|Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage Approaches for Carbon Dioxide Removal and Reliable SequestrationProceedings of a Workshop—in Brief
Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) is a technology that integrates biomass conversion to heat, electricity, or liquid or gas fuels with carbon capture and sequestration. BECCS could provide a significant portion of the global energy supply if deployed to its theoretical maximum feasible amount. The future role of BECCS is a subject that divides researchers as estimates of potential future biomass supply vary widely due to differences in approaches used to consider factors such as population development, consumption patterns (e.g., diet), economic and technological development, climate change, and societal priorities concerning conservation versus production objectives. Nevertheless, many integrated assessment models use large-scale deployment of BECCS in scenarios that limit climate change to below 2°C.
On October 23, 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a third meeting in Irvine, California, to explore the state of knowledge and research needs related to the potential of BECCS as a CDR approach. Invited speakers gave an overview of biomass production pathways and capacities, implications of various feedstocks, advanced conversion technologies, and capture and storage strategies. Presenters at the workshop also discussed cross-cutting issues that include life cycle impacts of large-scale BECCS deployment, policies and incentives for the implementation of these approaches, and social acceptability barriers. The workshop was preceded by an introductory webinar on October 16, 2017, where invited speakers provided a primer on the prospects of BECCS for negative emissions capacity; the capacity for biomass to meet stationary generation and transportation fuel needs; and the status, challenges, and costs of implemented bioenergy and biofuels. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from both the webinar and workshop.
|Review and Assessment of Planetary Protection Policy Development Processes
Released 2018-07-02 Forthcoming/Prepublication
Protecting Earth’s environment and other solar system bodies from harmful contamination has been an important principle throughout the history of space exploration. For decades, the scientific, political, and economic conditions of space exploration converged in ways that contributed to effective development and implementation of planetary protection policies at national and international levels. However, the future of space exploration faces serious challenges to the development and implementation of planetary protection policy. The most disruptive changes are associated with (1) sample return from, and human missions to, Mars; and (2) missions to those bodies in the outer solar system possessing water oceans beneath their icy surfaces.
Review and Assessment of Planetary Protection Policy Development Processes addresses the implications of changes in the complexion of solar system exploration as they apply to the process of developing planetary protection policy. Specifically, this report examines the history of planetary protection policy, assesses the current policy development process, and recommends actions to improve the policy development process in the future.
|High-Performance Bolting Technology for Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Operations
Commercially significant amounts of crude oil and natural gas lie under the continental shelf of the United States. Advances in locating deposits, and improvements in drilling and recovery technology, have made it technically and economically feasible to extract these resources under harsh conditions. But extracting these offshore petroleum resources involves the possibility, however remote, of oil spills, with resulting damage to the ocean and the coastline ecosystems and risks to life and limb of those performing the extraction. The environmental consequences of an oil spill can be more severe underwater than on land because sea currents can quickly disperse the oil over a large area and, thus, cleanup can be problematic.
Bolted connections are an integral feature of deep-water well operations. High-Performance Bolting Technology for Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Operations summarizes strategies for improving the reliability of fasteners used in offshore oil exploration equipment, as well as best practices from other industrial sectors. It focuses on critical bolting—bolts, studs, nuts, and fasteners used on critical connections.
|Assessing the Risks of Integrating Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System
Released 2018-06-11 Forthcoming/Prepublication
When discussing the risk of introducing drones into the National Airspace System, it is necessary to consider the increase in risk to people in manned aircraft and on the ground as well as the various ways in which this new technology may reduce risk and save lives, sometimes in ways that cannot readily be accounted for with current safety assessment processes. This report examines the various ways that risk can be defined and applied to integrating these Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System managed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). It also identifies needs for additional research and developmental opportunities in this field.
|Combat Search and Rescue in Highly Contested EnvironmentsProceedings of a Workshop–in Brief
The Personnel Recovery (PR) and Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) missions are core mission functions of the U.S. Air Force (USAF). PR refers to the broad range of operations and forces that provide recovery of personnel, whether the environment is hostile or peaceful. CSAR refers to more specialized operations in which an isolated person (IP) or persons are recovered from hostile environments, typically with the existence of threats to the recovery force. The USAF has successfully performed these missions in the past. Increasingly, however, highly contested operating environments have emerged with the development, growth, and proliferation of Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) environments and Integrated Air Defense Systems (IADS). A 3-day workshop focusing on the needs of IPs was convened and examined the nature and consequences of the threat to the CSAR and PR mission, the current PR force structure, equipment and training for the IP, and technologies that might increase the survival of the IP moving into the 2030 timeframe. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.
|Data Science for UndergraduatesOpportunities and Options
Released 2018-05-02 Forthcoming/Prepublication
Data science is emerging as a field that is revolutionizing science and industries alike. Work across nearly all domains is becoming more data driven, affecting both the jobs that are available and the skills that are required. As more data and ways of analyzing them become available, more aspects of the economy, society, and daily life will become dependent on data. It is imperative that educators, administrators, and students begin today to consider how to best prepare for and keep pace with this data-driven era of tomorrow. Undergraduate teaching, in particular, offers a critical link in offering more data science exposure to students and expanding the supply of data science talent.
Data Science for Undergraduates: Opportunities and Options offers a vision for the emerging discipline of data science at the undergraduate level. This report outlines some considerations and approaches for academic institutions and others in the broader data science communities to help guide the ongoing transformation of this field.
|Human-Automation Interaction Considerations for Unmanned Aerial System Integration into the National Airspace SystemProceedings of a Workshop
Prior to 2012, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) technology had been primarily used by the military and hobbyists, but it has more recently transitioned to broader application, including commercial and scientific applications, as well as to expanded military use. These new uses encroach on existing structures for managing the nation’s airspace and
present significant challenges to ensure that UASs are coordinated safely and suitably with existing manned aircraft and air traffic management systems, particularly with the National Airspace System (NAS). Of particular concern is the interaction between human pilots, operators, or controllers and increasingly automated systems. Enhanced understanding of
these interactions is essential to avoid unintended consequences, especially as new technologies emerge. In order to explore these issues, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine organized a 2-day workshop in January 2018. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.
|Report 2 on Tracking and Assessing Governance and Management Reform in the Nuclear Security Enterprise
The congressionally mandated report A New Foundation for the Nuclear Enterprise (the “Augustine-Mies” report), released in November 2014, concluded that “the existing governance structures and many of the practices of the [nuclear security] enterprise are inefficient and ineffective, thereby putting the entire enterprise at risk over the long term.” Following the release of the Augustine-Mies report, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 called for DOE to develop an implementation plan for responding to the recommendations in that and similar reports. The NDAA also called for a 4 1⁄2-year study, joint between the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and the National Academy of Public Administration, to evaluate the implementation plan, to track the actions proposed in that plan, and to assess progress. This report is the second in a series of reports to be issued over 2017–2020 as part of that study.
|Counter-Unmanned Aircraft System (CUAS) Capability for Battalion-and-Below OperationsAbbreviated Version of a Restricted Report
The development of inexpensive small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) technologies and the growing desire of hobbyists to have more and more capability have created a sustained sUAS industry, however these capabilities are directly enabling the ability of adversaries to threaten U.S. interests. In response to these threats, the U.S. Army and other Department of Defense (DoD) organizations have invested significantly in counter-sUAS technologies, often focusing on detecting radio frequency transmissions by sUASs and/or their operators, and jamming the radio frequency command and control links and Global Positioning System signals of individual sUASs. However, today’s consumer and customized sUASs can increasingly operate without radio frequency command and control links by using automated target recognition and tracking, obstacle avoidance, and other software-enabled capabilities.
The U.S. Army tasked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to conduct a study to address the above concerns. In particular, the committee was asked to assess the sUAS threat, particularly when massed and collaborating; assess current capabilities of battalion-and- below infantry units to counter sUASs; identify counter-sUAS technologies appropriate for near- term, mid-term, and far-term science and technology investment; consider human factors and logistics; and determine if the Department of Homeland Security could benefit from DoD efforts. This abbreviated report provides background information on the full report and the committee that prepared it.
|2017-2018 Assessment of the Army Research LaboratoryInterim Report
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's Army Research Laboratory Technical Assessment Board (ARLTAB) provides biennial assessments of the scientific and technical quality of the research, development, and analysis programs at the Army Research Laboratory (ARL), focusing on ballistics sciences, human sciences, information sciences, materials sciences, and mechanical sciences. This interim report summarizes the findings of the ARLTAB for the first year of this biennial assessment; the current report addresses approximately half the portfolio for each campaign; the remainder will be assessed in 2018.
|Decrypting the Encryption DebateA Framework for Decision Makers
Encryption protects information stored on smartphones, laptops, and other devices - in some cases by default. Encrypted communications are provided by widely used computing devices and services - such as smartphones, laptops, and messaging applications - that are used by hundreds of millions of users. Individuals, organizations, and governments rely on encryption to counter threats
from a wide range of actors, including unsophisticated and sophisticated criminals, foreign intelligence agencies, and repressive governments. Encryption on its own does not solve the challenge of providing effective security for data and systems, but it is an important tool.
At the same time, encryption is relied on by criminals to avoid investigation and prosecution, including criminals who may unknowingly benefit from default settings as well as those who deliberately use encryption. Thus, encryption complicates law enforcement and intelligence investigations. When communications are encrypted "end-to-end," intercepted messages cannot be understood. When a smartphone is locked and encrypted, the contents cannot be read if the phone is seized by
Decrypting the Encryption Debate reviews how encryption is used, including its applications to cybersecurity; its role in protecting privacy and civil liberties; the needs of law enforcement and the intelligence community for information; technical and policy options for accessing plaintext; and the international landscape. This book describes the context in which decisions about providing authorized government agencies access to the plaintext version of encrypted information would be made and identifies and characterizes possible mechanisms and alternative means of obtaining information.
|Aeronautics 2050Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief
The Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board (ASEB) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine organized a 1-day visioning workshop to facilitate a dialog on the historical contributions of the ASEB to development of the U.S. civil aeronautics sector, recent advances and current challenges and opportunities in civil aviation, and new directions in air travel and technology in the coming 30 years. This publication briefly summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.
|Testing at the Speed of LightThe State of U.S. Electronic Parts Space Radiation Testing Infrastructure
Spacecraft depend on electronic components that must perform reliably over missions measured in years and decades. Space radiation is a primary source of degradation, reliability issues, and potentially failure for these electronic components. Although simulation and modeling are valuable for understanding the radiation risk to microelectronics, there is no substitute for testing, and an increased use of commercial-off-the- shelf parts in spacecraft may actually increase requirements for testing, as opposed to simulation and modeling.
Testing at the Speed of Light evaluates the nation’s current capabilities and future needs for testing the effects of space radiation on microelectronics to ensure mission success and makes recommendations on how to provide effective stewardship of the necessary radiation test infrastructure for the foreseeable future.
|In-Time Aviation Safety ManagementChallenges and Research for an Evolving Aviation System
Decades of continuous efforts to address known hazards in the national airspace system (NAS) and to respond to issues illuminated by analysis of incidents and accidents have made commercial airlines the safest mode of transportation. The task of maintaining a high level of safety for commercial airlines is complicated by the dynamic nature of the NAS. The number of flights by commercial transports is increasing; air traffic control systems and procedures are being modernized to increase the capacity and efficiency of the NAS; increasingly autonomous systems are being developed for aircraft and ground systems, and small aircraft—most notably unmanned aircraft systems—are becoming much more prevalent. As the NAS evolves to accommodate these changes, aviation safety programs will also need to evolve to ensure that changes to the NAS do not inadvertently introduce new risks.
Real-time system-wide safety assurance (RSSA) is one of six focus areas for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) aeronautics program. NASA envisions that an RSSA system would provide a continuum of information, analysis, and assessment that supports awareness and action to mitigate risks to safety. Maintaining the safety of the NAS as it evolves will require a wide range of safety systems and practices, some of which are already in place and many of which need to be developed. This report identifies challenges to establishing an RSSA system and the high-priority research that should be implemented by NASA and other interested parties in government, industry, and academia to expedite development of such a system.
|Thriving on Our Changing PlanetA Decadal Strategy for Earth Observation from Space
Released 2018-01-05 Forthcoming/Prepublication
We live on a dynamic Earth shaped by both natural processes and the impacts of humans on their environment. It is in our collective interest to observe and understand our planet, and to predict future behavior to the extent possible, in order to effectively manage resources, successfully respond to threats from natural and human-induced environmental change, and capitalize on the opportunities – social, economic, security, and more – that such knowledge can bring.
By continuously monitoring and exploring Earth, developing a deep understanding of its evolving behavior, and characterizing the processes that shape and reshape the environment in which we live, we not only advance knowledge and basic discovery about our planet, but we further develop the foundation upon which benefits to society are built. Thriving on Our Changing Planet presents prioritized science, applications, and observations, along with related strategic and programmatic guidance, to support the U.S. civil space Earth observation program over the coming decade.