|Linkages: Manufacturing Trends in Electronics Interconnection Technology
Over the past two decades, the Department of Defense has been moving toward commercial-military integration for manufacturing, while at the same time, the printed circuit board industry has been moving steadily offshore. Today, many in DoD, the U.S. Congress, and the federal government lack a clear understanding of the importance of high-quality, trustworthy printed circuit boards (PrCBs) for properly functioning weapons and other defense systems and components. To help develop this understanding, DOD requested the NRC to identify and assess the key issues affecting PrCBs for military use. This report presents a discussion of how to ensure DOD's access to reliable printed circuits; an assessment of its vulnerability to the global printed circuit supply chain; and suggestions about ways to secure the design and manufacture of printed circuits. In addition, this report offers recommendations to help DoD (1) preserve existing systems' capabilities, (2) improve the military's access to currently available PrCBs, and (3) ensure access to future PrCB technology. The recommendations reflect the need to achieve these goals at reasonable cost and in concert with evolving environmental regulations.
The military is currently attempting to develop itself into a force capable of networkcentric operations. While this effort has highlighted the military s dependence on interacting networks, it has also shown that there is a huge gap between what we need to know about networks and our fundamental knowledge about network behavior. This gap makes the military vision of NCO problematic. To help address this problem, the Army asked the NRC to find out whether identifying and funding a new field of network science could help close this gap. This report presents an examination of networks andthe military, an analysis of the promise, content, and challenges of network science, and an assessment of approaches to creating value from network science.
|An Assessment of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Measurement and Standards Laboratories: Fiscal Years 2004-2005
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Measurements and Standards Laboratories (MSL) provide technical leadership for the nation s measurement and standards infrastructure and assure the availability of essential reference data and measurement capabilities. At NIST s request the National Research Council (NRC) carries out a biennial assessment of the seven MSL. The assessment focuses on each laboratory s technical quality and merit; and effectiveness. It also examines the relevance of the NIST programs and how well laboratory facilities, equipment, and personnel are able to fulfill the MSL mission. This report presents an overall assessment of the MSL followed by detailed assessments of each of the seven laboratories.
|Catalyzing Inquiry at the Interface of Computing and Biology
Advances in computer science and technology and in biology over the last several years have opened up the possibility for computing to help answer fundamental questions in biology and for biology to help with new approaches to computing. Making the most of the research opportunities at the interface of computing and biology requires the active participation of people from both fields. While past attempts have been made in this direction, circumstances today appear to be much more favorable for progress. To help take advantage of these opportunities, this study was requested of the NRC by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Energy. The report provides the basis for establishing cross-disciplinary collaboration between biology and computing including an analysis of potential impediments and strategies for overcoming them. The report also presents a wealth of examples that should encourage students in the biological sciences to look for ways to enable them to be more effective users of computing in their studies.
|Extending the Effective Lifetimes of Earth Observing Research Missions
While NASA Earth Science missions are planned on the basis of a specified lifetime, often they are able to function beyond the end of that period. Until recently NASA had no formal mechanism for determining whether those missions should be extended or whether the resources necessary for the extension should be applied to new missions. In August 2004, when NASA merged Earth and space sciences, the agency began using the Science Review process to make those extension determinations. NASA had asked the NRC to assess extension review processes, and after the merger, this study focused on the Science Review process. This report presents an assessment of that process and provides recommendations for adapting it to Earth Science missions.
|Controlling the Quantum World of Atoms, Molecules, and Photons: An Interim Report
Atomic, molecular, and optical (AMO) science illustrates powerfully the ties of fundamental physics to society. Its very name comes from three of the twentieth century's greatest advances: the establishment of the atom as the building block of matter; the development of quantum mechanics, which made it possible to understand the inner workings of atoms and molecules; and the invention of the laser. Advances made possible by the scientists in this field touch almost every sphere of societal importance in the past century. Navigation by the stars gave way to navigation by clocks, which in turn has given way to today's navigation by atomic clocks. Laser surgery has replaced the knife for the most delicate operations. Homeland security relies on a multitude of screening technologies based on AMO research to detect toxins in the air and hidden weapons in luggage or on persons, to name a few. New drugs are now designed with the aid of x-ray scattering to determine their structure at the molecular level using AMO-based precision measurement techniques. And the global economy depends critically on high-speed telecommunication by laser light sent over thin optical fibers encircling the globe. AMO scientists are proud of their central role in science and society in the twentieth century, and they have been rewarded with numerous Nobel prizes over the past decade, including the 2005 prize in physics. But in this report we look to the future. The National Research Council of the National Academies has undertaken a study of opportunities in atomic, molecular, and optical (AMO) science and technology over roughly the next decade. The committee carrying out the AMO 2010 study, has been asked to assess the state of AMO science, emphasizing recent accomplishments and identifying new and compelling scientific questions. The six grand challenges, summarized below, will each form a chapter of the committee's final report: What is the nature of physical law? What happens at the lowest temperatures in the universe? What happens when we turn up the power? Can we control the inner workings of a molecule? How will we control and exploit the nanoworld? What lies beyond Moore's law? Controlling the Quantum World of Atoms, Molecules, and Photons: An Interim Report provides a preview of the final document. It summarizes the committee's opinion on the key opportunities in forefront AMO science and in closely related critical technologies and discusses some of the broad-scale conclusions of the final report. It also identifies how AMO science supports national R&D priorities.
|Sensor Systems for Biological Agent Attacks: Protecting Buildings and Military Bases
Over the last ten years, there has been growing concern about potential biological attacks on the nation s population and its military facilities. It is now possible to detect such attacks quickly enough to permit treatment of potential victims prior to the onset of symptoms. The capability to detect to warn , that is in time to take action to minimize human exposure, however, is still lacking. To help achieve such a capability, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) asked the National Research Council (NRC) to assess the development path for detect to warn sensors systems. This report presents the results of this assessment including analysis of scenarios for protecting facilities, sensor requirements, and detection technologies and systems. Findings and recommendations are provided for the most probable path to achieve a detect-to-warn capability and potential technological breakthroughs that could accelerate its attainment.
|The Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA): Implications of a Potential Descope
The 1991 NRC decadal survey for astronomy and astrophysics included a project called the Millimeter Array (MMA). This instrument would be an array of millimeter-wavelength telescopes intended to capture images of star-forming regions and distant star-burst galaxies. With the addition of contributions form Europe, the MMA evolved into the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA), a proposed array of 64, 12-meter antennas. The project is now part of the NSF Major Research Equipment and Facilities budget request. Increased costs, however, have forced the NSF to reconsider the number of antennas. To help with that review, NSF asked the NRC to assess the scientific consequences of reducing the number of active antennas from 60 to either 50 or 40. This report presents an assessment of the effect of downsizing on technical performance specifications, performance degradation, and the ability to perform transformational science, and of the minimum number of antennas needed.
|Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership: First Report
The FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership is a collaborative effort among the Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Council for Automotive Research (USCAR), and five major energy companies to manage research that will enable the vision of "a clean and sustainable transportation energy future." It envisions a transition from more efficient internal combustion engines (ICEs), to advanced ICE hybrid electric vehicles, to enabling a private-sector decision by 2015 on hydrogen-fueled vehicle development. This report, which builds on an earlier NRC report, The Hydrogen Economy: Opportunities, Costs, Barriers, and R&D Needs, presents an evaluation of the Partnership s research efforts on hydrogen-fueled transportation systems, and provides findings and recommendations about technical directions, strategies, funding, and management.
|Interim Design Assessment for the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant
Because of concerns about incineration, the Department of Defense plans to use alternative means to destroy the chemical agent stockpiles at the Pueblo and Blue Grass facilities. The DOD contracted with Bechtel Parsons to design and operate pilot plants for this purpose. As part of the NRC efforts to assist the DOD with its chemical demilitarization efforts, the Department requested a review and assessment of the Bechtel designs for both plants. An earlier report presented an assessment of the Pueblo design. This report provides a review of the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant based on review of data and information about the initial design and some intermediate design data. Among other topics, the report presents technical risk assessment issues, an analysis of delivery and disassembly operations and of agent destruction core processes, and an examination of waste treatment.
|Globalization of Materials R&D: Time for a National Strategy
Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) R&D is spreading globally at an accelerating rate. As a result, the relative U.S. position in a number of MSE subfields is in a state of flux. To understand better this trend and its implications for the U.S. economy and national security, the Department of Defense (DOD) asked the NRC to assess the status and impacts of the global spread of MSE R&D. This report presents a discussion of drivers affecting U.S. companies decisions about location of MSE R&D, an analysis of impacts on the U.S. economy and national security, and recommendations to ensure continued U.S. access to critical MSE R&D.
|Monitoring at Chemical Agent Disposal Facilities
Under the direction of the U.S. Army s Chemical Materials Agency (CMA) and mandated by Congress, the nation is destroying its chemical weapons stockpile. Over the past several years, the Army has requested several studies from the NRC to assist with the stockpile destruction. This study was requested to advise the CMA about the status of analytical instrumentation technology and systems suitable for monitoring airborne chemical warfare agents at chemical weapons disposal and storage facilities. The report presents an assessment of current monitoring systems used for airborne agent detection at CMA facilities and of the applicability and availability of innovative new technologies. It also provides a review of how new regulatory requirements would affect the CMA s current agent monitoring procedures, and whether new measurement technologies are available and could be effectively incorporated into the CMA s overall chemical agent monitoring strategies.
|Technology Pathways: Assessing the Integrated Plan for a Next Generation Air Transportation System
In 2003, Congress directed the Secretary of Transportation to establish the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NGATS) Joint Planning and Development Office (JDPO) to plan the development of an air transportation system capable of meeting potential air traffic demand for 2025. All federal agencies involved in aviation participate in the JDPO providing the opportunity overcome many of the major barriers to developing an effective NGATS. To assist this process, the NRC was asked to examine the first NGATS Integrated Plan prepared by JPDO and submitted to Congress in 2004. This report provides a review of the vision and goals, the operational concepts, and the R&D roadmap developed by the plan; an analysis of the JDPO integrated product teams created to carry out the planning; and an assessment of the implementation process.
|Summary of a Workshop on Using Information Technology to Enhance Disaster Management
Section 214 of the E-government Act of 2002 called on the Administrator of the Office of Electronic Government in the Office of Management and Budget, in consultation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to "ensure that a study is conducted on using information technology to enhance crisis preparedness, response, and consequence management of natural and manmade disasters." The section cited as a goal "to improve how information technology is used in coordinating and facilitating information on disaster preparedness, response, and recovery, while ensuring the availability of such information across multiple access channels." In early 2005, FEMA, via a subcontract through Battelle Memorial Institute, asked the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) of the National Research Council (NRC) to undertake a two-phase study on these issues. Summary of a Workshop on Using Information Technology to Enhance Disaster Management culminates phase 1 of the project. CSTB established the Committee on Using Information Technology to Enhance Disaster Management, and a public workshop was held under the committee's auspices on June 22-23, 2005. The committee's goal for the workshop was to establish a base of information for its study by hearing about present and future uses of IT from the perspective of federal, state, and local disaster management officials and users together with a sampling of relevant IT research and development activities. A variety of representatives of federal, state, and local government agencies, private industry, and the research community participated. Panelists at the workshop presented a range of views on the present state of the art and practice and future opportunities to harness information technology to aid in the management of natural and human-made disasters. This report summarizes some of the key points made by workshop participants. This report also contains the workshop agenda and includes biographical information for committee members and staff. In phase 2 of its study, the committee will supplement the inputs received at the workshop with information gathered at several site visits and a series of additional briefings. Phase 2 will culminate in a final report, expected in spring 2006, which provides findings and recommendations on requirements for effective use of information technology for disaster management, research and development needs and opportunities, and related research management and technology transition considerations.
|Going to Extremes: Meeting the Emerging Demand for Durable Polymer Matrix Composites
Advanced polymer matrix composites (PMC) have many advantages such as light weight and high specific strength that make them useful for many aerospace applications. Enormous uncertainty exists, however, in predicting long-term changes in properties of PMCs under extreme environmental conditions, which has limited their use. To help address this issue, the Department of Defense requested a study from the NRC to identify the barriers and limitations to the use of PMCs in extreme environments. The study was to focus on issues surrounding methodologies for predicting long-term performance. This report provides a review of the challenges facing application of PMCs in extreme environments, the current understanding of PMC properties and behavior, an analysis of the importance of data in developing effective models, and recommendations for improving long-term predictive methodologies.
|Earth Science and Applications from Space: Urgent Needs and Opportunities to Serve the Nation
The Earth is a dynamic planet whose changes and variations affect our communications, energy, health, food, housing, and transportation infrastructure. Understanding these changes requires a range of observations acquired from a variety of land-, sea-, air-, and space-based platforms. To assist NASA, NOAA, and the USGS develop these tools, the NRC was asked by these agencies to carry out a decadal strategy survey of Earth science and applications from space. In particular, the study is to develop the key scientific questions on which to focus Earth and environmental observations in the period 2005-2015, and a prioritized list of space programs, missions, and supporting activities to address these questions. This interim report outlines a key element of the study the rationale for tying Earth observations to societal need and identifies urgent near-term actions needed to achieve this goal. A final report, due in late 2006, will provide the list of recommended space missions, programs, and supporting.
|Effects of Nuclear Earth-Penetrator and Other Weapons
Underground facilities are used extensively by many nations to conceal and protect strategic military functions and weapons' stockpiles. Because of their depth and hardened status, however, many of these strategic hard and deeply buried targets could only be put at risk by conventional or nuclear earth penetrating weapons (EPW). Recently, an engineering feasibility study, the robust nuclear earth penetrator program, was started by DOE and DOD to determine if a more effective EPW could be designed using major components of existing nuclear weapons. This activity has created some controversy about, among other things, the level of collateral damage that would ensue if such a weapon were used. To help clarify this issue, the Congress, in P.L. 107-314, directed the Secretary of Defense to request from the NRC a study of the anticipated health and environmental effects of nuclear earth-penetrators and other weapons and the effect of both conventional and nuclear weapons against the storage of biological and chemical weapons. This report provides the results of those analyses. Based on detailed numerical calculations, the report presents a series of findings comparing the effectiveness and expected collateral damage of nuclear EPW and surface nuclear weapons under a variety of conditions.
|Autonomous Vehicles in Support of Naval Operations
Autonomous vehicles (AVs) have been used in military operations for more than 60 years, with torpedoes, cruise missiles, satellites, and target drones being early examples.1 They have also been widely used in the civilian sector--for example, in the disposal of explosives, for work and measurement in radioactive environments, by various offshore industries for both creating and maintaining undersea facilities, for atmospheric and undersea research, and by industry in automated and robotic manufacturing. Recent military experiences with AVs have consistently demonstrated their value in a wide range of missions, and anticipated developments of AVs hold promise for increasingly significant roles in future naval operations. Advances in AV capabilities are enabled (and limited) by progress in the technologies of computing and robotics, navigation, communications and networking, power sources and propulsion, and materials. Autonomous Vehicles in Support of Naval Operations is a forward-looking discussion of the naval operational environment and vision for the Navy and Marine Corps and of naval mission needs and potential applications and limitations of AVs. This report considers the potential of AVs for naval operations, operational needs and technology issues, and opportunities for improved operations.
|Measuring Performance and Benchmarking Project Management at the Department of Energy
In 1997, Congress, in the conference report, H.R. 105-271, to the FY1998 Energy and Water Development Appropriation Bill, directed the NRC to carry out a series of assessments of project management at the Department of Energy (DOE). The final report in that series noted that DOE lacked an objective set of measures for assessing project management quality. The department set up a committee to develop performance measures and benchmarking procedures and asked the NRC for assistance in this effort. This report presents information and guidance for use as a first step toward development of a viable methodology to suit DOE s needs. It provides a number of possible performance measures, an analysis of the benchmarking process, and a description ways to implement the measures and benchmarking process.
|Opportunities in High Magnetic Field Science
High-field magnets those that operate at the limits of the mechanical and/or electromagnetic properties of their structural materials are used as research tools in a variety of scientific disciplines. The study of high magnetic fields themselves is also important in many areas such as astrophysics. Because of their importance in scientific research and the possibility of new breakthroughs, the National Science Foundation asked the National Research Council to assess the current state of and future prospects for high-field science and technology in the United States. This report presents the results of that assessment. It focuses on scientific and technological challenges and opportunities, and not on specific program activities. The report provides findings and recommendations about important research directions, the relative strength of U.S. efforts compared to other countries, and ways in which the program can operate more effectively.
|Approaches to Improve Engineering Design
Approaches to Improve Engineering Design examines the theories and techniques for decision making under conditions of risk, uncertainty, and conflicting human values. This report attempts not only to analyze existing tools but also to identify opportunities to establish a more rigorous fundamental basis for decision making in engineering design.
|Twenty-Fourth Symposium on Naval Hydrodynamics
This report is part of a series of reports that summarize this regular event. The report discusses research developments in ship design, construction, and operation in a forum that encouraged both formal and informal discussion of presented papers.
|Assessment of the Army Plan for the Pine Bluff Non-Stockpile Facility
The U.S. Army is in the process of destroying its chemical weapons stockpile and related, non-stockpile chemical materiel. At the request of the Army, the National Research Council (NRC) has published a number of studies over the last 16 years providing scientific and technical advice on that disposal effort. For this study, the NRC was asked to assess the design of the facility at the Pine Bluff (Arkansas) Arsenal intended to dispose of a large amount of non-stockpile materiel, including 1250 recovered old chemical weapons. This book provides the results of the Pine Bluff assessment. It includes a description of the Pine Bluff facility; a discussion of worker and public safety; management issues; regulatory, permitting, and public involvement; and the role of alternative destruction technologies currently residing at the facility.
|Sea Basing: Ensuring Joint Force Access from the Sea
The availability of land bases from which to launch and maintain military, diplomatic, and humanitarian relief operations is becoming increasingly uncertain because of physical or political constraints. The ability to operate from a sea base, therefore, is likely to become more and more important. The Defense Science Board recently concluded that Sea Basing will be a critical future joint military capability and that DOD should proceed to develop such capability. Following the DSB report, the Navy requested that the NRC convene a workshop to assess the science and technology base, both inside and outside the Navy, for developing Sea Basing and to identify R&D for supporting future concepts. This report of the workshop includes an examination of Sea Basing operational concepts; ship and aircraft technology available to make Sea Basing work; and issues involved in creating the sea base as a joint system of systems.
|The Navy's Needs in Space for Providing Future Capabilities
The United States must operate successfully in space to help assure its security and economic well being. The Department of the Navy is a major user of space capabilities, although those capabilities are now primarily provided by DOD, the Air Force, and NOAA. Following a DOD assessment of national space security management in 2001, the Navy commissioned a Panel to Review Space to assess Navy space policy and strategy. As an extension of that review, the NRC was requested by the Navy to examine its needs in space for providing future operational and technical capabilities. This report presents a discussion of the strategic framework of future space needs, the roles and responsibilities for meeting those needs, an assessment of Navy support to space mission areas, and a proposed vision for fulfilling Naval forces space needs.
|Signposts in Cyberspace: The Domain Name System and Internet Navigation
The Domain Name System (DNS) enables user-friendly alphanumeric names domain names to be assigned to Internet sites. Many of these names have gained economic, social, and political value, leading to conflicts over their ownership, especially names containing trademarked terms. Congress, in P.L. 105-305, directed the Department of Commerce to request the NRC to perform a study of these issues. When the study was initiated, steps were already underway to address the resolution of domain name conflicts, but the continued rapid expansion of the use of the Internet had raised a number of additional policy and technical issues. Furthermore, it became clear that the introduction of search engines and other tools for Internet navigation was affecting the DNS. Consequently, the study was expanded to include policy and technical issues related to the DNS in the context of Internet navigation. This report presents the NRC s assessment of the current state and future prospects of the DNS and Internet navigation, and its conclusions and recommendations concerning key technical and policy issues.
|Building an Electronic Records Archive at the National Archives and Records Administration: Recommendations for a Long-Term Strategy
The federal government generates and increasingly saves a large and growing fraction of its records in electronic form. In 1998, the National Archives and Record Administration (NARA) launched it Electronic Archives (ERA) program to create a system to preserve and provide access to federal electronic records. To assist in this project, NARA asked the NRC to conduct a two-phase study to provide advice as it develops the ERA program. The first two reports (phase one) provided recommendations on design, engineering, and related issues facing the program. This report (phase two) focuses on longer term, more strategic issues including technology trends that will shape the ERA system, archival processes of the ERA, and future evolution of the system. It also provides an assessment of technical and design issues associated with record integrity and authenticity.
|Prospective Evaluation of Applied Energy Research and Development at DOE (Phase One): A First Look Forward
In 2001, the National Research Council (NRC) completed a congressionally mandated assessment of the benefits and costs of DOE s fossil energy and energy efficiency R&D programs, Energy Research at DOE: Was It Worth It? The Congress followed this retrospective study by directing DOE to request the NRC to develop a methodology for assessing prospective benefits. The first phase of this project development of the methodology began in December 2003. Phase two will make the methodology more robust and explore related issues, and subsequent phases will apply the methodology to review the prospective benefits of different DOE fossil energy and energy efficiency R&D programs. In developing this project, three considerations were particularly important. First, the study should adapt the work of the retrospective study. Second, the project should develop a methodology that provides a rigorous calculation of benefits and risks, and a practical and consistent process for its application. Third, the methodology should be transparent, should not require extensive resources for implementation, and should produce easily understood results. This report presents the results of phase one. It focuses on adaptation of the retrospective methodology to a prospective context.
|Mathematics and 21st Century Biology
The exponentially increasing amounts of biological data along with comparable advances in computing power are making possible the construction of quantitative, predictive biological systems models. This development could revolutionize those biology-based fields of science. To assist this transformation, the U.S. Department of Energy asked the National Research Council to recommend mathematical research activities to enable more effective use of the large amounts of existing genomic information and the structural and functional genomic information being created. The resulting study is a broad, scientifically based view of the opportunities lying at the mathematical science and biology interface. The book provides a review of past successes, an examination of opportunities at the various levels of biological systems from molecules to ecosystems an analysis of cross-cutting themes, and a set of recommendations to advance the mathematics-biology connection that are applicable to all agencies funding research in this area.
|Review and Assessment Program Options for Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plants at Blue Grass: Letter Report
The DOD has contracted with Bechtel National, Inc.-Parsons Infrastructure and Technology Group, Inc. to design and operate a pilot plant for the destruction of chemical agent at the Blue Grass chemical weapons storage facilities. As part of the NRC efforts to assist the DOD with its chemical demilitarization efforts, the Department requested a review and assessment of the Bechtel-Parsons proposal. This letter report presents the review of the proposal for the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP). It also presents an assessment of alternative configurations developed by the study committee. Several factors, including technical feasibility, public acceptance, equipment availability, and safety, were used to evaluate the life-cycle cost and schedule implications of the alternatives for the BGCAPP. These assessments are primarily the result of the consensus judgments of the committee based in the substantial project management experience of its members.
|Avoiding Surprise in an Era of Global Technology Advances
The global spread of science and technology expertise and the growing commercial access to advanced technologies with possible military application are creating potentially serious threats to the technological superiority underpinning U.S. military strength. Key to dealing with this situation is the ability of the U.S. intelligence community to be able to provide adequate and effective warning of evolving, critical technologies. To assist in performing this task, the Technology Warning Division of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) asked the National Research Council (NRC) to undertake a study examining technology warning issues. This report provides the first part of that study. It presents an assessment of critical, evolving technologies; postulates ways potential adversaries could disrupt these technologies; and provides indicators for the intelligence community to determine if such methods are under development. The intention of this report is to establish the foundation for a long-term relationship with the technology warning community to support the examination of technology warning issues.
|The Astrophysical Context of Life
In 1997, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) formed the National Astrobiology Institute to coordinate and fund research into the origins, distribution, and fate of life in the universe. A 2002 NRC study of that program, Life in the Universe: An Assessment of U.S. and International Programs in Astrobiology, raised a number of concerns about the Astrobiology program. In particular, it concluded that areas of astrophysics related to the astronomical environment in which life arose on earth were not well represented in the program. In response to that finding, the Space Studies Board requested the original study committee, the Committee on the Origins and Evolution of Life, to examine ways to augment and integrate astronomy and astrophysics into the Astrobiology program. This report presents the results of that study. It provides a review of the earlier report and related efforts, a detailed examination of the elements of the astrobiology program that would benefit from greater integration and augmentation of astronomy and astrophysics, and an assessment of ways to facilitate the integration of astronomy with other astrobiology disciplines.
|High-Performance Structural Fibers for Advanced Polymer Matrix Composites
Military use of advanced polymer matrix composites (PMC) consisting of a resin matrix reinforced by high-performance carbon or organic fibers while extensive, accounts for less that 10 percent of the domestic market. Nevertheless, advanced composites are expected to play an even greater role in future military systems, and DOD will continue to require access to reliable sources of affordable, high-performance fibers including commercial materials and manufacturing processes. As a result of these forecasts, DOD requested the NRC to assess the challenges and opportunities associated with advanced PMCs with emphasis on high-performance fibers. This report provides an assessment of fiber technology and industries, a discussion of R&D opportunities for DOD, and recommendations about accelerating technology transition, reducing costs, and improving understanding of design methodology and promising technologies.
|Nanotechnology for the Intelligence Community
The emergence of nanotechnology as a major science and technology research topic has sparked substantial interest by the intelligence community. In particular the community is interested both in the potential for nanotechnology to assist intelligence operations and threats it could create. To explore these questions, the Intelligence Technology Innovation Center asked the National Research Council to conduct a number of activities to illustrate the potential for nanotechnology to address key intelligence community needs. In 2004, workshop reports were issued on power systems and on positioning and sensing technologies. The final report provides an assessment of a wide range of additional technologies. The report also presents a series of findings and recommendations about areas of opportunities for the intelligence community and strategies for exploiting these opportunities.
|Decreasing Energy Intensity in Manufacturing: Assessing the Strategies and Future Directions of the Industrial Technologies Program
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has supported the Industrial Technologies Program (ITP) for more than a decade. This program supports R&D into energy efficiency technologies designed to decrease the energy intensity of the U.S. industrial sector. The focus in on seven energy-intensive industries aluminum, chemicals, forest products, glass, metal casting, mining, and steel known as the Industries of the Future (IOF). DOE asked the NRC for a review of this program including an evaluation of the ITP strategic plan, an evaluation of the technical quality of individual subprogram plans, and the prospective value of the multi-year program plan. This report presents the results of that review. It contains an assessment of the ITP strategy, of how effective it is being implemented, and the likelihood of achieving program goals. It also provides conclusions about the quality of the subprograms and recommendations about how to strengthen the subprograms and the overall program.
|Impact of Revised Airborne Exposure Limits on Non-Stockpile Chemical Materiel Program Activities
The U.S. Army's Non-Stockpile Chemical Materiel program is responsible for dismantling former chemical agent production facilities and destroying recovered chemical materiel. In response to congressional requirements, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), in 2003, recommended new airborne exposure limits (AELs) to protect workforce and public health during operations to destroy this materiel. To assist in meeting these recommended limits, the U.S. Army asked the NRC for a review of its implementation plans for destruction of production facilities at the Newport Chemical Depot and the operation of two types of mobile destruction systems. This report presents the results of that review. It provides recommendations on analytical methods, on airborne containment monitoring, on operational procedures, on the applicability of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and on involvement of workers and the public in implementation of the new AELs.
|Government/Industry/Academic Relationships for Technology Development: A Workshop Report
NASA s Human Exploration and Development of Space (HEDS) program within the Office of Space Flight has proposed a new framework for space technology and systems development Advanced Systems, Technology, Research, and Analysis (ASTRA) for future space flight capabilities. To assist in the development of this framework, NASA asked the National Research Council to convene a series of workshops on technology policy issues concerning the relationship of the various stakeholders in advancing human and robotic exploration and development of space. The second workshop, which is the summarized in this report, focused on the interrelationship between government, industry, and academia in the development of technology. Examples from Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Department of Defense, and the National Science Foundation were covered in order to discuss best practices of such cooperative efforts as possible lessons for NASA s space exploration activities.
|Assessment of Options for Extending the Life of the Hubble Space Telescope: Final Report
The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has operated continuously since 1990. During that time, four space shuttle-based service missions were launched, three of which added major observational capabilities. A fifth SM-4 was intended to replace key telescope systems and install two new instruments. The loss of the space shuttle Columbia, however, resulted in a decision by NASA not to pursue the SM-4 mission leading to a likely end of Hubble s useful life in 2007-2008. This situation resulted in an unprecedented outcry from scientists and the public. As a result, NASA began to explore and develop a robotic servicing mission; and Congress directed NASA to request a study from the National Research Council (NRC) of the robotic and shuttle servicing options for extending the life of Hubble. This report presents an assessment of those two options. It provides an examination of the contributions made by Hubble and those likely as the result of a servicing mission, and a comparative analysis of the potential risk of the two options for servicing Hubble. The study concludes that the Shuttle option would be the most effective one for prolonging Hubble s productive life.
|The Owner's Role in Project Risk Management
Effective risk management is essential for the success of large projects built and operated by the Department of Energy (DOE), particularly for the one-of-a-kind projects that characterize much of its mission. To enhance DOE s risk management efforts, the department asked the NRC to prepare a summary of the most effective practices used by leading owner organizations. The study s primary objective was to provide DOE project managers with a basic understanding of both the project owner s risk management role and effective oversight of those risk management activities delegated to contractors.
|Review and Assessment of Proposals for Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant at Pueblo, Colorado: Letter Report
The DOD has contracted with Bechtel National, Inc. to design and operate pilot plants for the destruction of chemical agent at both the Pueblo and Blue Grass chemical weapons storage facilities. As part of the NRC efforts to assist the DOD with its chemical demilitarization efforts, the Department requested a review and assessment of the Bechtel proposals for both plants. This letter report presents the review of the proposal for the Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant (PCAPP). This letter report presents that assessment along with one of an alternative design suggested by Mitretek and of the desirability of technically viable alternatives developed by the NRC study committee. These assessments are primarily the result of the consensus judgments of the committee based in the substantial project management experience of its members. A second letter report will be issued on the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant design.
|Review of Progress in Astronomy and Astrophysics Toward the Decadal Vision: Letter Report
In the past few years, programmatic changes at NASA, issues raised by the NRC report, Connecting Quarks with the Cosmos: Eleven Science Questions for the New Century(CQC), and scientific and technological advances combined to prompt consideration of a reexamination of the overall science strategy set forth in Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millennium (AANM). Discussions followed between the Board on Physics and Astronomy and NASA and NSF that resulted in a request by the two agencies to prepare a short report addressing the points leading up to calls for the reexamination. The report was also to assess progress towards the vision set forth in the AANM and CQC studies. This letter report presents the result of that study. It reviews the context that led up to the request and the most exciting advances in astronomy and astrophysics and key technological developments since the AAMN report was published, and it provides an outlook for fulfilling the decadal vision of the two previous studies.
|Getting Up to Speed: The Future of Supercomputing
Supercomputers play a significant and growing role in a variety of areas important to the nation. They are used to address challenging science and technology problems. In recent years, however, progress in supercomputing in the United States has slowed. The development of the Earth Simulator supercomputer by Japan that the United States could lose its competitive advantage and, more importantly, the national competence needed to achieve national goals. In the wake of this development, the Department of Energy asked the NRC to assess the state of U.S. supercomputing capabilities and relevant R&D. Subsequently, the Senate directed DOE in S. Rpt. 107-220 to ask the NRC to evaluate the Advanced Simulation and Computing program of the National Nuclear Security Administration at DOE in light of the development of the Earth Simulator. This report provides an assessment of the current status of supercomputing in the United States including a review of current demand and technology, infrastructure and institutions, and international activities. The report also presents a number of recommendations to enable the United States to meet current and future needs for capability supercomputers.
|Science in NASA's Vision for Space Exploration
In January 2004, President Bush announced a new space policy directed at human and robotic exploration of space. The National Academies released a report at the same time that independently addressed many of the issues contained in the new policy. In June, the President s Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy issued a report recommending that NASA ask the National Research Council (NRC) to reevaluate space science priorities to take advantage of the exploration vision. Congress also directed the NRC to conduct a thorough review of the science NASA is proposing to undertake within the initiative. This report provides an initial response to those requests. It presents guiding principles for selecting science missions that enhance and support the exploration program. The report also presents findings and recommendations to help guide NASA s space exploration strategic planning activity. Separate NRC reviews will be carried out of strategic roadmaps that NASA is developing to implement the policy.
|Interim Design Assessment for the Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant
In 1996, Congress enacted directing the Department of Defense to assess and demonstrate technology alternatives to incineration for destruction of the chemical weapons stored at Pueblo Chemical and Blue Grass Army Depots. Since then, the National Research Council (NRC) has been carrying out evaluations of candidate technologies including reviews of engineering design studies and demonstration testing. Most recently, the NRC was asked by the Army to evaluate designs for pilot plants at Pueblo and Blue Grass. These pilot plants would use chemical neutralization for destroying the chemical agent and the energetics in the munitions stockpiles of these two depots. This report provides the interim assessment of the Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant (PCAPP) to permit adjustment of any significant problems as soon as possible. The report presents an analysis of the issues about the current PCAPP design and a series of findings and recommendations about ways to reduce concerns with involve the public more heavily in the process.