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Strategic Investments in Instrumentation and Facilities for Extraterrestrial Sample Curation and Analysis   (SSB)
Released 2018-12-20

The United States possesses a treasure-trove of extraterrestrial samples that were returned to Earth via space missions over the past four decades. Analyses of these previously returned samples have led to major breakthroughs in the understanding of the age, composition, and origin of the solar system. Having the instrumentation, facilities and qualified personnel to undertake analyses of returned samples, especially from missions that take up to a decade or longer from launch to return, is thus of paramount importance if the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is to capitalize fully on the investment made in these missions, and to achieve the full scientific impact afforded by these extraordinary samples. Planetary science may be entering a new golden era of extraterrestrial sample return; now is the time to assess how prepared the scientific community is to take advantage of these opportunities. Strategic Investments in Instrumentation and Facilities for Extraterrestrial Sample Curation and Analysis assesses the current capabilities within the planetary science community for sample return analyses and curation, and what capabilities are currently missing that will be needed for future sample return missions. This report evaluates whether current laboratory support infrastructure and NASA’s investment strategy is adequate to meet these analytical challenges and advises how the community can keep abreast of evolving and new techniques in order to stay at the forefront of extraterrestrial sample analysis.

An Assessment of Four Divisions of the Information Technology Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and TechnologyFiscal Year 2018   (LAB)
Released 2018-12-17

An Assessment of Four Divisions of the Information Technology Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology: Fiscal Year 2018 assesses the scientific and technical work performed by four divisions of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Information Technology Laboratory. This publication reviews technical reports and technical program descriptions prepared by NIST staff and summarizes the findings of the authoring panel.

Final Report of the Committee on a Strategic Plan for U.S. Burning Plasma Research   (BPA)
Released 2018-12-13

Fusion offers the prospect of virtually unlimited energy. The United States and many nations around the world have made enormous progress toward achieving fusion energy. With ITER scheduled to go online within a decade and demonstrate controlled fusion ten years later, now is the right time for the United States to develop plans to benefit from its investment in burning plasma research and take steps to develop fusion electricity for the nation’s future energy needs. At the request of the Department of Energy, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine organized a committee to develop a strategic plan for U.S. fusion research. The final report’s two main recommendations are: (1) The United States should remain an ITER partner as the most cost-effective way to gain experience with a burning plasma at the scale of a power plant. (2) The United States should start a national program of accompanying research and technology leading to the construction of a compact pilot plant that produces electricity from fusion at the lowest possible capital cost.

Alternatives for the Demilitarization of Conventional Munitions   (BAST)
Released 2018-12-06

The U.S. military has a stockpile of approximately 400,000 tons of excess, obsolete, or unserviceable munitions. About 60,000 tons are added to the stockpile each year. Munitions include projectiles, bombs, rockets, landmines, and missiles. Open burning/open detonation (OB/OD) of these munitions has been a common disposal practice for decades, although it has decreased significantly since 2011. OB/OD is relatively quick, procedurally straightforward, and inexpensive. However, the downside of OB and OD is that they release contaminants from the operation directly into the environment. Over time, a number of technology alternatives to OB/OD have become available and more are in research and development. Alternative technologies generally involve some type of contained destruction of the energetic materials, including contained burning or contained detonation as well as contained methods that forego combustion or detonation. Alternatives for the Demilitarization of Conventional Munitions reviews the current conventional munitions demilitarization stockpile and analyzes existing and emerging disposal, treatment, and reuse technologies. This report identifies and evaluates any barriers to full-scale deployment of alternatives to OB/OD or non-closed loop incineration/combustion, and provides recommendations to overcome such barriers.

Quantum ComputingProgress and Prospects   (CSTB,ICSB)
Released 2018-12-04

Quantum mechanics, the subfield of physics that describes the behavior of very small (quantum) particles, provides the basis for a new paradigm of computing. First proposed in the 1980s as a way to improve computational modeling of quantum systems, the field of quantum computing has recently garnered significant attention due to progress in building small-scale devices. However, significant technical advances will be required before a large-scale, practical quantum computer can be achieved. Quantum Computing: Progress and Prospects provides an introduction to the field, including the unique characteristics and constraints of the technology, and assesses the feasibility and implications of creating a functional quantum computer capable of addressing real-world problems. This report considers hardware and software requirements, quantum algorithms, drivers of advances in quantum computing and quantum devices, benchmarks associated with relevant use cases, the time and resources required, and how to assess the probability of success.

Environmental Engineering for the 21st CenturyAddressing Grand Challenges   (BANR,BASC,BCST,BESR,BEST,BLS,OSB,WSTB,BEES)
Released 2018-12-03

Environmental engineers support the well-being of people and the planet in areas where the two intersect. Over the decades the field has improved countless lives through innovative systems for delivering water, treating waste, and preventing and remediating pollution in air, water, and soil. These achievements are a testament to the multidisciplinary, pragmatic, systems-oriented approach that characterizes environmental engineering. Environmental Engineering for the 21st Century: Addressing Grand Challenges outlines the crucial role for environmental engineers in this period of dramatic growth and change. The report identifies five pressing challenges of the 21st century that environmental engineers are uniquely poised to help advance: sustainably supply food, water, and energy; curb climate change and adapt to its impacts; design a future without pollution and waste; create efficient, healthy, resilient cities; and foster informed decisions and actions.

An Assessment of the Center for Neutron Research at the National Institute of Standards and TechnologyFiscal Year 2018   (LAB)
Released 2018-11-30

At the request of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has, since 1959 annually assembled panels of experts from academia, industry, medicine, and other scientific and engineering environments to assess the quality and effectiveness of the NIST measurements and standards laboratories, of which there are now seven, as well as the adequacy of the laboratories’ resources. This report assesses the scientific and technical work performed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Center for Neutron Research in the fiscal year 2018. It reviews the organization's technical programs; the portfolio of scientific expertise within the organization; the adequacy of the organization's facilities, equipment, and human resources; and the effectiveness with which the organization disseminates its program outputs.

Multi-Domain Command and ControlProceedings of a Workshop–in Brief   (AFSB)
Released 2018-11-21

On July 18-20, 2018, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Air Force Studies Board convened a workshop in Washington, D.C., on multi-domain command and control (MDC2) in the U.S. Air Force. The workshop participants focused on challenges and opportunities in the areas of operations, technology, acquisition, and policy. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

Globalization of Defense Materials and ManufacturingProceedings of a Workshop   (NMMB)
Released 2018-11-02

Emerging economies, social and political transitions, and new ways of doing business are changing the world dramatically. To be the leader in this competitive climate, a defense manufacturing enterprise will require up-to-date capabilities, which include improvements in materials processing, among other things. Also, national and international efforts to mitigate environmentally harmful effects of industrial processes and to improve decision making for handling and disposing of industrial contaminants adds additional requirements for any future efforts. The objective of retaining high-value materials-related manufacturing as a key national competitive capability implies a number of factors. The value of specific manufacturing capabilities could be defined not only in terms of criticality to defense systems but also in relation to technology and knowledge content, importance as a supplier to other industries, and importance to U.S. exports. Requested by Department of Defense (DoD) communities, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a workshop in March 2015 to further explore materials and manufacturing processes. The participants explored changes in the global R&D landscape, technology awareness mechanisms—both DoD’s mechanisms and other models—and collaboration models and issues in R&D. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

An Assessment of Four Divisions of the Physical Measurement Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and TechnologyFiscal Year 2018   (LAB)
Released 2018-10-31

An Assessment of Four Divisions of the Physical Measurement Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology: Fiscal Year 2018 assesses the scientific and technical work performed by four divisions of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Physical Measurement Laboratory. This publication reviews technical reports and technical program descriptions prepared by NIST staff and summarizes the findings of the authoring panel.

Combat Vehicle Weight Reduction by Materials SubstitutionProceedings of a Workshop   (NMMB)
Released 2018-10-16

Vehicle weight reduction is an effective strategy for reducing fuel consumption in civilian vehicles. For combat vehicles, it presents not only an important opportunity to reduce fuel use and associated logistics, but also important advantages in transport and mobility on the battlefield. Although there have been numerous efforts in the past to reduce the overall weight of combat vehicles, combat vehicle weight has continued to increase over time due to new threats and missions. On December 8 and 9, 2014, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a workshop to explore opportunities in lightweight materials for armored vehicles. This was the ninth workshop in an ongoing series for the U.S. military on materials and manufacturing issues. The workshop discussed future advances in weight reduction by materials substitution for vehicles, including such topics as armor, structure, automotive parts, and armaments. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

An Astrobiology Strategy for the Search for Life in the Universe   (SSB)
Released 2018-10-10

Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe. It is an inherently interdisciplinary field that encompasses astronomy, biology, geology, heliophysics, and planetary science, including complementary laboratory activities and field studies conducted in a wide range of terrestrial environments. Combining inherent scientific interest and public appeal, the search for life in the solar system and beyond provides a scientific rationale for many current and future activities carried out by the National Aeronautics and Science Administration (NASA) and other national and international agencies and organizations. Requested by NASA, this study offers a science strategy for astrobiology that outlines key scientific questions, identifies the most promising research in the field, and indicates the extent to which the mission priorities in existing decadal surveys address the search for life’s origin, evolution, distribution, and future in the universe. This report makes recommendations for advancing the research, obtaining the measurements, and realizing NASA’s goal to search for signs of life in the universe.

Recoverability as a First-Class Security ObjectiveProceedings of a Workshop   (CSTB)
Released 2018-10-01

The Forum on Cyber Resilience of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine hosted the Workshop on Recoverability as a First-Class Security Objective on February 8, 2018, in Washington, D.C. The workshop featured presentations from several experts in industry, research, and government roles who spoke about the complex facets of recoverability—that is, the ability to restore normal operations and security in a system affected by software or hardware failure or a deliberate attack. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

Open Source Software Policy Options for NASA Earth and Space Sciences   (SSB)
Released 2018-09-25

Modern science is ever more driven by computations and simulations. In particular, the state of the art in space and Earth science often arises from complex simulations of climate, space weather, and astronomical phenomena. At the same time, scientific work requires data processing, presentation, and analysis through broadly available proprietary and community software.1 Implicitly or explicitly, software is central to science. Scientific discovery, understanding, validation, and interpretation are all enhanced by access to the source code of the software used by scientists. This report investigates and recommends options for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) as it considers how to establish a policy regarding open source software to complement its existing policy on open data. In particular, the report reviews existing data and software policies and the lessons learned from the implementation of those policies, summarizes community perspectives, and presents policy options and recommendations for implementing an open source software policy for NASA SMD.

Securing the VoteProtecting American Democracy   (CSTL,CSTB)
Released 2018-09-06

During the 2016 presidential election, America's election infrastructure was targeted by actors sponsored by the Russian government. Securing the Vote: Protecting American Democracy examines the challenges arising out of the 2016 federal election, assesses current technology and standards for voting, and recommends steps that the federal government, state and local governments, election administrators, and vendors of voting technology should take to improve the security of election infrastructure. In doing so, the report provides a vision of voting that is more secure, accessible, reliable, and verifiable.

Exoplanet Science Strategy   (SSB,BPA)
Released 2018-09-05

The past decade has delivered remarkable discoveries in the study of exoplanets. Hand-in-hand with these advances, a theoretical understanding of the myriad of processes that dictate the formation and evolution of planets has matured, spurred on by the avalanche of unexpected discoveries. Appreciation of the factors that make a planet hospitable to life has grown in sophistication, as has understanding of the context for biosignatures, the remotely detectable aspects of a planet’s atmosphere or surface that reveal the presence of life. Exoplanet Science Strategy highlights strategic priorities for large, coordinated efforts that will support the scientific goals of the broad exoplanet science community. This report outlines a strategic plan that will answer lingering questions through a combination of large, ambitious community-supported efforts and support for diverse, creative, community-driven investigator research.

Visions into Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022A Midterm Review   (SSB)
Released 2018-08-07

In spring 2011 the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine produced a report outlining the next decade in planetary sciences. That report, titled Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022, and popularly referred to as the “decadal survey,” has provided high-level prioritization and guidance for NASA’s Planetary Science Division. Other considerations, such as budget realities, congressional language in authorization and appropriations bills, administration requirements, and cross-division and cross-directorate requirements (notably in retiring risk or providing needed information for the human program) are also necessary inputs to how NASA develops its planetary science program. In 2016 NASA asked the National Academies to undertake a study assessing NASA’s progress at meeting the objectives of the decadal survey. After the study was underway, Congress passed the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Transition Authorization Act of 2017 which called for NASA to engage the National Academies in a review of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. NASA and the Academies agreed to incorporate that review into the midterm study. That study has produced this report, which serves as a midterm assessment and provides guidance on achieving the goals in the remaining years covered by the decadal survey as well as preparing for the next decadal survey, currently scheduled to begin in 2020.

Report Series: Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics: Mission Concept Studies   (SSB,BPA)
Released 2018-08-06

The Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics (CAA) is tasked with monitoring the progress of the recommended priorities of the astronomy and astrophysics decadal survey of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and providing an independent, authoritative forum for identifying and discussing issues in astronomy and astrophysics between the research community, the federal government, and the interested public. This publication reviews NASA’s plans for delivering mission concept studies (large and medium) to the Decadal Survey Committee. The CAA assessed the appropriateness of NASA’s plans and provided findings for the purpose of improving the value of NASA’s preparations to the Decadal Survey Committee.

Opportunities from the Integration of Simulation Science and Data ScienceProceedings of a Workshop   (CSTB)
Released 2018-07-31

Convergence has been a key topic of discussion about the future of cyberinfrastructure for science and engineering research. Convergence refers both to the combined use of simulation and data-centric techniques in science and engineering research and the possibilities for a single type of cyberinfrastructure to support both techniques. The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine convened a Workshop on Converging Simulation and Data-Driven Science on May 10, 2018, in Washington, D.C. The workshop featured speakers from universities, national laboratories, technology companies, and federal agencies who addressed the potential benefits and limitations of convergence as they relate to scientific needs, technological capabilities, funding structures, and system design requirements. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

Data ScienceOpportunities to Transform Chemical Sciences and Engineering: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief   (BCST,BMSA)
Released 2018-07-27

New technologies and approaches are generating large, diverse data sets, and data science offers the tools that are needed to interrogate, analyze, and manage these data sets. Biology, material sciences, and other fields have embraced data science tools and used them to gain insights into, for example, gene–environment interactions, molecular mechanisms of disease, and implications of material characteristics on performance. Chemical sciences and engineering have also used data science tools to, for example, monitor and control chemical processes, predict activity depending on chemical structures or properties, and inform business and research decisions. However, data science applications in the chemical sciences and engineering community have been relatively limited, and many opportunities for advancing the fields have gone unexplored. Accordingly, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a workshop to explore opportunities to use data science to transform chemical sciences and engineering on February 27–28, 2018, in Washington, DC. Stakeholders from academia, government, and industry convened to discuss the challenges and opportunities to integrate data science into chemical sciences and engineering practice and data science training for the future chemical sciences and engineering workforce. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

An Assessment of U.S.-Based Electron-Ion Collider Science   (BPA)
Released 2018-07-24

Understanding of protons and neutrons, or “nucleons”—the building blocks of atomic nuclei—has advanced dramatically, both theoretically and experimentally, in the past half century. A central goal of modern nuclear physics is to understand the structure of the proton and neutron directly from the dynamics of their quarks and gluons governed by the theory of their interactions, quantum chromodynamics (QCD), and how nuclear interactions between protons and neutrons emerge from these dynamics. With deeper understanding of the quark-gluon structure of matter, scientists are poised to reach a deeper picture of these building blocks, and atomic nuclei themselves, as collective many-body systems with new emergent behavior. The development of a U.S. domestic electron-ion collider (EIC) facility has the potential to answer questions that are central to completing an understanding of atoms and integral to the agenda of nuclear physics today. This study assesses the merits and significance of the science that could be addressed by an EIC, and its importance to nuclear physics in particular and to the physical sciences in general. It evaluates the significance of the science that would be enabled by the construction of an EIC, its benefits to U.S. leadership in nuclear physics, and the benefits to other fields of science of a U.S.-based EIC.

Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage Approaches for Carbon Dioxide Removal and Reliable SequestrationProceedings of a Workshop—in Brief   (BCST,BEES,BESR,BANR,OSB,BASC)
Released 2018-07-10

Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) is a technology that integrates biomass conversion to heat, electricity, or liquid or gas fuels with carbon capture and sequestration. BECCS could provide a significant portion of the global energy supply if deployed to its theoretical maximum feasible amount. The future role of BECCS is a subject that divides researchers as estimates of potential future biomass supply vary widely due to differences in approaches used to consider factors such as population development, consumption patterns (e.g., diet), economic and technological development, climate change, and societal priorities concerning conservation versus production objectives. Nevertheless, many integrated assessment models use large-scale deployment of BECCS in scenarios that limit climate change to below 2°C. On October 23, 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a third meeting in Irvine, California, to explore the state of knowledge and research needs related to the potential of BECCS as a CDR approach. Invited speakers gave an overview of biomass production pathways and capacities, implications of various feedstocks, advanced conversion technologies, and capture and storage strategies. Presenters at the workshop also discussed cross-cutting issues that include life cycle impacts of large-scale BECCS deployment, policies and incentives for the implementation of these approaches, and social acceptability barriers. The workshop was preceded by an introductory webinar on October 16, 2017, where invited speakers provided a primer on the prospects of BECCS for negative emissions capacity; the capacity for biomass to meet stationary generation and transportation fuel needs; and the status, challenges, and costs of implemented bioenergy and biofuels. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from both the webinar and workshop.

Review and Assessment of Planetary Protection Policy Development Processes   (SSB)
Released 2018-07-02

Protecting Earth’s environment and other solar system bodies from harmful contamination has been an important principle throughout the history of space exploration. For decades, the scientific, political, and economic conditions of space exploration converged in ways that contributed to effective development and implementation of planetary protection policies at national and international levels. However, the future of space exploration faces serious challenges to the development and implementation of planetary protection policy. The most disruptive changes are associated with (1) sample return from, and human missions to, Mars; and (2) missions to those bodies in the outer solar system possessing water oceans beneath their icy surfaces. Review and Assessment of Planetary Protection Policy Development Processes addresses the implications of changes in the complexion of solar system exploration as they apply to the process of developing planetary protection policy. Specifically, this report examines the history of planetary protection policy, assesses the current policy development process, and recommends actions to improve the policy development process in the future.

High-Performance Bolting Technology for Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Operations   (NMMB)
Released 2018-06-12

Commercially significant amounts of crude oil and natural gas lie under the continental shelf of the United States. Advances in locating deposits, and improvements in drilling and recovery technology, have made it technically and economically feasible to extract these resources under harsh conditions. But extracting these offshore petroleum resources involves the possibility, however remote, of oil spills, with resulting damage to the ocean and the coastline ecosystems and risks to life and limb of those performing the extraction. The environmental consequences of an oil spill can be more severe underwater than on land because sea currents can quickly disperse the oil over a large area and, thus, cleanup can be problematic. Bolted connections are an integral feature of deep-water well operations. High-Performance Bolting Technology for Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Operations summarizes strategies for improving the reliability of fasteners used in offshore oil exploration equipment, as well as best practices from other industrial sectors. It focuses on critical bolting—bolts, studs, nuts, and fasteners used on critical connections.

Assessing the Risks of Integrating Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System   (ASEB)
Released 2018-06-11

When discussing the risk of introducing drones into the National Airspace System, it is necessary to consider the increase in risk to people in manned aircraft and on the ground as well as the various ways in which this new technology may reduce risk and save lives, sometimes in ways that cannot readily be accounted for with current safety assessment processes. This report examines the various ways that risk can be defined and applied to integrating these Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System managed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). It also identifies needs for additional research and developmental opportunities in this field.

Combat Search and Rescue in Highly Contested EnvironmentsProceedings of a Workshop–in Brief   (AFSB)
Released 2018-06-04

The Personnel Recovery (PR) and Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) missions are core mission functions of the U.S. Air Force (USAF). PR refers to the broad range of operations and forces that provide recovery of personnel, whether the environment is hostile or peaceful. CSAR refers to more specialized operations in which an isolated person (IP) or persons are recovered from hostile environments, typically with the existence of threats to the recovery force. The USAF has successfully performed these missions in the past. Increasingly, however, highly contested operating environments have emerged with the development, growth, and proliferation of Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) environments and Integrated Air Defense Systems (IADS). A 3-day workshop focusing on the needs of IPs was convened and examined the nature and consequences of the threat to the CSAR and PR mission, the current PR force structure, equipment and training for the IP, and technologies that might increase the survival of the IP moving into the 2030 timeframe. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

Data Science for UndergraduatesOpportunities and Options   (CSTB,BMSA,CATS,BOSE)
Released 2018-05-02

Data science is emerging as a field that is revolutionizing science and industries alike. Work across nearly all domains is becoming more data driven, affecting both the jobs that are available and the skills that are required. As more data and ways of analyzing them become available, more aspects of the economy, society, and daily life will become dependent on data. It is imperative that educators, administrators, and students begin today to consider how to best prepare for and keep pace with this data-driven era of tomorrow. Undergraduate teaching, in particular, offers a critical link in offering more data science exposure to students and expanding the supply of data science talent. Data Science for Undergraduates: Opportunities and Options offers a vision for the emerging discipline of data science at the undergraduate level. This report outlines some considerations and approaches for academic institutions and others in the broader data science communities to help guide the ongoing transformation of this field.

Human-Automation Interaction Considerations for Unmanned Aerial System Integration into the National Airspace SystemProceedings of a Workshop   (BOHSI,ASEB)
Released 2018-03-29

Prior to 2012, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) technology had been primarily used by the military and hobbyists, but it has more recently transitioned to broader application, including commercial and scientific applications, as well as to expanded military use. These new uses encroach on existing structures for managing the nation’s airspace and present significant challenges to ensure that UASs are coordinated safely and suitably with existing manned aircraft and air traffic management systems, particularly with the National Airspace System (NAS). Of particular concern is the interaction between human pilots, operators, or controllers and increasingly automated systems. Enhanced understanding of these interactions is essential to avoid unintended consequences, especially as new technologies emerge. In order to explore these issues, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine organized a 2-day workshop in January 2018. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

Report 2 on Tracking and Assessing Governance and Management Reform in the Nuclear Security Enterprise   (LAB)
Released 2018-03-13

The congressionally mandated report A New Foundation for the Nuclear Enterprise (the “Augustine-Mies” report), released in November 2014, concluded that “the existing governance structures and many of the practices of the [nuclear security] enterprise are inefficient and ineffective, thereby putting the entire enterprise at risk over the long term.” Following the release of the Augustine-Mies report, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 called for DOE to develop an implementation plan for responding to the recommendations in that and similar reports. The NDAA also called for a 4 1⁄2-year study, joint between the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and the National Academy of Public Administration, to evaluate the implementation plan, to track the actions proposed in that plan, and to assess progress. This report is the second in a series of reports to be issued over 2017–2020 as part of that study.

Counter-Unmanned Aircraft System (CUAS) Capability for Battalion-and-Below OperationsAbbreviated Version of a Restricted Report   (BAST)
Released 2018-03-06

The development of inexpensive small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) technologies and the growing desire of hobbyists to have more and more capability have created a sustained sUAS industry, however these capabilities are directly enabling the ability of adversaries to threaten U.S. interests. In response to these threats, the U.S. Army and other Department of Defense (DoD) organizations have invested significantly in counter-sUAS technologies, often focusing on detecting radio frequency transmissions by sUASs and/or their operators, and jamming the radio frequency command and control links and Global Positioning System signals of individual sUASs. However, today’s consumer and customized sUASs can increasingly operate without radio frequency command and control links by using automated target recognition and tracking, obstacle avoidance, and other software-enabled capabilities. The U.S. Army tasked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to conduct a study to address the above concerns. In particular, the committee was asked to assess the sUAS threat, particularly when massed and collaborating; assess current capabilities of battalion-and- below infantry units to counter sUASs; identify counter-sUAS technologies appropriate for near- term, mid-term, and far-term science and technology investment; consider human factors and logistics; and determine if the Department of Homeland Security could benefit from DoD efforts. This abbreviated report provides background information on the full report and the committee that prepared it.

2017-2018 Assessment of the Army Research LaboratoryInterim Report   (ARLTAB,LAB)
Released 2018-02-21

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's Army Research Laboratory Technical Assessment Board (ARLTAB) provides biennial assessments of the scientific and technical quality of the research, development, and analysis programs at the Army Research Laboratory (ARL), focusing on ballistics sciences, human sciences, information sciences, materials sciences, and mechanical sciences. This interim report summarizes the findings of the ARLTAB for the first year of this biennial assessment; the current report addresses approximately half the portfolio for each campaign; the remainder will be assessed in 2018.

Decrypting the Encryption DebateA Framework for Decision Makers   (CSTB)
Released 2018-02-15

Encryption protects information stored on smartphones, laptops, and other devices - in some cases by default. Encrypted communications are provided by widely used computing devices and services - such as smartphones, laptops, and messaging applications - that are used by hundreds of millions of users. Individuals, organizations, and governments rely on encryption to counter threats from a wide range of actors, including unsophisticated and sophisticated criminals, foreign intelligence agencies, and repressive governments. Encryption on its own does not solve the challenge of providing effective security for data and systems, but it is an important tool. At the same time, encryption is relied on by criminals to avoid investigation and prosecution, including criminals who may unknowingly benefit from default settings as well as those who deliberately use encryption. Thus, encryption complicates law enforcement and intelligence investigations. When communications are encrypted "end-to-end," intercepted messages cannot be understood. When a smartphone is locked and encrypted, the contents cannot be read if the phone is seized by investigators. Decrypting the Encryption Debate reviews how encryption is used, including its applications to cybersecurity; its role in protecting privacy and civil liberties; the needs of law enforcement and the intelligence community for information; technical and policy options for accessing plaintext; and the international landscape. This book describes the context in which decisions about providing authorized government agencies access to the plaintext version of encrypted information would be made and identifies and characterizes possible mechanisms and alternative means of obtaining information.

Aeronautics 2050Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief   (ASEB)
Released 2018-02-07

The Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board (ASEB) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine organized a 1-day visioning workshop to facilitate a dialog on the historical contributions of the ASEB to development of the U.S. civil aeronautics sector, recent advances and current challenges and opportunities in civil aviation, and new directions in air travel and technology in the coming 30 years. This publication briefly summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

Testing at the Speed of LightThe State of U.S. Electronic Parts Space Radiation Testing Infrastructure   (NMMB)
Released 2018-02-01

Spacecraft depend on electronic components that must perform reliably over missions measured in years and decades. Space radiation is a primary source of degradation, reliability issues, and potentially failure for these electronic components. Although simulation and modeling are valuable for understanding the radiation risk to microelectronics, there is no substitute for testing, and an increased use of commercial-off-the- shelf parts in spacecraft may actually increase requirements for testing, as opposed to simulation and modeling. Testing at the Speed of Light evaluates the nation’s current capabilities and future needs for testing the effects of space radiation on microelectronics to ensure mission success and makes recommendations on how to provide effective stewardship of the necessary radiation test infrastructure for the foreseeable future.

In-Time Aviation Safety ManagementChallenges and Research for an Evolving Aviation System   (ASEB)
Released 2018-01-18

Decades of continuous efforts to address known hazards in the national airspace system (NAS) and to respond to issues illuminated by analysis of incidents and accidents have made commercial airlines the safest mode of transportation. The task of maintaining a high level of safety for commercial airlines is complicated by the dynamic nature of the NAS. The number of flights by commercial transports is increasing; air traffic control systems and procedures are being modernized to increase the capacity and efficiency of the NAS; increasingly autonomous systems are being developed for aircraft and ground systems, and small aircraft—most notably unmanned aircraft systems—are becoming much more prevalent. As the NAS evolves to accommodate these changes, aviation safety programs will also need to evolve to ensure that changes to the NAS do not inadvertently introduce new risks. Real-time system-wide safety assurance (RSSA) is one of six focus areas for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) aeronautics program. NASA envisions that an RSSA system would provide a continuum of information, analysis, and assessment that supports awareness and action to mitigate risks to safety. Maintaining the safety of the NAS as it evolves will require a wide range of safety systems and practices, some of which are already in place and many of which need to be developed. This report identifies challenges to establishing an RSSA system and the high-priority research that should be implemented by NASA and other interested parties in government, industry, and academia to expedite development of such a system.

Review of NASA Office of Space Science Enterprise Strategic PlanLetter Report   (SSB)
Released 2018-01-12

Thriving on Our Changing PlanetA Decadal Strategy for Earth Observation from Space   (SSB)
Released 2018-01-05

We live on a dynamic Earth shaped by both natural processes and the impacts of humans on their environment. It is in our collective interest to observe and understand our planet, and to predict future behavior to the extent possible, in order to effectively manage resources, successfully respond to threats from natural and human-induced environmental change, and capitalize on the opportunities – social, economic, security, and more – that such knowledge can bring. By continuously monitoring and exploring Earth, developing a deep understanding of its evolving behavior, and characterizing the processes that shape and reshape the environment in which we live, we not only advance knowledge and basic discovery about our planet, but we further develop the foundation upon which benefits to society are built. Thriving on Our Changing Planet presents prioritized science, applications, and observations, along with related strategic and programmatic guidance, to support the U.S. civil space Earth observation program over the coming decade.