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A Constrained Space Exploration Technology ProgramA Review of NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program   (ASEB)
Released 2008-12-29

In January 2004, President George W. Bush announced the Vision for Space Exploration (VSE), which instructed NASA to "Extend human presence across the solar system, starting with a human return to the Moon by the year 2020, in preparation for human exploration of Mars and other destinations," among other objectives. As acknowledged in the VSE, significant technology development will be necessary to accomplish the goals it articulates. NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP) is designed to support, develop, and ultimately provide the necessary technologies to meet the goals of the VSE. This book, a review of the ETDP, is broadly supportive of the intent and goals of the VSE, and finds the ETDP is making progress towards the stated goals of technology development. However, the ETDP is operating within significant constraints which limit its ability to successfully accomplish those goals-the still dynamic nature of the Constellation Program requirements, the constraints imposed by a limited budget, the aggressive time scale of early technology deliverables, and the desire to fully employ the NASA workforce.

Severe Space Weather EventsUnderstanding Societal and Economic Impacts: A Workshop Report   (SSB)
Released 2008-12-17

The adverse effects of extreme space weather on modern technology--power grid outages, high-frequency communication blackouts, spacecraft anomalies--are well known and well documented, and the physical processes underlying space weather are also generally well understood. Less well documented and understood, however, are the potential economic and societal impacts of the disruption of critical technological systems by severe space weather. As a first step toward determining the socioeconomic impacts of extreme space weather events and addressing the questions of space weather risk assessment and management, a public workshop was held in May 2008. The workshop brought together representatives of industry, the government, and academia to consider both direct and collateral effects of severe space weather events, the current state of the space weather services infrastructure in the United States, the needs of users of space weather data and services, and the ramifications of future technological developments for contemporary society's vulnerability to space weather. The workshop concluded with a discussion of un- or underexplored topics that would yield the greatest benefits in space weather risk management.

Maritime Security Partnerships   (NSB)
Released 2008-12-16

The expanding array of maritime security concerns—piracy, smuggling, drug trading, trade disruption, and so forth—has stimulated thinking by the U.S. Navy about new ways to structure naval forces. In particular, the Chief of Naval Operations has adopted a vision for the peacetime Navy to combat such threats called “the 1000-ship Navy.” To help develop this concept, the CNO asked the NRC to examine the technical and operational implications of this vision. Because these threats necessitate a global response requiring sharing maritime information and coordinated action, the study committee chose to call this concept “maritime security partnerships” (MSP). This report provides a discussion of the context for creating MSPs in the 21st century, an examination of cooperation modes and models for maritime security, an analysis of information sharing as a key enabler of MSP, and recommendations for an MSP implementation strategy.

Review of NASA's Exploration Technology Development ProgramAn Interim Report   (ASEB)
Released 2008-12-12 Prepublication

To meet the objectives of the Vision for Space Exploration (VSE), NASA must develop a wide array of enabling technologies. For this purpose, NASA established the Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP). Currently, ETDP has 22 projects underway. In the report accompanying the House-passed version of the FY2007 appropriations bill, the agency was directed to request from the NRC an independent assessment of the ETDP. This interim report provides an assessment of each of the 22 projects including a quality rating, an analysis of how effectively the research is being carried out, and the degree to which the research is aligned with the VSE. To the extent possible, the identification and discussion of various cross-cutting issues are also presented. Those issues will be explored and discussed in more detail in the final report.

U.S. Conventional Prompt Global StrikeIssues for 2008 and Beyond   (NSB)
Released 2008-12-08

Conventional prompt global strike (CPGS) is a military option under consideration by the U.S. Department of Defense. This book, the final report from the National Research Council's Committee on Conventional Prompt Global Strike Capability, analyzes proposed CPGS systems and evaluates the potential role CPGS could play in U.S. defense. U.S. Conventional Prompt Global Strike provides near-, mid-, and long-term recommendations for possible CPGS development, addressing the following questions: Does the United States need CPGS capabilities? What are the alternative CPGS systems, and how effective are they likely to be if proposed capabilities are achieved? What would be the implications of alternative CPGS systems for stability, doctrine, decision making, and operations? What nuclear ambiguity concerns arise from CPGS, and how might they be mitigated? What arms control issues arise with CPGS systems, and how might they be resolved? Should the United States proceed with research, development, testing, and evaluation (RDT&E) of the Conventional Trident Modification (CTM) program5 and, ultimately, with CTM production and deployment? Should the United States proceed with the development and testing of alternative CPGS systems beyond CTM?

Department of Homeland Security Bioterrorism Risk AssessmentA Call for Change   (BMSTA,BMSA,BLS)
Released 2008-12-03

The mission of Department of Homeland Security Bioterrorism Risk Assessment: A Call for Change, the book published in December 2008, is to independently and scientifically review the methodology that led to the 2006 Department of Homeland Security report, Bioterrorism Risk Assessment (BTRA) and provide a foundation for future updates. This book identifies a number of fundamental concerns with the BTRA of 2006, ranging from mathematical and statistical mistakes that have corrupted results, to unnecessarily complicated probability models and models with fidelity far exceeding existing data, to more basic questions about how terrorist behavior should be modeled. Rather than merely criticizing what was done in the BTRA of 2006, this new NRC book consults outside experts and collects a number of proposed alternatives that could improve DHS's ability to assess potential terrorist behavior as a key element of risk-informed decision making, and it explains these alternatives in the specific context of the BTRA and the bioterrorism threat.

Transitions to Alternative Transportation TechnologiesA Focus on Hydrogen   (BEES)
Released 2008-11-17

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (HFCVs) could alleviate the nation's dependence on oil and reduce U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide, the major greenhouse gas. Industry-and government-sponsored research programs have made very impressive technical progress over the past several years, and several companies are currently introducing pre-commercial vehicles and hydrogen fueling stations in limited markets. However, to achieve wide hydrogen vehicle penetration, further technological advances are required for commercial viability, and vehicle manufacturer and hydrogen supplier activities must be coordinated. In particular, costs must be reduced, new automotive manufacturing technologies commercialized, and adequate supplies of hydrogen produced and made available to motorists. These efforts will require considerable resources, especially federal and private sector funding. This book estimates the resources that will be needed to bring HFCVs to the point of competitive self-sustainability in the marketplace. It also estimates the impact on oil consumption and carbon dioxide emissions as HFCVs become a large fraction of the light-duty vehicle fleet.

Review of Secondary Waste Disposal Planning for the Blue Grass and Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plants   (BAST)
Released 2008-11-14

The U.S. Army is disposing of the nation's stockpile of chemical weapons in compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention. Two of the disposal facilities--Pueblo, CO and Blue Grass, KY--are in the design and early construction phase. When completed, these facilities will produce secondary wastes during the processing of the chemical weapons that are also considered hazardous. At the request of the U.S. Army, the NRC carried out an examination of environmental, regulatory, and permit requirements for secondary waste management at the two sites to assist the Army's review of management options. This report provides an introduction to the Army's task, a description of the two disposal processes including secondary waste generation, an assessment of applicable regulatory requirements, the status of planning for secondary waste management, a review of public participation issues, and an analysis of alternative offsite management options.

Assessment of the Bureau of Reclamation's Security Program   (BICE)
Released 2008-11-13

The water impounded behind a dam can be used to generate power and to provide water for drinking, irrigation, commerce, industry, and recreation. However, if a dam fails, the water that would be unleashed has the energy and power to cause mass destruction downstream, killing and injuring people and destroying property, agriculture, industry, and local and regional economies. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) is responsible for managing and operating some of this nation's largest and most critical dams. The failure of one or more of these dams as the result of a malicious act would come with little warning and a limited time for evacuation. In the years since the 9/11 attacks, Reclamation has invested significant resources to establish and build a security program. Reclamation is now ready to evaluate the results of these efforts and determine how best to move forward to develop a security program that is robust and sustainable. This book assesses Reclamation's security program and determines its level of preparedness to deter, respond to, and recover from malicious acts to its physical infrastructure and to the people who use and manage it.

Emerging Cognitive Neuroscience and Related Technologies   (AFSB,BBCSS)
Released 2008-11-06

Emerging Cognitive Neuroscience and Related Technologies, from the National Research Council, identifies and explores several specific research areas that have implications for U.S. national security, and should therefore be monitored consistently by the intelligence community. These areas include: neurophysiological advances in detecting and measuring indicators of psychological states and intentions of individuals the development of drugs or technologies that can alter human physical or cognitive abilities advances in real-time brain imaging breakthroughs in high-performance computing and neuronal modeling that could allow researchers to develop systems which mimic functions of the human brain, particularly the ability to organize disparate forms of data. As these fields continue to grow, it will be imperative that the intelligence community be able to identify scientific advances relevant to national security when they occur. To do so will require adequate funding, intelligence analysts with advanced training in science and technology, and increased collaboration with the scientific community, particularly academia. A key tool for the intelligence community, this book will also be a useful resource for the health industry, the military, and others with a vested interest in technologies such as brain imaging and cognitive or physical enhancers.

The National Academies Summit on America's Energy FutureSummary of a Meeting   (BEES)
Released 2008-11-03

In late 2007, the National Academies launched a major initiative-the America's Energy Future (AEF) project-to examine key technological and policy issues about energy. To begin the project, a summit on America's Energy Future was held on March 13-14 that featured many of the key people working on energy issues. Over the two-day period, these individuals made presentations summarizing and elaborating on their previous work. Videos of these presentations are available on the AEF project website. This report summarizes what was discussed at the workshop. It is divided according to the major themes of the summit: the current context, a look at energy supplies, a review of the uses of energy, and an examination of how we can meet the energy challenges now facing the nation.

The Potential Impact of High-End Capability Computing on Four Illustrative Fields of Science and Engineering  
Released 2008-10-28

Many federal funding requests for more advanced computer resources assume implicitly that greater computing power creates oppoprtunities for advancement in science and engineering. This has often been a good assumption. Given stringent pressures on the federal budget, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) are seeking an improved approach to the formulation and review of requests from the agencies for new computing funds. This book examines, for four illustrative fields of science and engineering, how one can start with an understanding of their major challenges and discern how progress against those challenges depends on high-end capability computing (HECC). The four fields covered are: atmospheric science astrophysics chemical separations evolutionary biology This book finds that all four of these fields are critically dependent on HECC, but in different ways. The book characterizes the components that combine to enable new advances in computational science and engineering and identifies aspects that apply to multiple fields.

An Assessment of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Engineering LaboratoryFiscal Year 2008   (LAB)
Released 2008-10-28

The mission of the Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory (MEL) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is to promote innovation and the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing through measurement science, measurement services, and critical technical contributions to standards. The MEL is organized in five divisions: Intelligent Systems, Manufacturing Metrology, Manufacturing Systems Integration, Precision Engineering, and Fabrication Technology. A panel of experts appointed by the National Research Council (NRC) assessed the first four divisions. Overall, this book finds that the four individual divisions are performing to the best of their ability, given available resources. In many areas in all four divisions, the capabilities and the work being performed are among the best in the field. However, reduced funding and other factors such as difficulty in hiring permanent staff are limiting (and are likely to increasingly limit) the degree to which MEL programs can achieve their objectives and are threatening the future impact of these programs.

An Assessment of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Center for Neutron ResearchFiscal Year 2008   (LAB)
Released 2008-10-27

The National Institute of Standards and Technology [NIST] Center for Neutron Research (NCNR) is a national user facility whose mission is to ensure the availability of neutron measurement capabilities in order to meet the needs of U.S. researchers from industry, academia, and government agencies. A panel of experts from the National Research Council evaluated the NCNR by the following criteria: (1) the technical merit of the current laboratory programs relative to the current state of the art worldwide; (2) the adequacy of the laboratory facilities, equipment, and human resources, as they affect the quality of the laboratory technical programs; and (3) the degree to which the laboratory programs in measurement science and standards achieve their stated objectives and desired impact. This book finds that NCNR is an extremely reliable and comprehensive neutron scattering facility. Even as the other neutron source in the nation-the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS)-becomes increasingly operational and the Oak Ridge High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) comes back online, the NCNR will continue to be a vital resource for meeting the broad spectrum of user needs for and scientific objectives related to neutron scattering.

An Assessment of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Materials Science and Engineering LaboratoryFiscal Year 2008   (LAB)
Released 2008-10-27

The Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory (MSEL) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) works with industry, standards bodies, universities, and other government laboratories to improve the nation's measurements and standards infrastructure for materials. A panel of experts appointed by the National Research Council (NRC) assessed the four divisions of MSEL, by visiting these divisions and reviewing their activities. This book concludes that, for the selected portion of the MSEL programs reviewed, the staff, the projects, and many facilities are outstanding. The projects are clearly focused on the mission of MSEL. The facilities and equipment are rationally upgraded within budget constraints, with several facilities being unique; the funding provided through the America COMPETES Act of 2007 is being used effectively. Division chiefs and staff evinced high morale, attributable to several factors: clear definitions of expectations and of the processes for realizing them, strong support of the MSEL from NIST leadership and of NIST generally from the President and from the Congress (through the American Competitiveness Initiative and the America COMPETES Act), and positive feedback from customers.

An Assessment of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Building and Fire Research LaboratoryFiscal Year 2008   (LAB)
Released 2008-10-27

A panel of experts appointed by the National Research Council assessed the scientific and technical work of the Building and Fire Research Laboratory (BFRL) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The scope of the assessment included the following criteria: (1) the technical merit of the current laboratory programs relative to the current state of the art worldwide; (2) the adequacy of the laboratory facilities, equipment, and human resources, as they affect the quality of the laboratory technical programs; and (3) the degree to which the laboratory programs in measurement science and standards achieve their stated objectives and desired impact. The book finds that, overall the technical merit of the programs reviewed within the BFRL is very high and generally at a state-of-the-art level. The programs have clear ties to the overall BFRL Strategic Priority Areas and are well aligned with the mission of NIST, which is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.

An Assessment of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Physics LaboratoryFiscal Year 2008   (LAB)
Released 2008-10-27

The mission of the NIST Physics Laboratory is to support U.S. industry, government, and the scientific community by providing measurement services and research for electronic, optical, and radiation technology. In this respect, the laboratory provides the foundation for the metrology of optical and ionizing radiations, time and frequency, and fundamental quantum processes, historically major areas of standards and technology. The Panel on Physics visited the six divisions of the laboratory and reviewed a selected sample of their programs and projects. This book finds that the overall quality and productivity of the Physics Laboratory are comparable to or better than those of other peer institutions, an accomplishment that is being achieved with an infrastructure that is smaller in both size and funding than the size and funding of most national and agency laboratories in the United States.

Assessing the Research and Development Plan for the Next Generation Air Transportation SystemSummary of a Workshop   (ASEB)
Released 2008-09-26

The U.S. aviation industry, airline passengers, aircraft pilots, airports, and airline companies are all facing challenges. The air transportation system is experiencing unprecedented and increasing levels of use. The federal government understands the critical need to update the U.S. air transportation system, and plans to implement the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) by 2025. This system is an example of active networking technology that updates itself with real-time shared information and tailors itself to the individual needs of all U.S. aircraft, stressing adaptability by enabling aircraft to immediately adjust to ever-changing factors. On April 1-2, 2008, a workshop was held at the National Academies to gather reactions to the research and development aspects of the Joint Planning and Development Office's baseline Integrated Work Plan (IWP), which is designed to increase the efficiency of airport and air space use in the United States. This book provides a summary of the workshop, which included presentations on the following topics: Airport operations and support; Environmental management; Air navigation operations, Air navigation support, and flight operation support; Positioning, navigation, and timing services and surveillance; Weather information services; Safety management; Net-centric infrastructure services and operations; and Layered adaptive security.

Protecting Individual Privacy in the Struggle Against TerroristsA Framework for Program Assessment   (CLAJ,CNSTAT,CSTB)
Released 2008-09-26

All U.S. agencies with counterterrorism programs that collect or "mine" personal data -- such as phone records or Web sites visited -- should be required to evaluate the programs' effectiveness, lawfulness, and impacts on privacy. A framework is offered that agencies can use to evaluate such information-based programs, both classified and unclassified. The book urges Congress to re-examine existing privacy law to assess how privacy can be protected in current and future programs and recommends that any individuals harmed by violations of privacy be given a meaningful form of redress. Two specific technologies are examined: data mining and behavioral surveillance. Regarding data mining, the book concludes that although these methods have been useful in the private sector for spotting consumer fraud, they are less helpful for counterterrorism because so little is known about what patterns indicate terrorist activity. Regarding behavioral surveillance in a counterterrorist context, the book concludes that although research and development on certain aspects of this topic are warranted, there is no scientific consensus on whether these techniques are ready for operational use at all in counterterrorism.

Integrated Computational Materials EngineeringA Transformational Discipline for Improved Competitiveness and National Security   (NMAB)
Released 2008-09-24

Integrated computational materials engineering (ICME) is an emerging discipline that can accelerate materials development and unify design and manufacturing. Developing ICME is a grand challenge that could provide significant economic benefit. To help develop a strategy for development of this new technology area, DOE and DoD asked the NRC to explore its benefits and promises, including the benefits of a comprehensive ICME capability; to establish a strategy for development and maintenance of an ICME infrastructure, and to make recommendations about how best to meet these opportunities. This book provides a vision for ICME, a review of case studies and lessons learned, an analysis of technological barriers, and an evaluation of ways to overcome cultural and organizational challenges to develop the discipline.

Review of Directed Energy Technology for Countering Rockets, Artillery, and Mortars (RAM)Abbreviated Version   (BAST)
Released 2008-09-22

The spread of indiscriminate rocket, artillery, and mortar attacks on civilian, urban populations has dramatically increased the importance of finding effective technologies to destroy these projectiles in flight. To address this threat, the U.S. Army is currently developing laser counter-RAM systems that could be used in fixed installations. A particularly attractive candidate is the solid-state laser because of recent technical and operational advances. To help explore this option, the Army asked the NRC to assess the quality and complementarities of the Army’s space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command’s program to develop and demonstrate a high-energy, solid-state laser weapon system. The NRC considered a broad range of technical issues in carrying out this assessment. Because of the sensitive nature of this research, distribution is limited because of export control restrictions. The report summary is available to the public.

Review of the 21st Century Truck Partnership   (BEES)
Released 2008-09-19

Heavy-duty trucks and buses now consume about 21 percent of the fuel used for surface transportation in the United States. As gasoline and diesel fuel prices have risen in the past few years, the pressure to find ways to increase fuel use efficiency by these trucks and buses has grown significantly. In 2000, four federal agencies and 15 industrial partners formed the 21st Century Truck Partnership (21CTP) to manage a cooperative R&D effort towards a safer and more efficient fleet of vehicles. In 2007, DOE--which now leads the partnership--asked the NRC to conduct an independent assessment of the 21CTP. This report provides a discussion of the organization and background of the Partnership; an analysis of its management strategy and priority setting; and an assessment of the Partnership's technical goals for engine systems and fuels, heavy-duty hybrid vehicles; reduction of parasitic energy losses, engine idle reduction, and safety.

Ballistic Imaging   (CLAJ,CNSTAT,NMAB)
Released 2008-09-10

Ballistic Imaging assesses the state of computer-based imaging technology in forensic firearms identification. The book evaluates the current law enforcement database of images of crime-related cartridge cases and bullets and recommends ways to improve the usefulness of the technology for suggesting leads in criminal investigations. It also advises against the construction of a national reference database that would include images from test-fires of every newly manufactured or imported firearm in the United States. The book also suggests further research on an alternate method for generating an investigative lead to the location where a gun was first sold: "microstamping," the direct imprinting of unique identifiers on firearm parts or ammunition.

Satellite Observations to Benefit Science and SocietyRecommended Missions for the Next Decade   (SSB)
Released 2008-09-09

Satellite Observations to Benefit Science and Society: Recommended Missions for the Next Decade brings the next ten years into focus for the Earth and environmental science community with a prioritized agenda of space programs, missions, and supporting activities that will best serve scientists in the next decade. These missions will address a broad range of societal needs, such as more reliable weather forecasts, early earthquake warnings, and improved pollution management, benefiting both scientific discovery and the health and well-being of society. Based on the 2007 book, Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond, this book explores each of the seventeen recommended missions in detail, identifying launch dates, responsible agencies, estimated cost, scientific and public benefits, and more. Printed entirely in color, the book features rich photographs and illustrations, tables, and graphs that will keep the attention of scientists and non-scientists alike.

Ensuring the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R SpacecraftElements of a Strategy to Recover Measurement Capabilities Lost in Program Restructuring   (SSB)
Released 2008-08-25

In 2000, the nation's next-generation National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) program anticipated purchasing six satellites for $6.5 billion, with a first launch in 2008. By November 2005, however, it became apparent that NPOESS would overrun its cost estimates by at least 25 percent. In June 2006, the planned acquisition of six spacecraft was reduced to four, the launch of the first spacecraft was delayed until 2013, and several sensors were canceled or descoped in capability. Based on information gathered at a June 2007 workshop, "Options to Ensure the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft," this book prioritizes capabilities, especially those related to climate research, that were lost or placed at risk following the 2006 changes. This book presents and recommends a prioritized, short-term strategy for recovery of crucial climate capabilities lost in the NPOESS and GOES-R program descopes. However, mitigation of these recent losses is only the first step in establishing a viable long-term climate strategy-one that builds on the lessons learned from the well-intentioned but poorly executed merger of the nation's weather and climate observation systems.

NASA Aeronautics ResearchAn Assessment   (ASEB)
Released 2008-07-30

In 2006, the NRC published a Decadal Survey of Civil Aeronautics: Foundation for the Future, which set out six strategic objectives for the next decade of civil aeronautics research and technology. To determine how NASA is implementing the decadal survey, Congress mandated in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Act of 2005 that the NRC carry out a review of those efforts. Among other things, this report presents an assessment of how well NASA's research portfolio is addressing the recommendations and high priority R&T challenges identified in the Decadal Survey; how well NASA's aeronautic research portfolio is addressing the aeronautics research requirements; and whether the nation will have the skilled workforce and research facilities to meet the first two items.

Opening New Frontiers in SpaceChoices for the Next New Frontiers Announcement of Opportunity   (SSB)
Released 2008-07-21

The New Frontiers Program was created by NASA in 2002 at the recommendation of the NRC's decadal survey for solar system research. In order to optimize solar system research, the NRC recommended a series of principal-investigator missions that encourage innovation and accomplish the main scientific objectives presented in the survey. Two of the five recommended missions have been selected and, as was also recommended in the survey, the NRC was asked in 2007 to provide criteria and guiding principles to NASA for determining the list of candidate missions. This book presents a review of eight missions: the three remaining from the original list of five from the survey plus five missions considered by the survey committee but which were not recommended. Included in the review of each mission is a discussion of relevant science and technology developments since the survey and set of recommended science goals.

Proceedings of a Workshop on Materials State Awareness   (NMAB)
Released 2008-06-30

In order to ensure effective military operations and continued warfighter safety, the functionality and integrity of the equipment used must also be ensured. For the past several years, the Nondestructive Evaluation Branch at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has focused actively on the development of embedded sensing technologies for the real-time monitoring of damage states in aircraft, turbine engines, and aerospace structures. These sensing technologies must be developed for use in environments ranging from the normal to the extreme, confronting researchers with the need to understand issues involving reliability, wireless telemetry, and signal processing methods. Additionally, there is a need to develop science and technology that will address the sensing of a material state at the microstructure level, precursor damage at the dislocation level, and fatigue-crack size population. To address these issues, the National Research Council convened a workshop at which speakers gave their personal perspectives on technological approaches to understanding materials state and described potential challenges and advances in technology. This book consists primarily of extended abstracts of the workshop speakers' presentations, conveying the nature and scope of the material presented.

Options to Ensure the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R SpacecraftA Workshop Report   (SSB)
Released 2008-06-19

In June 2006, changes were announced by NOAA that reduced the scope of the next generation of polar and geostationary environmental monitoring satellites, NPOESS and GOES-R. To examine the impacts of these changes, particularly those associated with climate research, and ways to mitigate those impacts, NASA and NOAA asked the NRC to add this task to its ongoing "decadal survey," Earth Science and Applications from Space. The sponsors and the NRC agreed to address this task separately and to base its analysis on a major workshop. Two reports would be issued: the first summarizing the presentations and discussions of the workshop and the second with recommendations for a strategy to recover the lost capabilities. This report presents summaries of discussions at the workshop, which included sessions on the measurements and sensors originally planned for NPOESS and GOES-R; generation of climate data records; mitigation options, including the role of international partners; and cross-cutting issues. The second report is due in early 2008.

Inspired by BiologyFrom Molecules to Materials to Machines   (BPA,BLS)
Released 2008-06-17

Scientists have long desired to create synthetic systems that function with the precision and efficiency of biological systems. Using new techniques, researchers are now uncovering principles that could allow the creation of synthetic materials that can perform tasks as precise as biological systems. To assess the current work and future promise of the biology-materials science intersection, the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation asked the NRC to identify the most compelling questions and opportunities at this interface, suggest strategies to address them, and consider connections with national priorities such as healthcare and economic growth. This book presents a discussion of principles governing biomaterial design, a description of advanced materials for selected functions such as energy and national security, an assessment of biomolecular materials research tools, and an examination of infrastructure and resources for bridging biological and materials science.

Managing Space Radiation Risk in the New Era of Space Exploration   (ASEB)
Released 2008-05-29

As part of the Vision for Space Exploration (VSE), NASA is planning for humans to revisit the Moon and someday go to Mars. An important consideration in this effort is protection against the exposure to space radiation. That radiation might result in severe long-term health consequences for astronauts on such missions if they are not adequately shielded. To help with these concerns, NASA asked the NRC to further the understanding of the risks of space radiation, to evaluate radiation shielding requirements, and recommend a strategic plan for developing appropriate mitigation capabilities. This book presents an assessment of current knowledge of the radiation environment; an examination of the effects of radiation on biological systems and mission equipment; an analysis of current plans for radiation protection; and a strategy for mitigating the risks to VSE astronauts.

Preliminary Observations on DoD Software Research Needs and PrioritiesA Letter Report   (CSTB)
Released 2008-05-22

The nation’s defense systems depend critically on advanced software, a dependency that will grow in both extent and complexity. Yet the Department of Defense is increasingly concerned for a number of reasons about its ability to meet these growing software needs. The help address these concerns, DoD asked the NRC to assess the nature of the national investment in software research and consider ways to revitalize the knowledge and human resource base needed to assure the needed software-intensive systems. To provide preliminary feedback on DoD software research needs and priorities and suggestions for a research agenda, DoD asked the NRC for an interim letter report. The letter report addresses three key technology areas: the management of engineering risk; software quality assurance; and the reduction of requirements-related risk without excessive sacrifice in systems capability. These and other areas will be discussed in greater detail in the final report.

First Report from the NRC Committee on the Review of the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration (LACPR) Program   (WSTB,OSB,BICE)
Released 2008-05-21

Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel PartnershipSecond Report   (BEES)
Released 2008-05-15

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, and to enabling a private-sector decision by 2015 on hydrogen-fueled vehicle development. At the request of DOE, the NRC has undertaken an effort to provide biennial reviews of the progress of the research program. Phase I of that review was described in a book issued in 2005. This second book presents an assessment of the progress in the research program management areas as well as the responses of program management to recommendations provided in the Phase I report. Covered in this second book are major crosscutting issues; vehicle subsystems; hydrogen production, delivery, and dispensing; and an overall assessment of the program.

United States Civil Space PolicySummary of a Workshop   (SSB,ASEB)
Released 2008-05-13

In 2004, the NRC released a workshop report about the future direction of the U.S. civil space program. At the same time, the Administration announced the Vision for Space Exploration, and in June 2004, it issued a report that articulated a balanced space program for human and robotic exploration and science. Subsequent NRC reports, however, have noted that NASA has not been given the resources to carry out this broad-based program. This challenge, along with others faced by the U.S. civil space program, stimulated the NRC to form an ad hoc committee to organize a second workshop, held in November 2007, to address the space program's future directions. The workshop's goal was to air a range of views and perspectives so as to inform discussions of these questions by policymakers and the public. This book presents a summary of the workshop.

Science Opportunities Enabled by NASA's Constellation SystemInterim Report   (SSB,ASEB)
Released 2008-05-08

To begin implementation of the Vision for Space Exploration (recently renamed "United States Space Exploration Policy"), NASA has begun development of new launch vehicles and a human-carrying spacecraft that are collectively called the Constellation System. In November 2007, NASA asked the NRC to evaluate the potential for the Constellation System to enable new space science opportunities. For this interim report, 11 existing "Vision Mission" studies of advanced space science mission concepts inspired by earlier NASA forward-looking studies were evaluated. The focus was to assess the concepts and group them into two categories: more-deserving or less deserving of future study. This report presents a description of the Constellation System and its opportunities for enabling new space science opportunities, and a systematic analysis of the 11 Vision Mission studies. For the final report, the NRC issued a request for information to the relevant communities to obtain ideas for other mission concepts that will be assessed by the study committee, and several issues addressed only briefly in the interim report will be explored more fully.

What You Need to Know About Energy   (BEES)
Released 2008-04-25

American society, with a standard of living unprecedented in human history, can attribute a large measure of its success to increasingly sophisticated uses of energy. But that condition has come at a cost to irreplaceable resources, to the environment, and to our national independence. The goal of What You Need to Know About Energy is to present an accurate picture of America's current and projected energy needs and to describe options that are likely to play a significant role in our energy future. Written for a general audience, the booklet begins with a description of the status of energy in 21st-century America, including an account of our main sources of energy and a survey of the nation's energy demand versus the world's available supply. It then looks ahead to the quest for greater energy efficiency and to a portfolio of emerging technologies.

State Voter Registration DatabasesImmediate Actions and Future Improvements: Interim Report   (CSTB)
Released 2008-04-17

The Help America Vote Act of 2002 requires the states to develop a single, computerized voter registration data base (VRD) that is defined, maintained, and administered at the state level. To help the states with this task, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission asked the NRC to organize a series of workshops and prepare an interim report addressing the challenges in implementing and maintaining state VRDs. The EAC also asked the NRC to advise the states on how to evolve and maintain the databases so that they can share information with each other. This report provides an examination of various challenges to the deployment of state VRDs and describes potential solutions to these challenges. This interim report's primary focus is on shorter-term recommendations although a number of long-range recommendations are presented. The final report will elaborate on the long-range questions and address considerations about interstate interoperability of the VRDs.

Review of DOE's Nuclear Energy Research and Development Program   (BEES)
Released 2008-03-31

There has been a substantial resurgence of interest in nuclear power in the United States over the past few years. One consequence has been a rapid growth in the research budget of DOE's Office of Nuclear Energy (NE). In light of this growth, the Office of Management and Budget included within the FY2006 budget request a study by the National Academy of Sciences to review the NE research programs and recommend priorities among those programs. The programs to be evaluated were: Nuclear Power 2010 (NP 2010), Generation IV (GEN IV), the Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative (NHI), the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP)/Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI), and the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) facilities. This book presents a description and analysis of each program along with specific findings and recommendations. It also provides an assessment of program priorities and oversight.

Wake TurbulenceAn Obstacle to Increased Air Traffic Capacity   (ASEB)
Released 2008-03-27

Without major changes, the current air transportation system will be unable to accommodate the expected increase in demand by 2025. One proposal to address this problem is to use the Global Positioning System to enable aircraft to fly more closely spaced. This approach, however, might be limited by the wake turbulence problem, which can be a safety hazard when smaller aircraft follow relatively larger aircraft too closely. To examine how this potential hazard might be reduced, Congress in 2005 directed NASA to request a study from the NRC to assess the federal wake turbulence R&D program. This book provides a description of the problem, an assessment of the organizational challenges to addressing wake turbulence, an analysis of the technical challenges in wake turbulence, and a proposal for a wake turbulence program plan. A series of recommendations for addressing the wake turbulence challenge are also given.

Managing Materials for a Twenty-first Century Military   (NMAB)
Released 2008-03-26

Since 1939, the U.S. government, using the National Defense Stockpile (NDS), has been stockpiling critical strategic materials for national defense. The economic and national security environments, however, have changed significantly from the time the NDS was created. Current threats are more varied, production and processing of key materials is more globally dispersed, the global competition for raw materials is increasing, the U.S. military is more dependent on civilian industry, and industry depends far more on just-in-time inventory control. To help determine the significance of these changes for the strategic materials stockpile, the Department of Defense asked the NRC to assess the continuing need for and value of the NDS. This report begins with the historical context of the NDS. It then presents a discussion of raw-materials and minerals supply, an examination of changing defense planning and materials needs, an analysis of modern tools used to manage materials supply chains, and an assessment of current operational practices of the NDS.

Review and Assessment of Developmental Issues Concerning the Metal Parts Treater Design for the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant   (BAST)
Released 2008-03-26

The United States is in the process of destroying its chemical weapons stockpile. In 1996, Congress mandated that DOD demonstrate and select alternative methods to incineration at the Blue Grass and Pueblo sites. The Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives (ACWA) program was setup to oversee the development of these methods, and pilot plants were established at both sites. One of the new technologies being developed at the Blue Grass pilot plant are metal parts treaters (MPTs) to be used for the empty metal munitions cases. During recent testing, some issues arose with the MPTs that caused the ACWA to request a review by the NRC to investigate and determine their causes. This book presents a discussion of the MPT system; an assessment of the MPT testing activities; an analysis of thermal testing, modeling, and predicted throughput of the MPT; and an examination of the applicability of munitions treatment units under development at Pueblo for the Blue Grass pilot plant.

Grading NASA's Solar System Exploration ProgramA Midterm Report   (SSB)
Released 2008-03-25

The NASA Authorization Act of 2005 directed the agency to ask the NRC to assess the performance of each division in the NASA Science directorate at five-year intervals. In this connection, NASA requested the NRC to review the progress the Planetary Exploration Division has made in implementing recommendations from previous, relevant NRC studies. This book provides an assessment of NASA's progress in fulfilling those recommendations including an evaluation how well it is doing and of current trends. The book covers key science questions, flight missions, Mars exploration, research and analysis, and enabling technologies. Recommendations are provided for those areas in particular need of improvement.

Assessment of the NASA Astrobiology Institute   (SSB)
Released 2008-03-20

Astrobiology is a scientific discipline devoted to the study of life in the universe - its origin, evolution, distribution, and future. In 1997, NASA established an Astrobiology program (the NASA Astrobiology Institute - NAI) as a result of a series of new results from solar system exploration and astronomical research in the mid-1990s together with advances in the biological sciences. To help evaluate the NAI, NASA asked the NRC to review progress made by the Institute in developing the field of astrobiology. This book presents an evaluation of NAI's success in meeting its goals for fostering interdisciplinary research, training future astrobiology researchers, providing scientific and technical leadership, exploring new research approaches with information technology, and supporting outreach to K-12 education programs.

NanophotonicsAccessibility and Applicability   (AFSB)
Released 2008-02-27

The Committee on Technology Insight-Gauge, Evaluate & Review set up by the NRC at the request of the Defense Intelligence Agency, has selected a number of emerging technologies to investigate for their potential threats to and opportunities for national security. This first study focused on emerging applications of nanophotonics, which is about the interaction of matter and light at the scale of the wavelength of the light. Manipulation of matter at that scale allows tailoring the optical properties to permit a wide-range of commercial and defense applications. This book presents a review of the nanoscale phenomena underpinning nanophotonics, an assessment of enabling technologies for developing new applications, an examination of potential military applications, and an assessment of foreign investment capabilities

Space Studies Board Annual Report 2007   (SSB)
Released 2008-02-27

Fourth Report of the National Academy of Engineering/National Research Council Committee on New Orleans Regional Hurricane Protection ProjectsReview of the IPET Volume VIII  
Released 2008-02-21

Since Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana in 2005, several organizations in the private and public sectors have tried to evaluate and identify what political conditions, public policies, and infrastructural issues contributed to such a catastrophe. The Fourth Report of the National Academy of Engineering/National Research Council Committee on New Orleans Regional Hurricane Protection Projects: Review of the IPET Volume VIII provides advice to the Interagency Performance Evaluation Task Force (IPET). The IPET was established by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in October 2005 to evaluate the performance of the New Orleans' hurricane protection system during Hurricane Katrina. This report is a review of a single volume within the IPET report (Volume VIII), which is entitled "Engineering and Operational Risk and Reliability Analysis." Volume VIII assesses risks to life and property posed by hurricanes in New Orleans for both pre-Katrina conditions and for a reconstructed hurricane protection system as of June 2006. Volume VIII has taken on a unique importance to the IPET effort because the information contained in it will be central to understanding the likelihood of future flooding and the resulting loss of life and fiscal assets in New Orleans. These issues are critical to the ability of residents and businesses to obtain financing and insurance for rebuilding in the area and for making decisions about the safety of living in New Orleans in the future. The report also discusses the contents and main sections of Volume VIII, presenting its findings and recommendations for improvements.

Assessment of Technologies for Improving Light-Duty Vehicle Fuel EconomyLetter Report   (BEES)
Released 2008-02-15

In 2001, the NRC released Effectiveness and Impact of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards. High oil prices and recent legislation mandating a further increase in the CAFE standards have renewed interest in the current and expected technical potential for automobile fuel efficiency. Accordingly, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requested the NRC to provide an objective and independent update of the 2001 study and add an assessment of technologies that have emerged since that time. This report presents an interim assessment of technologies to be analyzed in the study and of the computational models that will be used in that analysis. Estimated fuel-economy benefits presented in this report reflect those from existing literature and presentations to the study committee. A final report is scheduled for late spring 2008.

Pre-Milestone A and Early-Phase Systems EngineeringA Retrospective Review and Benefits for Future Air Force Systems Acquisition   (AFSB)
Released 2008-02-11

The ability of U.S. military forces to field new weapons systems quickly and to contain their cost growth has declined significantly over the past few decades. There are many causes including increased complexity, funding instability, bureaucracy, and more diverse user demands, but a view that is gaining more acceptance is that better systems engineering (SE) could help shorten development time. To investigate this assertion in more detail, the US Air Force asked the NRC to examine the role that SE can play during the acquisition life cycle to address root causes of program failure especially during pre-milestone A and early program phases. This book presents an assessment of the relationship between SE and program outcome; an examination of the SE workforce; and an analysis of SE functions and guidelines. The latter includes a definition of the minimum set of SE processes that need to be accounted for during project development.

Space Science and the International Traffic in Arms RegulationsSummary of a Workshop   (SSB)
Released 2008-02-04

ITAR, which controls defense trade, includes the U.S. Munitions List (USML) which specifies categories of defense articles and services covered by the regulations. In 1999, space satellites were added to the USML. In 2002 ITAR was amended to exclude U.S. universities from having to obtain ITAR licenses when performing fundamental research involving foreign countries and/or persons. Despite this provision, there remains considerable uncertainty among university researchers about whether the regulations apply to their research leading to a rather conservative interpretation of the regulations and the imposition of burdens that might not be necessary. To explore this concern, NASA asked the NRC to organize a workshop of all stakeholders on the implications of ITAR for space science. This book presents a summary of the workshop discussions including those on perspectives on recent developments and implementation of ITAR; overarching issues; problems arising from ITAR's implementation; and opportunities for near-term actions and improvements.

Workshop Series on Issues in Space Science and TechnologySummary of Space and Earth Science Issues from the Workshop on U.S. Civil Space Policy   (SSB)
Released 2008-02-04

NASA has asked the Space Studies Board (SSB) of the NRC to examine issues related to space science and technology through a series of three workshops. The first of these was held in November 2007 in conjunction with another workshop being held jointly by the SSB and ASEB to assess U.S. civil space policy broadly. Some of the workshop sessions focused more than others on issues of interest to NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD). This book concentrates on those sessions and presents a summary of the views of the participants on the issues that are relevant to SMD. A separate book will be prepared on the full range of issues about U.S. civil space policy discussed at the workshop.

Manpower and Personnel Needs for a Transformed Naval Force   (NSB)
Released 2008-01-25

The Department of Defense (DOD) is committed to transforming the nation's armed forces to meet the military challenges of the future. One approach to achieving this transformation is by leveraging advances in science and technology. New technologies and innovations are integral to today's military actions, and associated changes have rippled through all aspects of operations, highlighting the need for changes in policies related to military personnel. At the request of the Force Chief of Naval Operations, the NRC reviewed the military manpower and personnel policies and studies currently underway in the DOD and developed an implementation strategy for the Department of the Navy's future military manpower and personnel needs. This book presents an introduction to current personnel policies of and concerns facing the Naval forces; an assessment of demographic, technological, and other forces affecting future personnel needs and availability; a summary and assessment of previous studies; an examination of the role of research tools in implementing personnel policy change; and an analysis of obstacles to and strategies for transforming the Naval forces.

Core Competencies for Federal Facilities Asset Management Through 2020Transformational Strategies   (BICE)
Released 2008-01-17

The U.S. government is faced with growing challenges to managing its facilities and infrastructure. A number of factors such as shrinking budgets, an aging workforce, and increasing costs demand new approaches to federal facilities management. The Federal Facilities Council of the NRC has sponsored a number of studies looking at ways to meet these challenges. This fourth study focuses on the people and skills that will needed to manage federal facilities in the next decade and beyond. The book presents a discussion of the current context of facilities management; an analysis of the forces affecting federal facilities asset management; an assessment of core competencies for federal facilities management; a comprehensive strategy for workforce development; and recommendations for implementing that strategy.