|Future of Battlespace Situational Awareness: A Workshop Summary
Future Battlespace Situational Awareness is the third workshop in an ongoing series of workshops conducted by the National Research Council's Committee for Science and Technology Challenges to U.S. National Security Interests. The first two workshops looked at individual technologies related to "big" data and future antennas and provided context for the topic addressed in the third workshop—the planning of a future warfare scenario. The objectives for the third workshop were to review technologies that enable battlespace situational awareness 10-20 years into the future for red and blue forces; and emphasize the capabilities within air, land, sea, space, and cyberspace. The workshop was held on May 30-31, 2012, in Suffolk, Virginia, at the Lockheed Martin Center for Innovation. The sessions were not open to the public because they involved discussions of classified material, including data addressing vulnerabilities, indicators, and observables. This series of workshops address U.S. and foreign research, why S&T applications of technologies in development are important in the context of military capabilities, and what critical scientific breakthroughs are needed to achieve advances in the fields of interest— focusing detailed attention on specific developments in the foregoing fields that might have national security implications for the United States. These workshops also consider methodology to track the relevant technology landscape for the future. The three workshops feature invited presentations and panelists and include discussions on a selected topic including themes relating to defense warning and surprise. Future of Battlespace Situational Awareness summarizes the third workshop.
|Directed Evolution for Development and Production of Bioactive Agents: A Meeting Summary
In 2012, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) approached the National Research Council and asked that a committee be formed to develop a list of workshop topics to explore the impact of emerging science and technology. One topic that came out of that list was directed evolution for development and production of bioactive agents. This workshop was held on February 21-22, 2013. Directed Evolution for Development and Production of Bioactive Agents explains the objectives of the workshop, which were to explore the potential use of directed evolution1 for military science and technology. Understanding the current research in this area, and the potential opportunities for U.S. adversaries to use this research, might allow the DIA to advise U.S. policy makers in an appropriate and timely manner. The workshop featured invited presentations and discussions that aimed to: -Inform the U.S. intelligence community of the current status of directed evolution technology and related research, and -Discuss possible approaches involving directed evolution that might be used by an adversary to develop toxic biological agents that could pose a threat to the United States or its allies, and how they could be identified. Members of the Committee on Science and Technology for Defense Warning planned the agenda for the workshop, selected the presenters, and helped moderate discussions in which meeting participants probed issues of national security related to directed evolution in an effort to gain an understanding of potential vulnerabilities. Experts were invited from the areas of directed evolution, biosynthesis, detection, and biological agents.
|Overcoming Barriers to Electric-Vehicle Deployment: Interim Report
Released 2013-05-14 Forthcoming/Prepublication
The electric vehicle offers many promises—increasing U.S. energy security by reducing petroleum dependence, contributing to climate-change initiatives by decreasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, stimulating long-term economic growth through the development of new technologies and industries, and improving public health by improving local air quality. There are, however, substantial technical, social, and economic barriers to widespread adoption of electric vehicles, including vehicle cost, small driving range, long charging times, and the need for a charging infrastructure. In addition, people are unfamiliar with electric vehicles, are uncertain about their costs and benefits, and have diverse needs that current electric vehicles might not meet. Although a person might derive some personal benefits from ownership, the costs of achieving the social benefits, such as reduced GHG emissions, are borne largely by the people who purchase the vehicles. Given the recognized barriers to electric-vehicle adoption, Congress asked the Department of Energy (DOE) to commission a study by the National Academies to address market barriers that are slowing the purchase of electric vehicles and hindering the deployment of supporting infrastructure. As a result of the request, the National Research Council (NRC)—a part of the National Academies—appointed the Committee on Overcoming Barriers to Electric-Vehicle Deployment. This committee documented their findings in two reports—a short interim report focused on near-term options, and a final comprehensive report. Overcoming Barriers to Electric-Vehicle Deployment fulfills the request for the short interim report that addresses specifically the following issues: infrastructure needs for electric vehicles, barriers to deploying the infrastructure, and possible roles of the federal government in overcoming the barriers. This report also includes an initial discussion of the pros and cons of the possible roles. This interim report does not address the committee's full statement of task and does not offer any recommendations because the committee is still in its early stages of data-gathering. The committee will continue to gather and review information and conduct analyses through late spring 2014 and will issue its final report in late summer 2014. Overcoming Barriers to Electric-Vehicle Deployment focuses on the light-duty vehicle sector in the United States and restricts its discussion of electric vehicles to plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), which include battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The common feature of these vehicles is that their batteries are charged by being plugged into the electric grid. BEVs differ from PHEVs because they operate solely on electricity stored in a battery (that is, there is no other power source); PHEVs have internal combustion engines that can supplement the electric power train. Although this report considers PEVs generally, the committee recognizes that there are fundamental differences between PHEVs and BEVs.
|High Magnetic Field Science and Its Application in the United States: Current Status and Future Directions
Released 2013-05-13 Forthcoming/Prepublication
The Committee to Assess the Current Status and Future Direction of High Magnetic Field Science in the United States was convened by the National Research Council in response to a request by the National Science Foundation. This report answers three questions: (1) What is the current state of high-field magnet science, engineering, and technology in the United States, and are there any conspicuous needs to be addressed? (2) What are the current science drivers and which scientific opportunities and challenges can be anticipated over the next ten years? (3) What are the principal existing and planned high magnetic field facilities outside of the United States, what roles have U.S. high field magnet development efforts played in developing those facilities, and what potentials exist for further international collaboration in this area? A magnetic field is produced by an electrical current in a metal coil. This current exerts an expansive force on the coil, and a magnetic field is "high" if it challenges the strength and current-carrying capacity of the materials that create the field. Although lower magnetic fields can be achieved using commercially available magnets, research in the highest achievable fields has been, and will continue to be, most often performed in large research centers that possess the materials and systems know-how for forefront research. Only a few high field centers exist around the world; in the United States, the principal center is the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL). High Magnetic Field Science and Its Application in the United States considers continued support for a centralized high-field facility such as NHFML to be the highest priority. This report contains a recommendation for the funding and siting of several new high field nuclear magnetic resonance magnets at user facilities in different regions of the United States. Continued advancement in high-magnetic field science requires substantial investments in magnets with enhanced capabilities. High Magnetic Field Science and Its Application in the United States contains recommendations for the further development of all-superconducting, hybrid, and higher field pulsed magnets that meet ambitious but achievable goals.
|The Mathematical Sciences in 2025
The mathematical sciences are part of nearly all aspects of everyday life--the discipline has underpinned such beneficial modern capabilities as Internet search, medical imaging, computer animation, numerical weather predictions, and all types of digital communications. The Mathematical Sciences in 2025 examines the current state of the mathematical sciences and explores the changes needed for the discipline to be in a strong position and able to maximize its contribution to the nation in 2025. It finds the vitality of the discipline excellent and that it contributes in expanding ways to most areas of science and engineering, as well as to the nation as a whole, and recommends that training for future generations of mathematical scientists should be re-assessed in light of the increasingly cross-disciplinary nature of the mathematical sciences. In addition, because of the valuable interplay between ideas and people from all parts of the mathematical sciences, the report emphasizes that universities and the government need to continue to invest in the full spectrum of the mathematical sciences in order for the whole enterprise to continue to flourish long-term.
|Making the Soldier Decisive on Future Battlefields
The U.S. military does not believe its soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines should be engaged in combat with adversaries on a "level playing field." Our combat individuals enter engagements to win. To that end, the United States has used its technical prowess and industrial capability to develop decisive weapons that overmatch those of potential enemies. In its current engagement—what has been identified as an "era of persistent conflict"— the nation's most important weapon is the dismounted soldier operating in small units. Today's soldier must be prepared to contend with both regular and irregular adversaries. Results in Iraq and Afghanistan show that, while the U.S. soldier is a formidable fighter, the contemporary suite of equipment and support does not afford the same high degree of overmatch capability exhibited by large weapons platforms—yet it is the soldier who ultimately will play the decisive role in restoring stability. Making the Soldier Decisive on Future Battlefields establishes the technical requirements for overmatch capability for dismounted soldiers operating individually or in small units. It prescribes technological and organizational capabilities needed to make the dismounted soldier a decisive weapon in a changing, uncertain, and complex future environment and provides the Army with 15 recommendations on how to focus its efforts to enable the soldier and tactical small unit (TSU) to achieve overmatch.
|U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Capabilities in the 21st Century Security Environment: A Workshop Summary
Changes in the 21st century security environment require new analytic approaches to support strategic deterrence. Because current adversaries may be deterred from the use of nuclear weapons differently than were Cold War adversaries, the Air Force needs an analytic process and tools that can help determine those Air Force capabilities that will successfully deter or defeat these new nuclear-armed adversaries and assure U.S. allies. While some analytic tools are available, a coherent approach for their use in developing strategy and policy appears to be lacking. Without a coherent analytic approach that addresses the nuances of today's security environment, Air Force views of its strategic deterrence needs may not be understood or accepted by the appropriate decision makers. A coherent approach will support Air Force decisions about its strategic force priorities and needs, deter actual or potential adversaries, and assure U.S. allies. In this context, the Air Force in 2012 requested that the Air Force Studies Board of the National Research Council undertake a workshop to bring together national experts to discuss current challenges relating strategic deterrence and potential new tools and methods that the Air Force might leverage in its strategic deterrence mission. The workshop consisted of two 3-day sessions held in Washington, DC on September 26-28, 2012 and January 29-31, 2013 and was attended by a very diverse set of participants with expertise in strategic deterrence and a range of analytic tools of potential interest to the Air Force. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Capabilities in the 21st Century Security Environment summarizes this workshop.
|Triennial Review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative
Released 2013-04-23 Forthcoming/Prepublication
The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) is a multiagency, multidisciplinary federal initiative comprising a collection of research programs and other activities funded by the participating agencies and linked by the vision of "a future in which the ability to understand and control matter at the nanoscale leads to a revolution in technology and industry that benefits society." As first stated in the 2004 NNI strategic plan, the participating agencies intend to make progress in realizing that vision by working toward four goals. Planning, coordination, and management of the NNI are carried out by the interagency Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology (NSET) Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Committee on Technology (CoT) with support from the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO). Triennial Review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative is the latest National Research Council review of the NNI, an assessment called for by the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act of 2003. The overall objective of the review is to make recommendations to the NSET Subcommittee and the NNCO that will improve the NNI's value for basic and applied research and for development of applications in nanotechnology that will provide economic, societal, and national security benefits to the United States. In its assessment, the committee found it important to understand in some detail—and to describe in its report—the NNI's structure and organization; how the NNI fits within the larger federal research enterprise, as well as how it can and should be organized for management purposes; and the initiative's various stakeholders and their roles with respect to research. Because technology transfer, one of the four NNI goals, is dependent on management and coordination, the committee chose to address the topic of technology transfer last, following its discussion of definitions of success and metrics for assessing progress toward achieving the four goals and management and coordination. Addressing its tasks in this order would, the committee hoped, better reflect the logic of its approach to review of the NNI. Triennial Review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative also provides concluding remarks in the last chapter.
|Space Studies Board Annual Report 2012
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 2012 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.
|Materials and Manufacturing Capabilities for Sustaining Defense Systems: Summary of a Workshop
The Standing Committee on Defense Materials Manufacturing and Infrastructure (DMMI) conducted a workshop on July 23-24, 2012, to share information and gather perspectives on issues concerning Materials and Manufacturing Capabilities for Sustaining Defense Systems. This workshop, held at the headquarters building of the National Academies, 2101 Constitution Avenue N.W., Washington D.C., was conducted according to the procedures of the National Research Council (NRC) for a convening activity. That is, all workshop participants—including presenters, members of the DMMI standing committee, Reliance 21, invited guests, and visitors—spoke as individuals, and no overall findings, conclusions, or recommendations were developed during or as a result of the workshop. All statements and views summarized in this publication are attributable only to those individuals who expressed them. It is worth noting that the sponsor, Reliance 21, is a Department of Defense group of professionals that was established to enable the DOD science and technology (S&T) community to work together to enhance Defense S&T programs, eliminate unwarranted duplication, and strengthen cooperation among the military services and other DOD agencies. The DMMI standing committee named a workshop planning group to develop the workshop agenda and decide on invited guests and presenters, in accordance with the statement of task approved by the Governing Board of the NRC. The planning group also consulted with the Reliance 21 materials and processing community of interest. The presentations and discussions during the workshop are summarized sequentially in the main part of this report. As an aid to readers, nine themes have been identified by the author that recurred in multiple presentations and discussions. Materials and Manufacturing Capabilities for Sustaining Defense Systems: Summary of a Workshop explains these nine themes and summarizes the two day workshop.
|Assessment of Advanced Solid State Lighting
The standard incandescent light bulb, which still works mainly as Thomas Edison invented it, converts more than 90% of the consumed electricity into heat. Given the availability of newer lighting technologies that convert a greater percentage of electricity into useful light, there is potential to decrease the amount of energy used for lighting in both commercial and residential applications. Although technologies such as compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) have emerged in the past few decades and will help achieve the goal of increased energy efficiency, solid-state lighting (SSL) stands to play a large role in dramatically decreasing U.S. energy consumption for lighting. This report summarizes the current status of SSL technologies and products—light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and organic LEDs (OLEDs)—and evaluates barriers to their improved cost and performance. Assessment of Advanced Solid State Lighting also discusses factors involved in achieving widespread deployment and consumer acceptance of SSL products. These factors include the perceived quality of light emitted by SSL devices, ease of use and the useful lifetime of these devices, issues of initial high cost, and possible benefits of reduced energy consumption.
|Adapting to a Changing World--Challenges and Opportunities in Undergraduate Physics Education
Released 2013-03-20 Forthcoming/Prepublication
Adapting to a Changing World was commissioned by the National Science Foundation to examine the present status of undergraduate physics education, including the state of physics education research, and, most importantly, to develop a series of recommendations for improving physics education that draws from the knowledge we have about learning and effective teaching. Our committee has endeavored to do so, with great interest and more than a little passion. The Committee on Undergraduate Physics Education Research and Implementation was established in 2010 by the Board on Physics and Astronomy of the National Research Council. This report summarizes the committee's response to its statement of task, which requires the committee to produce a report that identifies the goals and challenges facing undergraduate physics education and identifies how best practices for undergraduate physics education can be implemented on a widespread and sustained basis, assess the status of physics education research (PER) and discuss how PER can assist in accomplishing the goal of improving undergraduate physics education best practices and education policy.
|Interim Report for the Triennial Review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative, Phase II
Nanotechnology has become one of the defining ideas in global R&D over the past decade. In 2001 the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) was established as the U.S. government interagency program for coordinating nanotechnology research and development across deferral agencies and facilitating communication and collaborative activities in nanoscale science, engineering, and technology across the federal government. The 26 federal agencies that participate in the NNI collaborate to (1) advance world-class nanotechnology research and development; (2) foster the transfer of new technologies into products for commercial and public benefit; (3) develop and sustain educational resources, a skilled workforce and the supporting infrastructure and tools to advance nanotechnology; and (4) support the responsible development of nanotechnology. As part of the third triennial review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative, the Committee on Triennial Review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative: Phase II was asked to provide advice to the Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology (NSET) Subcommittee and the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office in three areas: Task 1 - Examine the role of the NNI in maximizing opportunities to transfer selected technologies to the private sector, provide an assessment of how well the NNI is carrying out this role, and suggest new mechanisms to foster transfer of technologies and improvements to NNI operations in this area where warranted. Task 2 - Assess the suitability of current procedures and criteria for determining progress towards NNI goals, suggest definitions of success and associated metrics, and provide advice on those organizations (government or non-government) that could perform evaluations of progress. Task 3 - Review NNI's management and coordination of nanotechnology research across both civilian and military federal agencies. Interim Report for the Triennial Review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative, Phase II offers initial comment on the committee's approach to Task 2 and offers initial comments on the current procedures and criteria for determining progress toward and achievement of the desired outcomes.
|Transitions to Alternative Vehicles and Fuels
For a century, almost all light-duty vehicles (LDVs) have been powered by internal combustion engines (ICEs) operating on petroleum fuels. Energy security concerns over petroleum imports and the eff ect of greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions on global climate are driving interest in alternatives. This report assesses the potential for reducing petroleum consumption and GHG emissions by 80% across the U.S. LDV fleet by 2050, relative to 2005. It examines the current capability and estimated future performance and costs for each vehicle type and non-petroleum-based fuel technology as options that could significantly contribute to these goals. By analyzing scenarios that combine various fuel and vehicle pathways, the report also identifies barriers to implementation of these technologies and suggests policies to achieve the desired reductions. Several scenarios are promising, but strong, effective, and sustained but adaptive policies such as research and development (R&D), subsidies, energy taxes, or regulations will be necessary to overcome barriers such as cost and consumer choice.
|Zero-Sustainment Aircraft for the U.S. Air Force: A Workshop Summary
The Air Force recognizes that sustainment of legacy weapon systems is a strategic issue for the United States. To assist the Air Force in addressing this issue, the Air Force Studies Board (AFSB) of the National Research Council of the National Academies drafted terms of reference to bring together Department of Defense organizations and industry for one 3-day workshop highlighting current sustainment practices that the Air Force might leverage to reduce maintenance and sustainment costs in the near term. An ad hoc committee was formed to plan and convene the workshop, which was held on December 4 6, 2012 in Washington, D.C., to discuss how science and technology can reduce aircraft sustainment costs in the Air Force and to review costs in maintenance, upgrades, and aging aircraft in the Air Force.
|2011-2012 Assessment of the Army Research Laboratory
The charge of the Army Research Laboratory Technical Assessment Board (ARLTAB) is to provide biennial assessments of the scientific and technical quality of the research, development, and analysis programs at the Army Research Laboratory (ARL). The ARLTAB is assisted by six panels, each of which focuses on the portion of the ARL program conducted by one of ARL's six directorates1. When requested to do so by ARL, the ARLTAB also examines work that cuts across the directorates. For example, during 2011-2012, ARL requested that the ARLTAB examine crosscutting work in the areas of autonomous systems and network science. The overall quality of ARL's technical staff and their work continues to be impressive. Staff continue to demonstrate clear, passionate mindfulness of the importance of transitioning technology to support immediate and longer-term Army needs. Their involvement with the wider scientific and engineering community continues to expand. Such continued involvement and collaboration are fundamentally important for ARL's scientific and technical activities and need to include the essential elements of peer review and interaction through publications and travel to attend professional meetings, including international professional meetings. In general, ARL is working very well within an appropriate research and development niche and has been demonstrating significant accomplishments, as exemplified in the following discussion, which also addresses opportunities and challenges.
|Nuclear Physics: Exploring the Heart of Matter
The principal goals of the study were to articulate the scientific rationale and objectives of the field and then to take a long-term strategic view of U.S. nuclear science in the global context for setting future directions for the field. Nuclear Physics: Exploring the Heart of Matter provides a long-term assessment of an outlook for nuclear physics. The first phase of the report articulates the scientific rationale and objectives of the field, while the second phase provides a global context for the field and its long-term priorities and proposes a framework for progress through 2020 and beyond. In the second phase of the study, also developing a framework for progress through 2020 and beyond, the committee carefully considered the balance between universities and government facilities in terms of research and workforce development and the role of international collaborations in leveraging future investments. Nuclear physics today is a diverse field, encompassing research that spans dimensions from a tiny fraction of the volume of the individual particles (neutrons and protons) in the atomic nucleus to the enormous scales of astrophysical objects in the cosmos. Nuclear Physics: Exploring the Heart of Matter explains the research objectives, which include the desire not only to better understand the nature of matter interacting at the nuclear level, but also to describe the state of the universe that existed at the big bang. This report explains how the universe can now be studied in the most advanced colliding-beam accelerators, where strong forces are the dominant interactions, as well as the nature of neutrinos.
|Adaptive Materials and Structures: A Workshop Report
In 2012, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) approached the National Research Council's TIGER standing committee and asked it to develop a list of workshop topics to explore the impact of emerging science and technology. One topic that came out of that list was adaptive structural materials. This workshop was held on July 11-12, 2012. The objectives for the workshop were to explore the potential use of adaptive structural materials science and technology for military application. Understanding the current research in this area, and the potential opportunities to use this research by U.S. adversaries, allows the Defense Warning Office to advise U.S. policy makers in an appropriate and timely manner to take action on those areas deemed a national security risk. The workshop featured invited presentations and discussions that aimed to: 1. Review the latest advances and applications both nationally and internationally related to adaptive structural materials scientific research and technology development. 2. Review adaptive materials related to shape memory, magnetostrictive materials, magnetic shape memory alloys, phase change materials, and other metal and non-metallic materials research that may be uncovered during the course of workshop preparation and execution, to include all soft or nanoscale materials such as those used in human bone or tissue. 3. Review modeling, processing and fabrication related to defining designs or design requirements for future military or dual-use air, space, land, sea or human systems. 4. Review dual-use applications of commercial adaptive structural materials research and development, and the potential impacts on U.S. national security interests. 5. The workshop then focused on the application of adaptive structural materials technology and the national security implications for the United States, discussing U.S. and foreign researchers' current research, why the state or non-state actor application of a technology is important in the context of technological and military capabilities, and what critical breakthroughs are needed to advance the field.
|Assessment of Inertial Confinement Fusion Targets
Released 2013-02-20 Forthcoming/Prepublication
In the fall of 2010, the Office of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Secretary for Science asked for a National Research Council (NRC) committee to investigate the prospects for generating power using inertial confinement fusion (ICF) concepts, acknowledging that a key test of viability for this concept—ignition —could be demonstrated at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in the relatively near term. The committee was asked to provide an unclassified report. However, DOE indicated that to fully assess this topic, the committee's deliberations would have to be informed by the results of some classified experiments and information, particularly in the area of ICF targets and nonproliferation. Thus, the Panel on the Assessment of Inertial Confinement Fusion Targets ("the panel") was assembled, composed of experts able to access the needed information. The panel was charged with advising the Committee on the Prospects for Inertial Confinement Fusion Energy Systems on these issues, both by internal discussion and by this unclassified report. A Panel on Fusion Target Physics ("the panel") will serve as a technical resource to the Committee on Inertial Confinement Energy Systems ("the Committee") and will prepare a report that describes the R&D challenges to providing suitable targets, on the basis of parameters established and provided to the Panel by the Committee. The Panel on Fusion Target Physics will prepare a report that will assess the current performance of fusion targets associated with various ICF concepts in order to understand: 1. The spectrum output; 2. The illumination geometry; 3. The high-gain geometry; and 4. The robustness of the target design. The panel addressed the potential impacts of the use and development of current concepts for Inertial Fusion Energy on the proliferation of nuclear weapons information and technology, as appropriate. The Panel examined technology options, but does not provide recommendations specific to any currently operating or proposed ICF facility.
|An Assessment of the Prospects for Inertial Fusion Energy
Released 2013-02-20 Forthcoming/Prepublication
The potential for using fusion energy to produce commercial electric power was first explored in the 1950s. Harnessing fusion energy offers the prospect of a nearly carbon-free energy source with a virtually unlimited supply of fuel. Unlike nuclear fission plants, appropriately designed fusion power plants would not produce the large amounts of high-level nuclear waste that requires long-term disposal. Due to these prospects, many nations have initiated research and development (R&D) programs aimed at developing fusion as an energy source. Two R&D approaches are being explored: magnetic fusion energy (MFE) and inertial fusion energy (IFE). An Assessment of the Prospects for Inertial Fusion Energy describes and assesses the current status of IFE research in the United States; compares the various technical approaches to IFE; and identifies the scientific and engineering challenges associated with developing inertial confinement fusion (ICF) in particular as an energy source. It also provides guidance on an R&D roadmap at the conceptual level for a national program focusing on the design and construction of an inertial fusion energy demonstration plant.
|Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for Our Nation
Optics and photonics technologies are ubiquitous: they are responsible for the displays on smart phones and computing devices, optical fiber that carries the information in the internet, advanced precision manufacturing, enhanced defense capabilities, and a plethora of medical diagnostics tools. The opportunities arising from optics and photonics offer the potential for even greater societal impact in the next few decades, including solar power generation and new efficient lighting that could transform the nation's energy landscape and new optical capabilities that will be essential to support the continued exponential growth of the Internet. As described in the National Research Council report Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for our Nation, it is critical for the United States to take advantage of these emerging optical technologies for creating new industries and generating job growth. The report assesses the current state of optical science and engineering in the United States and abroad--including market trends, workforce needs, and the impact of photonics on the national economy. It identifies the technological opportunities that have arisen from recent advances in, and applications of, optical science and engineering. The report also calls for improved management of U.S. public and private research and development resources, emphasizing the need for public policy that encourages adoption of a portfolio approach to investing in the wide and diverse opportunities now available within photonics. Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for our Nation is a useful overview not only for policymakers, such as decision-makers at relevant Federal agencies on the current state of optics and photonics research and applications but also for individuals seeking a broad understanding of the fields of optics and photonics in many arenas.
|Energy-Efficiency Standards and Green Building Certification Systems Used by the Department of Defense for Military Construction and Major Renovations
Released 2013-02-15 Forthcoming/Prepublication
Congress has an ongoing interest in ensuring that the 500,000 buildings and other structures owned and operated by the Department of Defense (DOD) are operated effectively in terms of cost and resource use. Section 2830 of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year requires the Secretary of Defense to submit a report to the congressional defense committees on the energy-efficiency and sustainability standards used by DOD for military construction and major renovations of buildings. DOD's report must include a cost-benefit analysis, return on investment, and long-term payback for the building standards and green building certification systems, including: (A) American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 189.1-2011 for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential. (B) ASHRAE Energy Standard 90.1-2010 for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential. (C) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver, Gold, and Platinum certification for green buildings, as well as the LEED Volume certification. (D) Other American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited standards. DOD's report to the congressional defense committees must also include a copy of DOD policy prescribing a comprehensive strategy for the pursuit of design and building standards across the department that include specific energy-efficiency standards and sustainable design attributes for military construction based on the cost-benefit analysis, return on investment, and demonstrated payback required for the aforementioned building standards and green building certification systems. Energy-Efficiency Standards and Green Building Certification Systems Used by the Department of Defense for Military Construction and Major Renovations summarizes the recommendations for energy efficiency.
|Energy Reduction at U.S. Air Force Facilities Using Industrial Processes: A Workshop Summary
The Department of Defense (DoD) is the largest consumer of energy in the federal government. In turn, the U.S. Air Force is the largest consumer of energy in the DoD, with a total annual energy expenditure of around $10 billion. Approximately 84 percent of Air Force energy use involves liquid fuel consumed in aviation whereas approximately 12 percent is energy (primarily electricity) used in facilities on the ground. This workshop was concerned primarily with opportunities to reduce energy consumption within Air Force facilities that employ energy intensive industrial processes—for example, assembly/disassembly, painting, metal working, and operation of radar facilities—such as those that occur in the maintenance depots and testing facilities. Air Force efforts to reduce energy consumption are driven largely by external goals and mandates derived from Congressional legislation and executive orders. To date, these goals and mandates have targeted the energy used at the building or facility level rather than in specific industrial processes. In response to a request from the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Energy and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Science, Technology, and Engineering, the National Research Council, under the auspices of the Air Force Studies Board, formed the Committee on Energy Reduction at U.S. Air Force Facilities Using Industrial Processes: A Workshop. The terms of reference called for a committee to plan and convene one 3 day public workshop to discuss: (1) what are the current industrial processes that are least efficient and most cost ineffective? (2) what are best practices in comparable facilities for comparable processes to achieve energy efficiency? (3) what are the potential applications for the best practices to be found in comparable facilities for comparable processes to achieve energy efficiency? (4) what are constraints and considerations that might limit applicability to Air Force facilities and processes over the next ten year implementation time frame? (5) what are the costs and paybacks from implementation of the best practices? (6) what will be a proposed resulting scheme of priorities for study and implementation of the identified best practices? (7) what does a holistic representation of energy and water consumption look like within operations and maintenance?
|Capability Surprise for U.S. Naval Forces: Initial Observations and Insights: Interim Report
Released 2013-01-29 Forthcoming/Prepublication
A letter dated December 21, 2011, to National Academy of Sciences President Dr. Ralph Cicerone from the Chief of Naval Operations, ADM Jonathan W. Greenert, U.S. Navy, requested that the National Research Council's (NRC's) Naval Studies Board (NSB) conduct a study to examine the issues surrounding capability surprise—both operationally and technically related—facing the U.S. naval services. Accordingly, in February 2012, the NRC, under the auspices of its NSB, established the Committee on Capability Surprise for U.S. Naval Forces. The study's terms of reference, provided in Enclosure A of this interim report, were formulated by the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) in consultation with the NSB chair and director. The terms of reference charge the committee to produce two reports over a 15-month period. The present report is the first of these, an interim report issued, as requested, following the third full committee meeting. The terms of reference direct that the committee in its two reports do the following: (1) Select a few potential capability surprises across the continuum from disruptive technologies, to intelligence inferred capability developments, through operational deployments and assess what U.S. Naval Forces are doing (and could do) about these surprises while mindful of future budgetary declines; (2) Review and assess the adequacy of current U.S. Naval Forces' policies, strategies, and operational and technical approaches for addressing these and other surprises; and (3) Recommend any changes, including budgetary and organizational changes, as well as identify any barriers and/or leadership issues that must be addressed for responding to or anticipating such surprises including developing some of our own surprises to mitigate against unanticipated surprises. Capability Surprise for U.S. Naval Forces: Initial Observations and Insights: Interim Report highlights issues brought to the committee's attention during its first three meetings and provides initial observations and insights in response to each of the three tasks above. It is very much an interim report that neither addresses in its entirety any one element of the terms of reference nor reaches final conclusions on any aspect of capability surprise for naval forces. The committee will continue its study during the coming months and expects to complete by early summer 2013 its final report, which will address all of the elements in the study's terms of reference and explore many potential issues of capability surprise for U.S. naval forces not covered in this interim report.
|An Evaluation of the U.S. Department of Energy's Marine and Hydrokinetic Resource Assessments
Increasing renewable energy development, both within the United States and abroad, has rekindled interest in the potential for marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) resources to contribute to electricity generation. These resources derive from ocean tides, waves, and currents; temperature gradients in the ocean; and free-flowing rivers and streams. One measure of the interest in the possible use of these resources for electricity generation is the increasing number of permits that have been filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). As of December 2012, FERC had issued 4 licenses and 84 preliminary permits, up from virtually zero a decade ago. However, most of these permits are for developments along the Mississippi River, and the actual benefit realized from all MHK resources is extremely small. The first U.S. commercial gridconnected project, a tidal project in Maine with a capacity of less than 1 megawatt (MW), is currently delivering a fraction of that power to the grid and is due to be fully installed in 2013. As part of its assessment of MHK resources, DOE asked the National Research Council (NRC) to provide detailed evaluations. In response, the NRC formed the Committee on Marine Hydrokinetic Energy Technology Assessment. As directed in its statement of task (SOT), the committee first developed an interim report, released in June 2011, which focused on the wave and tidal resource assessments (Appendix B). The current report contains the committee's evaluation of all five of the DOE resource categories as well as the committee's comments on the overall MHK resource assessment process. This summary focuses on the committee's overarching findings and conclusions regarding a conceptual framework for developing the resource assessments, the aggregation of results into a single number, and the consistency across and coordination between the individual resource assessments. Critiques of the individual resource assessment, further discussion of the practical MHK resource base, and overarching conclusions and recommendations are explained in An Evaluation of the U.S. Department of Energy's Marine and Hydrokinetic Resource Assessment.
|Review of the Research Program of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership: Fourth Report
Review of the Research Program of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership: Fourth Report follows on three previous NRC reviews of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership, which was the predecessor of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership (NRC, 2005, 2008a, 2010). The U.S. DRIVE (Driving Research and Innovation for Vehicle Efficiency and Energy Sustainability) vision, according to the charter of the Partnership, is this: American consumers have a broad range of affordable personal transportation choices that reduce petroleum consumption and significantly reduce harmful emissions from the transportation sector. Its mission is as follows: accelerate the development of pre-competitive and innovative technologies to enable a full range of efficient and clean advanced light-duty vehicles (LDVs), as well as related energy infrastructure. The Partnership focuses on precompetitive research and development (R&D) that can help to accelerate the emergence of advanced technologies to be commercialization-feasible. The guidance for the work of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership as well as the priority setting and targets for needed research are provided by joint industry/government technical teams. This structure has been demonstrated to be an effective means of identifying high-priority, long-term precompetitive research needs for each technology with which the Partnership is involved. Technical areas in which research and development as well as technology validation programs have been pursued include the following: internal combustion engines (ICEs) potentially operating on conventional and various alternative fuels, automotive fuel cell power systems, hydrogen storage systems (especially onboard vehicles), batteries and other forms of electrochemical energy storage, electric propulsion systems, hydrogen production and delivery, and materials leading to vehicle weight reductions.
|Public Response to Alerts and Warnings Using Social Media: Report of a Workshop on Current Knowledge and Research Gaps
Following an earlier NRC workshop on public response to alerts and warnings delivered to mobile devices, a related workshop was held on February 28 and 29, 2012 to look at the role of social media in disaster response. This was one of the first workshops convened to look systematically at the use of social media for alerts and warnings—an event that brought together social science researchers, technologists, emergency management professionals, and other experts on how the public and emergency managers use social media in disasters.In addition to exploring how officials monitor social media, as well as the resulting privacy considerations, the workshop focused on such topics as: what is known about how the public responds to alerts and warnings; the implications of what is known about such public responses for the use of social media to provide alerts and warnings to the public; and approaches to enhancing the situational awareness of emergency managers. Public Response to Alerts and Warnings Using Social Media: Report of a Workshop on Current Knowledge and Research Gaps summarizes presentations made by invited speakers, other remarks by workshop participants, and discussions during parallel breakout sessions. It also points to potential topics for future research, as well as possible areas for future research investment, and it describes some of the challenges facing disaster managers who are seeking to incorporate social media into regular practice.