|Autonomy Research for Civil Aviation: Toward a New Era of Flight
The development and application of increasingly autonomous (IA) systems for civil aviation is proceeding at an accelerating pace, driven by the expectation that such systems will return significant benefits in terms of safety, reliability, efficiency, affordability, and/or previously unattainable mission capabilities. IA systems range from current automatic systems such as autopilots and remotely piloted unmanned aircraft to more highly sophisticated systems that are needed to enable a fully autonomous aircraft that does not require a pilot or human air traffic controllers. These systems, characterized by their ability to perform more complex mission-related tasks with substantially less human intervention for more extended periods of time, sometimes at remote distances, are being envisioned for aircraft and for air traffic management and other ground-based elements of the national airspace system. Civil aviation is on the threshold of potentially revolutionary improvements in aviation capabilities and operations associated with IA systems. These systems, however, face substantial barriers to integration into the national airspace system without degrading its safety or efficiency. Autonomy Research for Civil Aviation identifies key barriers and suggests major elements of a national research agenda to address those barriers and help realize the benefits that IA systems can make to crewed aircraft, unmanned aircraft systems, and ground-based elements of the national airspace system. This report develops a set of integrated and comprehensive technical goals and objectives of importance to the civil aeronautics community and the nation. Autonomy Research for Civil Aviation will be of interest to U.S. research organizations, industry, and academia who have a role in meeting these goals.
|3D Printing in Space
Released 2014-07-18 Forthcoming/Prepublication
Additive manufacturing has the potential to positively affect human spaceflight operations by enabling the in-orbit manufacture of replacement parts and tools, which could reduce existing logistics requirements for the International Space Station and future long-duration human space missions. The benefits of in-space additive manufacturing for robotic spacecraft are far less clear, although this rapidly advancing technology can also potentially enable space-based construction of large structures and, perhaps someday, substantially in the future, entire spacecraft. Additive manufacturing can also help to reimagine a new space architecture that is not constrained by the design and manufacturing confines of gravity, current manufacturing processes, and launch-related structural stresses. The specific benefits and potential scope of additive manufacturing remain undetermined. The realities of what can be accomplished today, using this technology on the ground, demonstrate the substantial gaps between the vision for additive manufacturing in space and the limitations of the technology and the progress that has to be made to develop it for space use. 3D Printing in Space evaluates the prospects of in-space additive manufacturing. This report examines the various technologies available and currently in development, and considers the possible impacts for crewed space operations and robotic spacecraft operations. Ground-based additive manufacturing is being rapidly developed by industry, and 3D Printing in Space discusses government-industry investments in technology development. According to this report, the International Space Station provides an excellent opportunity for both civilian and military research on additive manufacturing technology. Additive manufacturing presents potential opportunities, both as a tool in a broad toolkit of options for space-based activities and as a potential paradigm-changing approach to designing hardware for in-space activities. This report makes recommendations for future research, suggests objectives for an additive manufacturing roadmap, and envisions opportunities for cooperation and joint development.
|Review of Specialized Degree-Granting Graduate Programs of the Department of Defense in STEM and Management
The United States military is arguably the most intensely technological, complex enterprise in existence. When compared to the gross domestic products of other countries, the Department of Defense (DoD) budget ranks above all but about 20 nations. If viewed as a company, it would be the largest globally with the most employees. Major investments in weapons systems using advanced technologies provide an advantage over competing systems. Each weapon, platform, vehicle, and person in an operating force is a node in one or more advanced networks that provide the ability to rapidly form a coherent force from a large number of broadly distributed elements. DoD's ability to create and operate forces of this nature demands a competent understanding by its workforce of the composition, acquisition, and employment of its technology-enabled forces. Review of Specialized Degree-Granting Graduate Programs of the Department of Defense in STEM and Management focuses on the graduate science, technology, engineering, mathematics and management (STEM+M) education issues of the Air Force, Navy, and Marines. This report assesses the cost, benefits, and organizational placement of DoD institutions that grant degrees in STEM+M and evaluates alternative ways - for example, civilian institutions and distance learning - to ensure adequate numbers and high-quality education outcomes for DoD personnel.
|At the Nexus of Cybersecurity and Public Policy: Some Basic Concepts and Issues
We depend on information and information technology (IT) to make many of our day-to-day tasks easier and more convenient. Computers play key roles in transportation, health care, banking, and energy. Businesses use IT for payroll and accounting, inventory and sales, and research and development. Modern military forces use weapons that are increasingly coordinated through computer-based networks. Cybersecurity is vital to protecting all of these functions. Cyberspace is vulnerable to a broad spectrum of hackers, criminals, terrorists, and state actors. Working in cyberspace, these malevolent actors can steal money, intellectual property, or classified information; impersonate law-abiding parties for their own purposes; damage important data; or deny the availability of normally accessible services. Cybersecurity issues arise because of three factors taken together - the presence of malevolent actors in cyberspace, societal reliance on IT for many important functions, and the presence of vulnerabilities in IT systems. What steps can policy makers take to protect our government, businesses, and the public from those would take advantage of system vulnerabilities? At the Nexus of Cybersecurity and Public Policy offers a wealth of information on practical measures, technical and nontechnical challenges, and potential policy responses. According to this report, cybersecurity is a never-ending battle; threats will evolve as adversaries adopt new tools and techniques to compromise security. Cybersecurity is therefore an ongoing process that needs to evolve as new threats are identified. At the Nexus of Cybersecurity and Public Policy is a call for action to make cybersecurity a public safety priority. For a number of years, the cybersecurity issue has received increasing public attention; however, most policy focus has been on the short-term costs of improving systems. In its explanation of the fundamentals of cybersecurity and the discussion of potential policy responses, this book will be a resource for policy makers, cybersecurity and IT professionals, and anyone who wants to understand threats to cyberspace.
|Pathways to Exploration: Rationales and Approaches for a U.S. Program of Human Space Exploration
Released 2014-06-04 Forthcoming/Prepublication
The United States has publicly funded its human spaceflight program on a continuous basis for more than a half-century, through three wars and a half-dozen recessions, from the early Mercury and Gemini suborbital and Earth orbital missions, to the lunar landings, and thence to the first reusable winged crewed spaceplane that the United States operated for three decades. Today the United States is the major partner in a massive orbital facility - the International Space Station - that is becoming the focal point for the first tentative steps in commercial cargo and crewed orbital space flights. And yet, the long-term future of human spaceflight beyond this project is unclear. Pronouncements by multiple presidents of bold new ventures by Americans to the Moon, to Mars, and to an asteroid in its native orbit, have not been matched by the same commitment that accompanied President Kennedy\'s now fabled 1961 speech-namely, the substantial increase in NASA funding needed to make it happen. Are we still committed to advancing human spaceflight? What should a long-term goal be, and what does the United States need to do to achieve it? Pathways to Exploration explores the case for advancing this endeavor, drawing on the history of rationales for human spaceflight, examining the attitudes of stakeholders and the public, and carefully assessing the technical and fiscal realities. This report recommends maintaining the long-term focus on Mars as the horizon goal for human space exploration. With this goal in mind, the report considers funding levels necessary to maintain a robust tempo of execution, current research and exploration projects and the time/resources needed to continue them, and international cooperation that could contribute to the achievement of spaceflight to Mars. According to Pathways to Exploration, a successful U.S. program would require sustained national commitment and a budget that increases by more than the rate of inflation. In reviving a U.S. human exploration program capable of answering the enduring questions about humanity's destiny beyond our tiny blue planet, the nation will need to grapple with the attitudinal and fiscal realities of the nation today while staying true to a small but crucial set of fundamental principles for the conduct of exploration of the endless frontier. The recommendations of Pathways to Exploration provide a clear map toward a human spaceflight program that inspires students and citizens by furthering human exploration and discovery, while taking into account the long-term commitment necessary to achieve this goal.
|Evaluation of the Implementation of WFIRST/AFTA in the Context of New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics
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.
|Interim Report of a Review of the Next Generation Air Transportation System Enterprise Architecture, Software, Safety, and Human Factors
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.
|Space Studies Board Annual Report 2013
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
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
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
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
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.
|Developing a 21st Century Global Library for Mathematics Research
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
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
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
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
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.
|Opportunities for High-Power, High-Frequency Transmitters to Advance Ionospheric/Thermospheric Research: Report of a Workshop
Opportunities for High-Power, High-Frequency Transmitters to Advance Ionospheric/Thermospheric Research is the summary of a workshop convened by the Space Studies Board of the National Research Council in May 2013. The request for this workshop was informed by the sponsors' awareness of the possibility that tight budgets would result in the Department of Defense's curtailment or even termination1 of support for the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP), which includes the world's highest-power and most capable high-frequency transmitter - "heater" - for ionospheric research. Although the workshop was organized to consider the utility of heaters in upper atmospheric research in general, it had a specific focus on the HAARP transmitter facility, which is located in a remote part of southeastern Alaska. Research conducted by the ionospheric modifications community - a community that uses high-frequency transmitters to inject energy in the ionosphere and measure its effects using ground and space-based diagnostics - is focused on understanding the interaction of radio waves with the ionospheric plasma, the local consequences of heating in the ionosphere, and studies of non-linear plasma physics processes. The workshop provided a forum for information exchange between the comparatively small group of scientists engaged in programs of upper atmospheric research using high-power high-frequency radar transmitters and the larger ionospherethermosphere-magnetosphere research community. This report examines the state of the art in active ionospheric and thermospheric research; considers the fundamental research areas in ionospheric science that can be addressed using high-power high-frequency-band transmitters; discusses emerging science questions that might benefit from active ionospheric experiments in the sub-auroral zone; and considers ways to combine similar facilities to perform global ionospheric science. The report also examines research opportunities that might arise from the relocation of the AMISR incoherent scatter radar from the Poker Flat Research Facility in Poker Flat, AK to Gakona, AK, the location of the HAARP facility.