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Space Studies Board Annual Report 2013   (SSB)
Released 2014-04-09

The original charter of the Space Science Board was established in June 1958, 3 months before the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) opened its doors. The Space Science Board and its successor, the Space Studies Board (SSB), have provided expert external and independent scientific and programmatic advice to NASA on a continuous basis from NASA's inception until the present. The SSB has also provided such advice to other executive branch agencies, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Department of Defense, as well as to Congress. Space Studies Board Annual Report 2013 covers a message from the chair of the SSB, Charles F. Kennel. This report also explains the origins of the Space Science Board, how the Space Studies Board functions today, the SSB's collaboration with other National Research Council units, assures the quality of the SSB reports, acknowledges the audience and sponsors, and expresses the necessity to enhance the outreach and improve dissemination of SSB reports. This report will be relevant to a full range of government audiences in civilian space research - including NASA, NSF, NOAA, USGS, and the Department of Energy, as well members of the SSB, policy makers, and researchers.

Limited Affordable Low-Volume Manufacturing: Summary of a Workshop   (NMMB)
Released 2014-04-04

Limited Affordable Low-Volume Manufacturing is the summary of a workshop convened by the National Materials and Manufacturing Board of the National Research Council in August 2013 to discuss affordable, low-volume manufacturing. The workshop focused on four critical issues relevant to manufacturing: low-volume manufacturing; use of commercial off-the-shelf equipment; short production runs; and commercial manufacturing services. The workshop discussion also considered variable-rate manufacturing and high-mix manufacturing, both aspects of low-volume manufacturing. This report examines the characteristics of low-volume manufacturing and considers future advances in limited affordable low-volume manufacturing in the United States.

Reducing the Fuel Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles, Phase Two: First Report   (BEES)
Released 2014-04-02 Forthcoming/Prepublication

Medium- and heavy-duty trucks, motor coaches, and transit buses - collectively, "medium- and heavy-duty vehicles", or MHDVs - are used in every sector of the economy. The fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of MHDVs have become a focus of legislative and regulatory action in the past few years. Reducing the Fuel Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles, Phase Two is a follow-on to the National Research Council's 2010 report, Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium-and Heavy-Duty Vehicles. That report provided a series of findings and recommendations on the development of regulations for reducing fuel consumption of MHDVs. This report comprises the first periodic, five-year follow-on to the 2010 report. Reducing the Fuel Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles, Phase Two reviews NHTSA fuel consumption regulations and considers the technological, market and regulatory factors that may be of relevance to a revised and updated regulatory regime taking effect for model years 2019-2022. The report analyzes and provides options for improvements to the certification and compliance procedures for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles; reviews an updated analysis of the makeup and characterization of the medium- and heavy-duty truck fleet; examines the barriers to and the potential applications of natural gas in class 2b through class 8 vehicles; and addresses uncertainties and performs sensitivity analyses for the fuel consumption and cost/benefit estimates.

Review of Department of Defense Test Protocols for Combat Helmets   (BAST)
Released 2014-03-31

Combat helmets have evolved considerably over the years from those used in World War I to today's Advanced Combat Helmet. One of the key advances was the development of aramid fibers in the 1960s, which led to today's Kevlar-based helmets. The Department of Defense is continuing to invest in research to improve helmet performance, through better design and materials as well as better manufacturing processes. Review of the Department of Defense Test Protocols for Combat Helmets considers the technical issues relating to test protocols for military combat helmets. At the request of the DOD Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, this report evaluates the adequacy of the Advanced Combat Helmet test protocol for both first article testing and lot acceptance testing, including its use of the metrics of probability of no penetration and the upper tolerance limit (used to evaluate backface deformation). The report evaluates appropriate use of statistical techniques in gathering data; adequacy of current helmet testing procedures; procedures for the conduct of additional analysis of penetration and backface deformation data; and scope of characterization testing relative to the benefit of the information obtained.

2013-2014 Assessment of the Army Research Laboratory: Interim Report   (ARLTAB,LAB)
Released 2014-03-28

The National Research Council's Army Research Laboratory Technical Assessment Board provides biennial assessments of the scientific and technical quality of the research, development, and analysis programs at the Army Research Laboratory, focusing on ballistics sciences, human sciences, information sciences, materials sciences, and mechanical sciences. This interim report summarizes the findings of the Board for the first year of this biennial assessment. During the first year the Board examined the following elements: within ballistic sciences, terminal ballistics; within human sciences, translational neuroscience and soldier simulation and training technology; within information sciences, autonomous systems; and within materials sciences, energy materials and devices, photonic materials and devices, and biomaterials. The review of autonomous systems included examination of the mechanical sciences competency area for autonomous systems. A second, final report will subsume the findings of this interim report and add the findings from the second year of the review, during which the Board will examine additional elements.

Evaluation of the Implementation of WFIRST/AFTA in the Context of New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics   (SSB,BPA)
Released 2014-03-18 Forthcoming/Prepublication

Evaluation of the Implementation of WFIRST in the Context of New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics assesses whether the proposed Astrophysics Focused Telescope Assets (AFTA) design reference mission described in the April 30, 2013 report of the AFTA Science Definition Team (SDT), WFIRST-2.4, is responsive to the overall strategy to pursue the science objectives of New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics, and in particular, the survey's top ranked, large-scale, space-based priority: the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST). This report considers the versions of WFIRST-2.4 with and without the coronagraph, as described in the AFTA SDT report. The report compares the WFIRST mission described in New Worlds, New Horizons to the AFTA SDT WFIRST-2.4 design reference mission, with and without the coronagraph, on the basis of their science objectives, technical complexity, and programmatic rationale, including projected cost. This report gives an overview of relevant scientific, technical, and programmatic changes that have occurred since the release of New Worlds, New Horizons, and assesses the responsiveness of the WFIRST mission to the science and technology objectives of the New Worlds report.

Developing a 21st Century Global Library for Mathematics Research   (BMSA)
Released 2014-03-18

Like most areas of scholarship, mathematics is a cumulative discipline: new research is reliant on well-organized and well-curated literature. Because of the precise definitions and structures within mathematics, today's information technologies and machine learning tools provide an opportunity to further organize and enhance discoverability of the mathematics literature in new ways, with the potential to significantly facilitate mathematics research and learning. Opportunities exist to enhance discoverability directly via new technologies and also by using technology to capture important interactions between mathematicians and the literature for later sharing and reuse. Developing a 21st Century Global Library for Mathematics Research discusses how information about what the mathematical literature contains can be formalized and made easier to express, encode, and explore. Many of the tools necessary to make this information system a reality will require much more than indexing and will instead depend on community input paired with machine learning, where mathematicians' expertise can fill the gaps of automatization. This report proposes the establishment of an organization; the development of a set of platforms, tools, and services; the deployment of an ongoing applied research program to complement the development work; and the mobilization and coordination of the mathematical community to take the first steps toward these capabilities. The report recommends building on the extensive work done by many dedicated individuals under the rubric of the World Digital Mathematical Library, as well as many other community initiatives. Developing a 21st Century Global Library for Mathematics envisions a combination of machine learning methods and community-based editorial effort that makes a significantly greater portion of the information and knowledge in the global mathematical corpus available to researchers as linked open data through a central organizational entity-referred to in the report as the Digital Mathematics Library. This report describes how such a library might operate - discussing development and research needs, role in facilitating discover and interaction, and establishing partnerships with publishers.

Laser Radar: Progress and Opportunities in Active Electro-Optical Sensing  
Released 2014-03-14

In today's world, the range of technologies with the potential to threaten the security of U.S. military forces is extremely broad. These include developments in explosive materials, sensors, control systems, robotics, satellite systems, and computing power, to name just a few. Such technologies have not only enhanced the capabilities of U.S. military forces, but also offer enhanced offensive capabilities to potential adversaries - either directly through the development of more sophisticated weapons, or more indirectly through opportunities for interrupting the function of defensive U.S. military systems. Passive and active electro-optical (EO) sensing technologies are prime examples. Laser Radar considers the potential of active EO technologies to create surprise; i.e., systems that use a source of visible or infrared light to interrogate a target in combination with sensitive detectors and processors to analyze the returned light. The addition of an interrogating light source to the system adds rich new phenomenologies that enable new capabilities to be explored. This report evaluates the fundamental, physical limits to active EO sensor technologies with potential military utility; identifies key technologies that may help overcome the impediments within a 5-10 year timeframe; considers the pros and cons of implementing each existing or emerging technology; and evaluates the potential uses of active EO sensing technologies, including 3D mapping and multi-discriminate laser radar technologies.

Emerging and Readily Available Technologies and National SecurityA Framework for Addressing Ethical, Legal, and Societal Issues   (CSTB,BLS,CSTL,CEES)
Released 2014-03-12

Emerging and Readily Available Technologies and National Security is a study on the ethical, legal, and societal issues relating to the research on, development of, and use of rapidly changing technologies with low barriers of entry that have potential military application, such as information technologies, synthetic biology, and nanotechnology. The report also considers the ethical issues associated with robotics and autonomous systems, prosthetics and human enhancement, and cyber weapons. These technologies are characterized by readily available knowledge access, technological advancements that can take place in months instead of years, the blurring of lines between basic research and applied research, and a high uncertainty about how the future trajectories of these technologies will evolve and what applications will be possible. Emerging and Readily Available Technologies and National Security addresses topics such as the ethics of using autonomous weapons that may be available in the future; the propriety of enhancing the physical or cognitive capabilities of soldiers with drugs or implants or prosthetics; and what limits, if any, should be placed on the nature and extent of economic damage that cyber weapons can cause. This report explores three areas with respect to emerging and rapidly available technologies: the conduct of research; research applications; and unanticipated, unforeseen, or inadvertent ethical, legal, and societal issues. The report articulates a framework for policy makers, institutions, and individual researchers to think about issues as they relate to these technologies of military relevance and makes recommendations for how each of these groups should approach these considerations in its research activities. Emerging and Readily Available Technologies and National Security makes an essential contribution to incorporate the full consideration of ethical, legal, and societal issues in situations where rapid technological change may outpace our ability to foresee consequences.

Harvesting the Fruits of Inquiry: How Materials Discoveries Improve Our Lives   (BPA)
Released 2014-03-10

The field of condensed matter and materials research has played a key role in meeting our nation\'s needs in a number of areas, including energy, health, and climate change. Harvesting the Fruits of Inquiry highlights a few of the societal benefits that have flowed from research in this field. This report communicates the role that condensed matter and materials research plays in addressing societal needs. The report uses examples to illustrate how research in this area has contributed directly to efforts to address the nation\'s needs in providing sustainable energy, meeting health needs, and addressing climate change issues. Written in an accessible style, this report will be of interest to academia, government agencies, and Congress.

U.S. Naval Forces' Capabilities for Responding to Small Vessel Threats: Abbreviated Version of a Classified Report   (NSB)
Released 2014-02-12

At the request of the former Chief of Naval Operations, the National Research Council appointed an expert committee to examine U.S. Naval Forces' capabilities for responding to the potential exploitation of small vessels by adversaries. The Department of the Navy determined that the report prepared by the committee is classified in its entirety under Executive Order 13526 and therefore cannot be made available to the public. This abbreviated report provides background information on the full report and the committee that prepared it.

Interim Report of a Review of the Next Generation Air Transportation System Enterprise Architecture, Software, Safety, and Human Factors   (CSTB)
Released 2014-01-08

The Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) is an effort begun in 2003 whose goals include improving the capacity, efficiency, and safety of the U.S. air transportation system and also enabling reduction in noise, pollution, and energy use. The Federal Aviation Administration and various stakeholders, including equipment providers, airlines, and contractors, are currently implementing both near-term and midterm capabilities of this effort. Interim Report of a Review of the Next Generation Air Transportation System Enterprise Architecture, Software, Safety, and Human Factors is part of a larger project to examine NextGen's enterprise architecture and related issues. This interim report provides an initial assessment focusing on challenges of system architecture for software-intensive systems.