|Avoiding Technology Surprise for Tomorrow's WarfighterSymposium 2010
The Symposium on Avoiding Technology Surprise for Tomorrow's Warfighter is a forum for consumers and producers of scientific and technical intelligence to exchange perspectives on the potential sources of emerging or disruptive technologies and behaviors, with the goal of improving the Department of Defense's technological warning capability. This volume summarizes the key themes identified in the second and most recent symposium, a two-day event held in Suffolk, Virginia, on April 28 and 29, 2010. The symposium combined presentations highlighting cutting-edge technology topics with facilitated discourse among all participants. Three categories of surprise were identified: breakthroughs in product and process technology, new uses of existing technology, and the unexpectedly rapid progression of a technology to operational use. The incorporation of an adversary's own culture, history, beliefs, and value systems into analyses also emerged in discussions as an important factor in reducing surprise.
|Preliminary Observations on Information Technology Needs and Priorities at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid ServicesAn Interim Report
Increasingly, the core mission of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services, is expanding from one of focusing on prompt claims payment to one of becoming more broadly involved in improving health care quality and efficiency. The requirements for the information technology (IT) systems of CMS are changing as its mission changes, and the efforts to evolve its systems from those designed to support the agency's historical mission come in the midst of a push to modernize the nation's health care IT more broadly. These new challenges arise even as CMS must meet challenging day-to-day operational requirements and make frequent adjustments to its business processes, code, databases, and systems in response to changing statutory, regulatory, and policy requirements.
In light of these and other emerging challenges, CMS asked the National Research Council to conduct a study that would lay out a forward-looking vision for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, taking account of CMS's mission, business processes, and information technology requirements.
The study is being conducted in two phases. The first, resulting in the present volume, draws on a series of teleconferences, briefings, and an information-gathering workshop held in Washington, D.C., on September 27-28, 2010. The second phase, drawing on that workshop and on additional briefings, site visits, and committee deliberations, will result in a final report with recommendations, to be issued at the end of the project in 2011.
|Review of Closure Plans for the Baseline Incineration Chemical Agent Disposal Facilities
This book responds to a request by the director of the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency (CMA) for the National Research Council to examine and evaluate the ongoing planning for closure of the four currently operational baseline incineration chemical agent disposal facilities and the closure of a related testing facility. The book evaluates the closure planning process as well as some aspects of closure operations that are taking place while the facilities are still disposing of agent. These facilities are located in Anniston, Alabama; Pine Bluff, Arkansas; Tooele, Utah; and Umatilla, Oregon. They are designated by the acronyms ANCDF, PBCDF, TOCDF, and UMCDF, respectively. Although the facilities all use the same technology and are in many ways identical, each has a particular set of challenges.
|Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel PartnershipThird Report
The public-private partnership to develop vehicles that require less petroleum-based fuel and emit fewer greenhouse gases should continue to include fuel cells and other hydrogen technologies in its research and development portfolio. The third volume in the FreedomCAR series states that, although the partnership's recent shift of focus toward technologies that could be ready for use in the nearer term--such as advanced combustion engines and plug-in electric vehicles--is warranted, R&D on hydrogen and fuel cells is also needed given the high costs and challenges that many of the technologies must overcome before widespread use.
The FreedomCAR (Cooperative Automotive Research) and Fuel Partnership is a research collaboration among the U.S. Department of Energy, the United States Council for Automotive Research - whose members are the Detroit automakers--five major energy companies, and two electric utility companies. The partnership seeks to advance the technologies essential for components and infrastructure for a full range of affordable, clean, energy efficient cars and light trucks. Until recently, the program primarily focused on developing technologies that would allow U.S. automakers to make production and marketing decisions by 2015 on hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles. These vehicles have the potential to be much more energy-efficient than conventional gasoline-powered vehicles, produce no harmful tailpipe emissions, and significantly reduce petroleum use. In 2009, the partnership changed direction and stepped up efforts to advance, in the shorter term, technologies for reducing petroleum use in combustion engines, including those using biofuels, as well as batteries that could be used in plug-in hybrid-electric or all electric vehicles.
|Biometric RecognitionChallenges and Opportunities
Biometric recognition--the automated recognition of individuals based on their behavioral and biological characteristic--is promoted as a way to help identify terrorists, provide better control of access to physical facilities and financial accounts, and increase the efficiency of access to services and their utilization. Biometric recognition has been applied to identification of criminals, patient tracking in medical informatics, and the personalization of social services, among other things. In spite of substantial effort, however, there remain unresolved questions about the effectiveness and management of systems for biometric recognition, as well as the appropriateness and societal impact of their use. Moreover, the general public has been exposed to biometrics largely as high-technology gadgets in spy thrillers or as fear-instilling instruments of state or corporate surveillance in speculative fiction.
Now, as biometric technologies appear poised for broader use, increased concerns about national security and the tracking of individuals as they cross borders have caused passports, visas, and border-crossing records to be linked to biometric data. A focus on fighting insurgencies and terrorism has led to the military deployment of biometric tools to enable recognition of individuals as friend or foe. Commercially, finger-imaging sensors, whose cost and physical size have been reduced, now appear on many laptop personal computers, handheld devices, mobile phones, and other consumer devices.
Biometric Recognition: Challenges and Opportunities addresses the issues surrounding broader implementation of this technology, making two main points: first, biometric recognition systems are incredibly complex, and need to be addressed as such. Second, biometric recognition is an inherently probabilistic endeavor. Consequently, even when the technology and the system in which it is embedded are behaving as designed, there is inevitable uncertainty and risk of error. This book elaborates on these themes in detail to provide policy makers, developers, and researchers a comprehensive assessment of biometric recognition that examines current capabilities, future possibilities, and the role of government in technology and system development.
|Examination of the U.S. Air Force's Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Workforce Needs in the Future and Its Strategy to Meet Those Needs
The Air Force requires technical skills and expertise across the entire range of activities and processes associated with the development, fielding, and employment of air, space, and cyber operational capabilities. The growing complexity of both traditional and emerging missions is placing new demands on education, training, career development, system acquisition, platform sustainment, and development of operational systems. While in the past the Air Force's technologically intensive mission has been highly attractive to individuals educated in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines, force reductions, ongoing military operations, and budget pressures are creating new challenges for attracting and managing personnel with the needed technical skills. Assessments of recent development and acquisition process failures have identified a loss of technical competence within the Air Force (that is, in house or organic competence, as opposed to contractor support) as an underlying problem. These challenges come at a time of increased competition for technical graduates who are U.S. citizens, an aging industry and government workforce, and consolidations of the industrial base that supports military systems.
In response to a request from the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Science, Technology, and Engineering, the National Research Council conducted five fact-finding meetings at which senior Air Force commanders in the science and engineering, acquisition, test, operations, and logistics domains provided assessments of the adequacy of the current workforce in terms of quality and quantity.
|Critical CodeSoftware Producibility for Defense
Critical Code contemplates Department of Defense (DoD) needs and priorities for software research and suggests a research agenda and related actions. Building on two prior books--Summary of a Workshop on Software Intensive Systems and Uncertainty at Scale and Preliminary Observations on DoD Software Research Needs and Priorities--the present volume assesses the nature of the national investment in software research and, in particular, considers ways to revitalize the knowledge base needed to design, produce, and employ software-intensive systems for tomorrow's defense needs.
Critical Code discusses four sets of questions:
To what extent is software capability significant for the DoD? Is it becoming more or less significant and strategic in systems development?
Will the advances in software producibility needed by the DoD emerge unaided from industry at a pace sufficient to meet evolving defense requirements?
What are the opportunities for the DoD to make more effective use of emerging technology to improve software capability and software producibility?
In which technology areas should the DoD invest in research to advance defense software capability and producibility?
|An Assessment of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Physics LaboratoryFiscal Year 2010
The mission of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (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.
|An Assessment of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Engineering LaboratoryFiscal Year 2010
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.
|An Assessment of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Building and Fire Research LaboratoryFiscal Year 2010
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.
|An Assessment of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Center for Neutron ResearchFiscal Year 2010
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. This mission is 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 the quality of life.
As requested by the Deputy Director of NIST, this book assesses NCNR, based on the following criteria: (1) the technical merit of the current laboratory programs relative to current state-of-the-art programs worldwide; (2) the adequacy of the laboratory budget, 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.
|Toward Better Usability, Security, and Privacy of Information TechnologyReport of a Workshop
Despite many advances, security and privacy often remain too complex for individuals or enterprises to manage effectively or to use conveniently. Security is hard for users, administrators, and developers to understand, making it all too easy to use, configure, or operate systems in ways that are inadvertently insecure. Moreover, security and privacy technologies originally were developed in a context in which system administrators had primary responsibility for security and privacy protections and in which the users tended to be sophisticated. Today, the user base is much wider--including the vast majority of employees in many organizations and a large fraction of households--but the basic models for security and privacy are essentially unchanged.
Security features can be clumsy and awkward to use and can present significant obstacles to getting work done. As a result, cybersecurity measures are all too often disabled or bypassed by the users they are intended to protect. Similarly, when security gets in the way of functionality, designers and administrators deemphasize it.
The result is that end users often engage in actions, knowingly or unknowingly, that compromise the security of computer systems or contribute to the unwanted release of personal or other confidential information. Toward Better Usability, Security, and Privacy of Information Technology discusses computer system security and privacy, their relationship to usability, and research at their intersection.
|S&T Strategies of Six CountriesImplications for the United States
An increase in global access to goods and knowledge is transforming world-class science and technology (S&T) by bringing it within the capability of an unprecedented number of global parties who must compete for resources, markets, and talent. The global dispersion of centers for technological research and development (R&D) will have a potentially enormous impact for U.S. national security policy, which for the past half century has been premised on U.S. economic and technological dominance. The 1950s' paradigm of "control and isolation" of information for innovation control has transformed into the current one of "engagement and partnerships" between innovators for innovation creation. Current and future strategies for S&T development need to be considered in light of these new realities.
This report analyzes the S&T strategies of Japan, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and Singapore (JBRICS), six countries that have either undergone or are undergoing remarkable growth in their S&T capabilities for the purpose of identifying unique national features and how they are utilized in the evolving global S&T environment. It also provides recommendations for ways the United States might monitor and engage these and other countries in the future to successfully adapt to a globalized innovation environment.
|Proceedings of a Workshop on Deterring CyberattacksInforming Strategies and Developing Options for U.S. Policy
In a world of increasing dependence on information technology, the prevention of cyberattacks on a nation's important computer and communications systems and networks is a problem that looms large. Given the demonstrated limitations of passive cybersecurity defense measures, it is natural to consider the possibility that deterrence might play a useful role in preventing cyberattacks against the United States and its vital interests. At the request of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the National Research Council undertook a two-phase project aimed to foster a broad, multidisciplinary examination of strategies for deterring cyberattacks on the United States and of the possible utility of these strategies for the U.S. government.
The first phase produced a letter report providing basic information needed to understand the nature of the problem and to articulate important questions that can drive research regarding ways of more effectively preventing, discouraging, and inhibiting hostile activity against important U.S. information systems and networks.
The second phase of the project entailed selecting appropriate experts to write papers on questions raised in the letter report. A number of experts, identified by the committee, were commissioned to write these papers under contract with the National Academy of Sciences. Commissioned papers were discussed at a public workshop held June 10-11, 2010, in Washington, D.C., and authors revised their papers after the workshop.
Although the authors were selected and the papers reviewed and discussed by the committee, the individually authored papers do not reflect consensus views of the committee, and the reader should view these papers as offering points of departure that can stimulate further work on the topics discussed. The papers presented in this volume are published essentially as received from the authors, with some proofreading corrections made as limited time allowed.
|Advancing Aeronautical SafetyA Review of NASA's Aviation Safety-Related Research Programs
Advancing the state of aviation safety is a central mission of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Congress requested this review of NASA's aviation safety-related research programs, seeking an assessment of whether the programs have well-defined, prioritized, and appropriate research objectives; whether resources have been allocated appropriately among these objectives; whether the programs are well coordinated with the safety research programs of the Federal Aviation Administration; and whether suitable mechanisms are in place for transitioning the research results into operational technologies and procedures and certification activities in a timely manner.
Advancing Aeronautical Safety contains findings and recommendations with respect to each of the main aspects of the review sought by Congress. These findings indicate that NASA's aeronautics research enterprise has made, and continues to make, valuable contributions to aviation system safety but it is falling short and needs improvement in some key respects.
|Seeing PhotonsProgress and Limits of Visible and Infrared Sensor Arrays
The Department of Defense recently highlighted intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities as a top priority for U.S. warfighters. Contributions provided by ISR assets in the operational theaters in Iraq and Afghanistan have been widely documented in press reporting. While the United States continues to increase investments in ISR capabilities, other nations not friendly to the United States will continue to seek countermeasures to U.S. capabilities.
The Technology Warning Division of the Defense Intelligence Agency's (DIA) Defense Warning Office (DWO) has the critical responsibility, in collaborations with other components of the intelligence community (IC), for providing U.S. policymakers insight into technological developments that may impact future U.S. warfighting capabilities.
To this end, the IC requested that the National Research Council (NRC) investigate and report on key visible and infrared detector technologies, with potential military utility, that are likely to be developed in the next 10-15 years. This study is the eighth in a series sponsored by the DWO and executed under the auspices of the NRC TIGER (Technology Insight-Gauge, Evaluate, and Review) Standing Committee.
|Controlling Cost Growth of NASA Earth and Space Science Missions
Cost and schedule growth is a problem experienced by many types of projects in many fields of endeavor. Based on prior studies of cost growth in NASA and Department of Defense projects, this report identifies specific causes of cost growth associated with NASA Earth and space science missions and provides guidance on how NASA can overcome this significant problem.
The recommendations in this report focus on changes in NASA policies that would directly reduce or eliminate the cost growth of Earth and space science missions. Large cost increases can create liquidity problems for NASA's Science Mission Directorate that in turn cause cost profile changes and development delays, amplifying the overall cost growth for other concurrent and/or pending missions. The allocation of artificially high reserves in response to projected growth unnecessarily diminishes the portfolio of planned flights. A more efficient use of resources is to establish realistic budgets and reserves and effective management processes that maximize the likelihood that mission costs will not exceed reserves. NASA is already taking action to reduce cost growth; the additional steps recommended in this report will help improve NASA's mission planning process and achieve the goal of ensuring frequent mission opportunities for NASA in Earth and space science.
|Review of the Design of the Dynasafe Static Detonation Chamber (SDC) System for the Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal FacilityLetter Report
The Army is in the process of destroying projectiles and mortars that contain the chemical agent mustard at the Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (ANCDF) located on the Anniston Army Depot (ANAD) in Anniston, Alabama. Were the faulty devices to eventually be processed through the ANCDF, it would require that they be disassembled manually by workers wearing personnel protective equipment known as demilitarization protective ensemble suits. This operation nonetheless would expose the operators to a high safety risk.
Rather than exposing the workers to this additional risk, the Army will use an explosive detonation technology (EDT) to destroy the munitions without disassembling them. The particular EDT system that the Army plans to use is a static detonation chamber (SDC) system manufactured by the Swedish company, Dynasafe AB.
In response to a request from the Army, the present report reviews the design of the Dynasafe Static Detonation Chamber (SDC) system for the Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility.
|Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles
Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles evaluates various technologies and methods that could improve the fuel economy of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, such as tractor-trailers, transit buses, and work trucks. The book also recommends approaches that federal agencies could use to regulate these vehicles' fuel consumption. Currently there are no fuel consumption standards for such vehicles, which account for about 26 percent of the transportation fuel used in the U.S.
The miles-per-gallon measure used to regulate the fuel economy of passenger cars. is not appropriate for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, which are designed above all to carry loads efficiently. Instead, any regulation of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles should use a metric that reflects the efficiency with which a vehicle moves goods or passengers, such as gallons per ton-mile, a unit that reflects the amount of fuel a vehicle would use to carry a ton of goods one mile. This is called load-specific fuel consumption (LSFC).
The book estimates the improvements that various technologies could achieve over the next decade in seven vehicle types. For example, using advanced diesel engines in tractor-trailers could lower their fuel consumption by up to 20 percent by 2020, and improved aerodynamics could yield an 11 percent reduction. Hybrid powertrains could lower the fuel consumption of vehicles that stop frequently, such as garbage trucks and transit buses, by as much 35 percent in the same time frame.
|Space Studies Board Annual Report 2009
The Space Studies Board (SSB) was established in 1958 to serve as the focus of the interests and responsibilities in space research for the National Academies. The SSB provides an independent, authoritative forum for information and advice on all aspects of space science and applications, and it serves as the focal point within the National Academies for activities on space research. It oversees advisory studies and program assessments, facilitates international research coordination, and promotes communications on space science and science policy between the research community, the federal government, and the interested public. The SSB also serves as the U.S. National Committee for the International Council for Science Committee on Space Research (COSPAR).
The present volume reviews the organization, activities, and reports of the SSB for the year 2009.
|Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era of Space ExplorationAn Interim Report
In response to requests from Congress, NASA asked the National Research Council to undertake a decadal survey of life and physical sciences in microgravity. Developed in consultation with members of the life and physical sciences communities, the guiding principle for the study is to set an agenda for research for the next decade that will allow the use of the space environment to solve complex problems in life and physical sciences so as to deliver both new knowledge and practical benefits for humankind as we become a spacefaring people.
The project's statement of task calls for delivery of two books--an interim report and a final survey report. Although the development of specific recommendations is deferred until the final book, this interim report does attempt to identify programmatic needs and issues to guide near-term decisions that are critical to strengthening the organization and management of life and physical sciences research at NASA.
|Persistent Forecasting of Disruptive Technologies—Report 2
A disruptive technology is an innovation that results in a sudden or drastic change in established technologies or markets. Disruptive technologies cause discontinuities in the normal evolutionary life cycle of a technology, creating opportunities for new innovations to displace incumbents. As knowledge in the world increases, minimizing surprise associated with the emergence of this type of technology becomes increasingly important for maintaining U.S. competitiveness and security.
This is the second of two planned reports that examine ways to build a next-generation long-term forecasting system for disruptive technologies. The first report discussed how technology forecasts were historically made, assessed various existing forecasting systems, and identified desirable attributes of a next-generation forecasting system. This report sketches out several high-level designs for a potential forecasting system. It evaluates the system attributes defined in the first report, and provides evidence of the feasibility of creating a system with those attributes. Together, the reports are intended to help the Department of Defense and the intelligence community develop a next-generation forecasting system that will assist in detecting and tracking global technology trends, producing persistent long-term forecasts of disruptive technologies, and characterizing their potential impact on future U.S. warfighting and homeland defense capabilities.
|Steps Toward Large-Scale Data Integration in the SciencesSummary of a Workshop
Steps Toward Large-Scale Data Integration in the Sciences summarizes a National Research Council (NRC) workshop to identify some of the major challenges that hinder large-scale data integration in the sciences and some of the technologies that could lead to solutions. The workshop was held August 19-20, 2009, in Washington, D.C.
The workshop examined a collection of scientific research domains, with application experts explaining the issues in their disciplines and current best practices. This approach allowed the participants to gain insights about both commonalities and differences in the data integration challenges facing the various communities. In addition to hearing from research domain experts, the workshop also featured experts working on the cutting edge of techniques for handling data integration problems. This provided participants with insights on the current state of the art. The goals were to identify areas in which the emerging needs of research communities are not being addressed and to point to opportunities for addressing these needs through closer engagement between the affected communities and cutting-edge computer science.
|Selling the Nation's Helium Reserve
Helium has long been the subject of public policy deliberation and management, largely because of its many strategic uses and its unusual source-it is a derived product of natural gas and its market has several anomalous characteristics. Shortly after sources of helium were discovered at the beginning of the last century, the U.S. government recognized helium's potential importance to the nation's interests and placed its production and availability under strict governmental control. In the 1960s, helium's strategic value in cold war efforts was reflected in policies that resulted in the accumulation of a large reserve of helium owned by the federal government. The latest manifestation of public policy is expressed in the Helium Privatization Act of 1996 (1996 12 Act), which directs that substantially all of the helium accumulated as a result of those earlier policies be sold off by 2015 at prices sufficient to repay the federal government for its outlays associated with the helium program.
The present volume assesses whether the interests of the United States have been well served by the 1996 Act and, in particular, whether selling off the helium reserve has had any adverse effect on U.S. scientific, technical, biomedical, and national security users of helium.
|Defending Planet EarthNear-Earth-Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies
The United States spends approximately $4 million each year searching for near-Earth objects (NEOs). The objective is to detect those that may collide with Earth. The majority of this funding supports the operation of several observatories that scan the sky searching for NEOs. This, however, is insufficient in detecting the majority of NEOs that may present a tangible threat to humanity. A significantly smaller amount of funding supports ways to protect the Earth from such a potential collision or "mitigation."
In 2005, a Congressional mandate called for NASA to detect 90 percent of NEOs with diameters of 140 meters of greater by 2020. Defending Planet Earth: Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies identifies the need for detection of objects as small as 30 to 50 meters as these can be highly destructive. The book explores four main types of mitigation including civil defense, "slow push" or "pull" methods, kinetic impactors and nuclear explosions. It also asserts that responding effectively to hazards posed by NEOs requires national and international cooperation. Defending Planet Earth: Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies is a useful guide for scientists, astronomers, policy makers and engineers.
|Achieving Effective Acquisition of Information Technology in the Department of Defense
In the military, information technology (IT) has enabled profound advances in weapons systems and the management and operation of the defense enterprise. A significant portion of the Department of Defense (DOD) budget is spent on capabilities acquired as commercial IT commodities, developmental IT systems that support a broad range of warfighting and functional applications, and IT components embedded in weapons systems. The ability of the DOD and its industrial partners to harness and apply IT for warfighting, command and control and communications, logistics, and transportation has contributed enormously to fielding the world's best defense force.
However, despite the DOD's decades of success in leveraging IT across the defense enterprise, the acquisition of IT systems continues to be burdened with serious problems. To address these issues, the National Research Council assembled a group of IT systems acquisition and T&E experts, commercial software developers, software engineers, computer scientists and other academic researchers. The group evaluated applicable legislative requirements, examined the processes and capabilities of the commercial IT sector, analyzed DOD's concepts for systems engineering and testing in virtual environments, and examined the DOD acquisition environment. The present volume summarizes this analysis and also includes recommendations on how to improve the acquisition, systems engineering, and T&E processes to achieve the DOD's network-centric goals.
|Hidden Costs of EnergyUnpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use
Despite the many benefits of energy, most of which are reflected in energy market prices, the production, distribution, and use of energy causes negative effects. Many of these negative effects are not reflected in energy market prices. When market failures like this occur, there may be a case for government interventions in the form of regulations, taxes, fees, tradable permits, or other instruments that will motivate recognition of these external or hidden costs.
The Hidden Costs of Energy defines and evaluates key external costs and benefits that are associated with the production, distribution, and use of energy, but are not reflected in market prices. The damage estimates presented are substantial and reflect damages from air pollution associated with electricity generation, motor vehicle transportation, and heat generation. The book also considers other effects not quantified in dollar amounts, such as damages from climate change, effects of some air pollutants such as mercury, and risks to national security.
While not a comprehensive guide to policy, this analysis indicates that major initiatives to further reduce other emissions, improve energy efficiency, or shift to a cleaner electricity generating mix could substantially reduce the damages of external effects. A first step in minimizing the adverse consequences of new energy technologies is to better understand these external effects and damages. The Hidden Costs of Energy will therefore be a vital informational tool for government policy makers, scientists, and economists in even the earliest stages of research and development on energy technologies.
|Capabilities for the FutureAn Assessment of NASA Laboratories for Basic Research
Over the past 5 years or more, there has been a steady and significant decrease in NASA's laboratory capabilities, including equipment, maintenance, and facility upgrades. This adversely affects the support of NASA's scientists, who rely on these capabilities, as well as NASA's ability to make the basic scientific and technical contributions that others depend on for programs of national importance. The fundamental research community at NASA has been severely impacted by the budget reductions that are responsible for this decrease in laboratory capabilities, and as a result NASA's ability to support even NASA's future goals is in serious jeopardy.
|Testing of Body Armor Materials for Use by the U.S. Army—Phase IILetter Report
This report assesses the methodologies used for body armor testing. This Phase II report considers in greater detail [than in Phase I] the validity of using the column drop performance test described by the Army for assessing the part-to-part consistency of a clay body within the level of precision that is identified by the Army test procedures. More detailed evaluations of the array of issues surrounding body armor testing, both present and future, will be presented in the final Phase III report.
|Transitions to Alternative Transportation Technologies—Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles
The nation has compelling reasons to reduce its consumption of oil and emissions of carbon dioxide. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) promise to contribute to both goals by allowing some miles to be driven on electricity drawn from the grid, with an internal combustion engine that kicks in when the batteries are discharged. However, while battery technology has made great strides in recent years, batteries are still very expensive.
Transitions to Alternative Transportation Technologies--Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles builds on a 2008 National Research Council report on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The present volume reviews the current and projected technology status of PHEVs; considers the factors that will affect how rapidly PHEVs could enter the marketplace, including the interface with the electric transmission and distribution system; determines a maximum practical penetration rate for PHEVs consistent with the time frame and factors considered in the 2008 Hydrogen report; and incorporates PHEVs into the models used in the hydrogen study to estimate the costs and impacts on petroleum consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.
|National Security Implications of Climate Change for U.S. Naval ForcesLetter Report
The leaders of the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps have recognized the potential impact of climate change on naval forces' missions and have positioned their organizations to make adaptive changes. This report is the first component of a study to assess the implications of climate change for the U.S. Naval Services. Specifically, this report highlights issues that could have potential near-term impacts, impose a need for near-term awareness, or require near-term planning to ensure that longer-term naval capabilities are protected. The final report of this study will address all of the elements in the study's terms of reference and explore many potential implications of climate change not covered in this letter report.
|Report of a Workshop on the Scope and Nature of Computational Thinking
Report of a Workshop on the Scope and Nature of Computational Thinking presents a number of perspectives on the definition and applicability of computational thinking. For example, one idea expressed during the workshop is that computational thinking is a fundamental analytical skill that everyone can use to help solve problems, design systems, and understand human behavior, making it useful in a number of fields. Supporters of this viewpoint believe that computational thinking is comparable to the linguistic, mathematical and logical reasoning taught to all children.
Various efforts have been made to introduce K-12 students to the most basic and essential computational concepts and college curricula have tried to provide a basis for life-long learning of increasingly new and advanced computational concepts and technologies. At both ends of this spectrum, however, most efforts have not focused on fundamental concepts. The book discusses what some of those fundamental concepts might be.
Report of a Workshop on the Scope and Nature of Computational Thinking explores the idea that as the use of computational devices is becoming increasingly widespread, computational thinking skills should be promulgated more broadly. The book is an excellent resource for professionals in a wide range of fields including educators and scientists.
|Letter Report for the Committee on Deterring CyberattacksInforming Strategies and Developing Options for U.S. Policy
This report is the first phase of a larger project to conduct a broad, multidisciplinary examination of deterrence strategies and their possible utility to the U.S. government in its policies toward preventing cyberattacks. This first phase identifies the key issues and questions that merit examination. The next phase will engage experts to prepare papers that address key issues and questions, including those posed here.
This letter report provides basic information needed to understand the nature of the problem and to articulate important questions that can drive research regarding ways of more effectively preventing, discouraging, and inhibiting hostile activity against important U.S. information systems and networks.
|Information Assurance for Network-Centric Naval Forces
Owing to the expansion of network-centric operating concepts across the Department of Defense (DOD) and the growing threat to information and cybersecurity from lone actors, groups of like-minded actors, nation-states, and malicious insiders, information assurance is an area of significant and growing importance and concern. Because of the forward positioning of both the Navy's afloat and the Marine Corps expeditionary forces, IA issues for naval forces are exacerbated, and are tightly linked to operational success. Broad-based IA success is viewed by the NRC's Committee on Information Assurance for Network-Centric Naval Forces as providing a central underpinning to the DOD's network-centric operational concept and the Department of the Navy's (DON's) FORCEnet operational vision. Accordingly, this report provides a view and analysis of information assurance in the context of naval 'mission assurance'.
|Revitalizing NASA's Suborbital ProgramAdvancing Science, Driving Innovation, and Developing Workforce
Suborbital flight activities, including the use of sounding rockets, aircraft, high-altitude balloons, and suborbital reusable launch vehicles, offer valuable opportunities to advance science, train the next generation of scientists and engineers, and provide opportunities for participants in the programs to acquire skills in systems engineering and systems integration that are critical to maintaining the nation's leadership in space programs. Furthermore, the NASA Authorization Act of 2008 finds it in the national interest to expand the size of NASA's suborbital research program and to consider increased funding.
Revitalizing NASA's Suborbital Program is an assessment of the current state and potential of NASA's suborbital research programs and a review of NASA's capabilities in this area. The scope of this review includes: existing programs that make use of suborbital flights; the status, capability, and availability of suborbital platforms; the existing or planned launch facilities for suborbital missions (including the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy); and opportunities for scientific research, training, and educational collaboration in the conduct of suborbital missions by NASA.
The findings illustrate that suborbital program elements-airborne, balloon, and sounding rockets-play vital and necessary strategic roles in NASA's research, innovation, education, employee development, and spaceflight mission success, thus providing the foundation for achievement of agency goals.
|Forging the Future of Space ScienceThe Next 50 Years
From September 2007 to June 2008 the Space Studies Board conducted an international public seminar series, with each monthly talk highlighting a different topic in space and Earth science. The principal lectures from the series are compiled in Forging the Future of Space Science. The topics of these events covered the full spectrum of space and Earth science research, from global climate change, to the cosmic origins of life, to the exploration of the Moon and Mars, to the scientific research required to support human spaceflight.
The prevailing messages throughout the seminar series as demonstrated by the lectures in this book are how much we have accomplished over the past 50 years, how profound are our discoveries, how much contributions from the space program affect our daily lives, and yet how much remains to be done. The age of discovery in space and Earth science is just beginning. Opportunities abound that will forever alter our destiny.
|Spectrum Management for Science in the 21st Century
Radio observations of the cosmos are gathered by geoscientists using complex earth-orbiting satellites and ground-based equipment, and by radio astronomers using large ground-based radio telescopes. Signals from natural radio emissions are extremely weak, and the equipment used to measure them is becoming ever-more sophisticated and sensitive.
The radio spectrum is also being used by radiating, or "active," services, ranging from aircraft radars to rapidly expanding consumer services such as cellular telephones and wireless internet. These valuable active services transmit radio waves and thereby potentially interfere with the receive-only, or "passive," scientific services. Transmitters for the active services create an artificial "electronic fog" which can cause confusion, and, in severe cases, totally blinds the passive receivers.
Both the active and the passive services are increasing their use of the spectrum, and so the potential for interference, already strong, is also increasing. This book addresses the tension between the active services' demand for greater spectrum use and the passive users' need for quiet spectrum. The included recommendations provide a pathway for putting in place the regulatory mechanisms and associated supporting research activities necessary to meet the demands of both users.
|Research at the Intersection of the Physical and Life Sciences
Traditionally, the natural sciences have been divided into two branches: the biological sciences and the physical sciences. Today, an increasing number of scientists are addressing problems lying at the intersection of the two. These problems are most often biological in nature, but examining them through the lens of the physical sciences can yield exciting results and opportunities. For example, one area producing effective cross-discipline research opportunities centers on the dynamics of systems. Equilibrium, multistability, and stochastic behavior--concepts familiar to physicists and chemists--are now being used to tackle issues associated with living systems such as adaptation, feedback, and emergent behavior.
Research at the Intersection of the Physical and Life Sciences discusses how some of the most important scientific and societal challenges can be addressed, at least in part, by collaborative research that lies at the intersection of traditional disciplines, including biology, chemistry, and physics. This book describes how some of the mysteries of the biological world are being addressed using tools and techniques developed in the physical sciences, and identifies five areas of potentially transformative research. Work in these areas would have significant impact in both research and society at large by expanding our understanding of the physical world and by revealing new opportunities for advancing public health, technology, and stewardship of the environment.
This book recommends several ways to accelerate such cross-discipline research. Many of these recommendations are directed toward those administering the faculties and resources of our great research institutions--and the stewards of our research funders, making this book an excellent resource for academic and research institutions, scientists, universities, and federal and private funding agencies.
|An Enabling Foundation for NASA's Earth and Space Science Missions
NASA's space and Earth science program is composed of two principal components: spaceflight projects and mission-enabling activities. Most of the budget of NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) is applied to spaceflight missions, but NASA identifies nearly one quarter of the SMD budget as "mission enabling." The principal mission-enabling activities, which traditionally encompass much of NASA's research and analysis (R&A) programs, include support for basic research, theory, modeling, and data analysis; suborbital payloads and flights and complementary ground-based programs; advanced technology development; and advanced mission and instrumentation concept studies.
While the R&A program is essential to the development and support of NASA's diverse set of space and Earth science missions, defining and articulating an appropriate scale for mission-enabling activities have posed a challenge throughout NASA's history. This volume identifies the appropriate roles for mission-enabling activities and metrics for assessing their effectiveness. Furthermore, the book evaluates how, from a strategic perspective, decisions should be made about balance between mission-related and mission-enabling elements of the overall program as well as balance between various elements within the mission-enabling component. Collectively, these efforts will help SMD to make a good program even better.
|Improving State Voter Registration DatabasesFinal Report
Improving State Voter Registration Databases outlines several actions that are needed to help make voter registration databases capable of sharing information within state agencies and across state lines. These include short-term changes to improve education, dissemination of information, and administrative processes, and long-term changes to make improvements in data collection and entry, matching procedures, and ensure privacy and security.
|Review and Assessment of Closure Plans for the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility and the Chemical Agent Munitions Disposal SystemLetter Report
The Chemical Materials Agency (CMA), requested the National Academies' Board on Army Science and Technology to examine the current state of closure activities for the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (TOCDF) and the Chemical Agent Munitions Disposal System (CAMDS). In this brief interim report, the Committee on Review and Assessment of Closure Plans for the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility and the Chemical Agent Munitions Disposal System addresses some of the issues pertaining to closure at the TOCDF and CAMDS facilities. It also provides insights into what the committee believes are important parameters to ensure the success of the CMA's closure program for these and CMA facilities at other locations. This interim report is to be followed by another report, which will use these parameters to conduct a comprehensive assessment of closure activities and issues.
For this interim report, the committee examined the current status of closure plans for both the TOCDF and CAMDS based on presentations by key members of CMA staff and the systems contractor. It then developed a set of parameters based on this high-level evaluation to help ensure a consistently effective approach to the closures of the four currently operating CMA chemical agent disposal facilities. The committee also assessed regulatory requirements imposed by the state of Utah, where TOCDF and CAMDS are located.
|Technical Capabilities Necessary for Regulation of Systemic Financial RiskSummary of a Workshop
The financial reform plans currently under discussion in the United States recognize the need for monitoring and regulating systemic risk in the financial sector. To inform those discussions, the National Research Council held a workshop on November 3, 2009, to identify the major technical challenges to building such a capability. The workshop, summarized in this volume, addressed the following key issues as they relate to systemic risk:
What data and analytical tools are currently available to regulators to address this challenge?
What further data-collection and data-analysis capabilities are needed?
What specific resource needs are required to accomplish the task?
What are the major technical challenges associated with systemic risk regulation?
What are various options for building these capabilities?
Because every systemic event is unique with respect to its specific pathology--the various triggers and the propagation of effects--the workshop focused on the issues listed above for systemic risk in general rather than for any specific scenario. Thus, by design, the workshop explicitly addressed neither the causes of the current crisis nor policy options for reducing risk, and it attempted to steer clear of some policy issues altogether (such as how to allocate new supervisory responsibilities). More than 40 experts representing diverse perspectives participated in the workshop.
|Persistent Forecasting of Disruptive Technologies
Technological innovations are key causal agents of surprise and disruption. In the recent past, the United States military has encountered unexpected challenges in the battlefield due in part to the adversary's incorporation of technologies not traditionally associated with weaponry. Recognizing the need to broaden the scope of current technology forecasting efforts, the Office of the Director, Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E) and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) tasked the Committee for Forecasting Future Disruptive Technologies with providing guidance and insight on how to build a persistent forecasting system to predict, analyze, and reduce the impact of the most dramatically disruptive technologies. The first of two reports, this volume analyzes existing forecasting methods and processes. It then outlines the necessary characteristics of a comprehensive forecasting system that integrates data from diverse sources to identify potentially game-changing technological innovations and facilitates informed decision making by policymakers.
|Phase I Report on Review of the Testing of Body Armor Materials for Use by the U.S. ArmyLetter Report
The National Research Council of the National Academies established a study to assess the methodologies used by the U.S. Army for the testing of body armor. This Phase I report is focused primarily on the validity of laser-profiling techniques for body armor test measurements. More comprehensive and detailed evaluations of an array of issues surrounding body armor testing will be presented in the forthcoming Phase II and Phase III reports.