutralization or hydrolysis of the mustard agent produces a Schedule 2 compound called thiodiglycol (TDG) that must be destroyed. The PCAPP uses a combined water recovery system (WRS) and brine reduction system (BRS) to destroy TDG and make the water used in the chemical neutralization well water again. Since the PCAPP is using a novel process, the program executive officer for the Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives (ACWA) program asked the National Research Council (NRC) to initiate a study to review the PCAPP WRS-BRS that was already installed at PCAPP. 5 months into the study in October, 2012, the NRC was asked to also review the Biotreatment area (BTA). The Committee on Review of Biotreatment, Water Recovery, and Brine Reduction Systems for the Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant was thus tasked with evaluating the operability, life-expectancy, working quality, results of Biotreatment studies carried out prior to 1999 and 1999-2004, and the current design, systemization approached, and planned operation conditions for the Biotreatment process. Review of Biotreatment, Water Recovery, and Brine Reduction Systems for the Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant is the result of the committee's investigation. The report includes diagrams of the Biotreatment area, the BRS, and WRS; a table of materials of construction, the various recommendations made by the committee; and more.

Report in Brief
book coverFuture of Battlespace Situational Awareness: A Workshop Summary  
Released 2013-05-15

Future Battlespace Situational Awareness is the third workshop in an ongoing series of workshops conducted by the National Research Council's Committee for Science and Technology Challenges to U.S. National Security Interests. The first two workshops looked at individual technologies related to "big" data and future antennas and provided context for the topic addressed in the third workshop—the planning of a future warfare scenario. The objectives for the third workshop were to review technologies that enable battlespace situational awareness 10-20 years into the future for red and blue forces; and emphasize the capabilities within air, land, sea, space, and cyberspace. The workshop was held on May 30-31, 2012, in Suffolk, Virginia, at the Lockheed Martin Center for Innovation. The sessions were not open to the public because they involved discussions of classified material, including data addressing vulnerabilities, indicators, and observables. This series of workshops address U.S. and foreign research, why S&T applications of technologies in development are important in the context of military capabilities, and what critical scientific breakthroughs are needed to achieve advances in the fields of interest— focusing detailed attention on specific developments in the foregoing fields that might have national security implications for the United States. These workshops also consider methodology to track the relevant technology landscape for the future. The three workshops feature invited presentations and panelists and include discussions on a selected topic including themes relating to defense warning and surprise. Future of Battlespace Situational Awareness summarizes the third workshop.

book coverDirected Evolution for Development and Production of Bioactive Agents: A Meeting Summary  
Released 2013-05-15

In 2012, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) approached the National Research Council and asked that a committee be formed to develop a list of workshop topics to explore the impact of emerging science and technology. One topic that came out of that list was directed evolution for development and production of bioactive agents. This workshop was held on February 21-22, 2013. Directed Evolution for Development and Production of Bioactive Agents explains the objectives of the workshop, which were to explore the potential use of directed evolution1 for military science and technology. Understanding the current research in this area, and the potential opportunities for U.S. adversaries to use this research, might allow the DIA to advise U.S. policy makers in an appropriate and timely manner. The workshop featured invited presentations and discussions that aimed to: -Inform the U.S. intelligence community of the current status of directed evolution technology and related research, and -Discuss possible approaches involving directed evolution that might be used by an adversary to develop toxic biological agents that could pose a threat to the United States or its allies, and how they could be identified. Members of the Committee on Science and Technology for Defense Warning planned the agenda for the workshop, selected the presenters, and helped moderate discussions in which meeting participants probed issues of national security related to directed evolution in an effort to gain an understanding of potential vulnerabilities. Experts were invited from the areas of directed evolution, biosynthesis, detection, and biological agents.

book coverMaking the Soldier Decisive on Future Battlefields   (BAST)
Released 2013-05-10

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. Making the Soldier Decisive on Future Battlefields 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.

Report in Brief (PDF)
book coverU.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Capabilities in the 21st Century Security Environment: A Workshop Summary   (AFSB)
Released 0000-00-00

Changes in the 21st century security environment require new analytic approaches to support strategic deterrence. Because current adversaries may be deterred from the use of nuclear weapons differently than were Cold War adversaries, the Air Force needs an analytic process and tools that can help determine those Air Force capabilities that will successfully deter or defeat these new nuclear-armed adversaries and assure U.S. allies. While some analytic tools are available, a coherent approach for their use in developing strategy and policy appears to be lacking. Without a coherent analytic approach that addresses the nuances of today's security environment, Air Force views of its strategic deterrence needs may not be understood or accepted by the appropriate decision makers. A coherent approach will support Air Force decisions about its strategic force priorities and needs, deter actual or potential adversaries, and assure U.S. allies. In this context, the Air Force in 2012 requested that the Air Force Studies Board of the National Research Council undertake a workshop to bring together national experts to discuss current challenges relating strategic deterrence and potential new tools and methods that the Air Force might leverage in its strategic deterrence mission. The workshop consisted of two 3-day sessions held in Washington, DC on September 26-28, 2012 and January 29-31, 2013 and was attended by a very diverse set of participants with expertise in strategic deterrence and a range of analytic tools of potential interest to the Air Force. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Capabilities in the 21st Century Security Environment summarizes this workshop.

Report in Brief (PDF)
book coverAdaptive Materials and Structures: A Workshop Report  
Released 2013-02-25

In 2012, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) approached the National Research Council's TIGER standing committee and asked it to develop a list of workshop topics to explore the impact of emerging science and technology. One topic that came out of that list was adaptive structural materials. This workshop was held on July 11-12, 2012. The objectives for the workshop were to explore the potential use of adaptive structural materials science and technology for military application. Understanding the current research in this area, and the potential opportunities to use this research by U.S. adversaries, allows the Defense Warning Office to advise U.S. policy makers in an appropriate and timely manner to take action on those areas deemed a national security risk. The workshop featured invited presentations and discussions that aimed to: 1. Review the latest advances and applications both nationally and internationally related to adaptive structural materials scientific research and technology development. 2. Review adaptive materials related to shape memory, magnetostrictive materials, magnetic shape memory alloys, phase change materials, and other metal and non-metallic materials research that may be uncovered during the course of workshop preparation and execution, to include all soft or nanoscale materials such as those used in human bone or tissue. 3. Review modeling, processing and fabrication related to defining designs or design requirements for future military or dual-use air, space, land, sea or human systems. 4. Review dual-use applications of commercial adaptive structural materials research and development, and the potential impacts on U.S. national security interests. 5. The workshop then focused on the application of adaptive structural materials technology and the national security implications for the United States, discussing U.S. and foreign researchers' current research, why the state or non-state actor application of a technology is important in the context of technological and military capabilities, and what critical breakthroughs are needed to advance the field.

book cover2011-2012 Assessment of the Army Research Laboratory   (LAB)
Released 2013-04-09

The charge of the Army Research Laboratory Technical Assessment Board (ARLTAB) is to provide biennial assessments of the scientific and technical quality of the research, development, and analysis programs at the Army Research Laboratory (ARL). The ARLTAB is assisted by six panels, each of which focuses on the portion of the ARL program conducted by one of ARL's six directorates1. When requested to do so by ARL, the ARLTAB also examines work that cuts across the directorates. For example, during 2011-2012, ARL requested that the ARLTAB examine crosscutting work in the areas of autonomous systems and network science. The overall quality of ARL's technical staff and their work continues to be impressive. Staff continue to demonstrate clear, passionate mindfulness of the importance of transitioning technology to support immediate and longer-term Army needs. Their involvement with the wider scientific and engineering community continues to expand. Such continued involvement and collaboration are fundamentally important for ARL's scientific and technical activities and need to include the essential elements of peer review and interaction through publications and travel to attend professional meetings, including international professional meetings. In general, ARL is working very well within an appropriate research and development niche and has been demonstrating significant accomplishments, as exemplified in the following discussion, which also addresses opportunities and challenges.

book coverZero-Sustainment Aircraft for the U.S. Air Force: A Workshop Summary   (AFSB)
Released 2013-03-12

The Air Force recognizes that sustainment of legacy weapon systems is a strategic issue for the United States. To assist the Air Force in addressing this issue, the Air Force Studies Board (AFSB) of the National Research Council of the National Academies drafted terms of reference to bring together Department of Defense organizations and industry for one 3-day workshop highlighting current sustainment practices that the Air Force might leverage to reduce maintenance and sustainment costs in the near term. An ad hoc committee was formed to plan and convene the workshop, which was held on December 4 6, 2012 in Washington, D.C., to discuss how science and technology can reduce aircraft sustainment costs in the Air Force and to review costs in maintenance, upgrades, and aging aircraft in the Air Force.

Report in Brief
book coverEnergy-Efficiency Standards and Green Building Certification Systems Used by the Department of Defense for Military Construction and Major Renovations   (BICE)
Released 2013-06-04

Congress has an ongoing interest in ensuring that the 500,000 buildings and other structures owned and operated by the Department of Defense (DOD) are operated effectively in terms of cost and resource use. Section 2830 of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year requires the Secretary of Defense to submit a report to the congressional defense committees on the energy-efficiency and sustainability standards used by DOD for military construction and major renovations of buildings. DOD's report must include a cost-benefit analysis, return on investment, and long-term payback for the building standards and green building certification systems, including: (A) American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 189.1-2011 for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential. (B) ASHRAE Energy Standard 90.1-2010 for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential. (C) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver, Gold, and Platinum certification for green buildings, as well as the LEED Volume certification. (D) Other American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited standards. DOD's report to the congressional defense committees must also include a copy of DOD policy prescribing a comprehensive strategy for the pursuit of design and building standards across the department that include specific energy-efficiency standards and sustainable design attributes for military construction based on the cost-benefit analysis, return on investment, and demonstrated payback required for the aforementioned building standards and green building certification systems. Energy-Efficiency Standards and Green Building Certification Systems Used by the Department of Defense for Military Construction and Major Renovations summarizes the recommendations for energy efficiency.

book coverEnergy Reduction at U.S. Air Force Facilities Using Industrial Processes: A Workshop Summary   (AFSB)
Released 2013-02-04

The Department of Defense (DoD) is the largest consumer of energy in the federal government. In turn, the U.S. Air Force is the largest consumer of energy in the DoD, with a total annual energy expenditure of around $10 billion. Approximately 84 percent of Air Force energy use involves liquid fuel consumed in aviation whereas approximately 12 percent is energy (primarily electricity) used in facilities on the ground. This workshop was concerned primarily with opportunities to reduce energy consumption within Air Force facilities that employ energy intensive industrial processes—for example, assembly/disassembly, painting, metal working, and operation of radar facilities—such as those that occur in the maintenance depots and testing facilities. Air Force efforts to reduce energy consumption are driven largely by external goals and mandates derived from Congressional legislation and executive orders. To date, these goals and mandates have targeted the energy used at the building or facility level rather than in specific industrial processes. In response to a request from the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Energy and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Science, Technology, and Engineering, the National Research Council, under the auspices of the Air Force Studies Board, formed the Committee on Energy Reduction at U.S. Air Force Facilities Using Industrial Processes: A Workshop. The terms of reference called for a committee to plan and convene one 3 day public workshop to discuss: (1) what are the current industrial processes that are least efficient and most cost ineffective? (2) what are best practices in comparable facilities for comparable processes to achieve energy efficiency? (3) what are the potential applications for the best practices to be found in comparable facilities for comparable processes to achieve energy efficiency? (4) what are constraints and considerations that might limit applicability to Air Force facilities and processes over the next ten year implementation time frame? (5) what are the costs and paybacks from implementation of the best practices? (6) what will be a proposed resulting scheme of priorities for study and implementation of the identified best practices? (7) what does a holistic representation of energy and water consumption look like within operations and maintenance?

book coverCapability Surprise for U.S. Naval Forces: Initial Observations and Insights: Interim Report   (NSB)
Released 2014-01-22

A letter dated December 21, 2011, to National Academy of Sciences President Dr. Ralph Cicerone from the Chief of Naval Operations, ADM Jonathan W. Greenert, U.S. Navy, requested that the National Research Council's (NRC's) Naval Studies Board (NSB) conduct a study to examine the issues surrounding capability surprise—both operationally and technically related—facing the U.S. naval services. Accordingly, in February 2012, the NRC, under the auspices of its NSB, established the Committee on Capability Surprise for U.S. Naval Forces. The study's terms of reference, provided in Enclosure A of this interim report, were formulated by the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) in consultation with the NSB chair and director. The terms of reference charge the committee to produce two reports over a 15-month period. The present report is the first of these, an interim report issued, as requested, following the third full committee meeting. The terms of reference direct that the committee in its two reports do the following: (1) Select a few potential capability surprises across the continuum from disruptive technologies, to intelligence inferred capability developments, through operational deployments and assess what U.S. Naval Forces are doing (and could do) about these surprises while mindful of future budgetary declines; (2) Review and assess the adequacy of current U.S. Naval Forces' policies, strategies, and operational and technical approaches for addressing these and other surprises; and (3) Recommend any changes, including budgetary and organizational changes, as well as identify any barriers and/or leadership issues that must be addressed for responding to or anticipating such surprises including developing some of our own surprises to mitigate against unanticipated surprises. Capability Surprise for U.S. Naval Forces: Initial Observations and Insights: Interim Report highlights issues brought to the committee's attention during its first three meetings and provides initial observations and insights in response to each of the three tasks above. It is very much an interim report that neither addresses in its entirety any one element of the terms of reference nor reaches final conclusions on any aspect of capability surprise for naval forces. The committee will continue its study during the coming months and expects to complete by early summer 2013 its final report, which will address all of the elements in the study's terms of reference and explore many potential issues of capability surprise for U.S. naval forces not covered in this interim report.