|Radio Frequency Identification Technologies: A Workshop Summary
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology is gaining rapid acceptance as a means to track a wide array of manufactured objects. Currently, RFID technologies have shown promise in transportation (e.g., smart fare cards) and commerce (e.g., inventory control) for a variety of uses and are likely to find many new applications in both military and civilian areas if and when current technical issues are resolved. There are a number of policy concerns (e.g., privacy), however, that will become more crucial as the technology spreads. This report presents a summary of a workshop, held by the NRC at the request of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, to explore many of the key technical and policy issues. Several important themes that are likely to govern expansion of RFID technology emerged from the workshop and are discussed.
|Assessment of Department of Defense Basic Research
The Department of Defense (DOD) supports basic research to advance fundamental knowledge in fields important to national defense. Over the past six years, however, several groups have raised concern about whether the nature of DOD-funded basic research is changing. The concerns include these: Funds are being spent for research that does not fall under DOD's definition of basic research; reporting requirements have become cumbersome and onerous; and basic research is handled differently by the three services. To explore these concerns, the Congress directed DOD to request a study from the National Research Council (NRC) about the nature of basic research now being funded by the Department. Specifically the NRC was to determine if the programs in the DOD basic research portfolio are consistent with the DOD definition of basic research and with the characteristics associated with fundamental research.
|The Role of Experimentation in Building Future Naval Forces
The Department of Defense is in the process of transforming the nation s armed forces to meet the military challenges of the 21st century. Currently, the opportunity exists to carry out experiments at individual and joint service levels to facilitate this transformation. Experimentation, which involves a spectrum of activities including analyses, war games, modeling and simulation, small focused experiments, and large field events among other things, provides the means to enhance naval and joint force development. To assist the Navy in this effort, the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) asked the National Research Council (NRC) to conduct a study to examine the role of experimentation in building future naval forces to operate in the joint environment. The NRC formed the Committee for the Role of Experimentation in Building Future Naval Forces to perform the study.
|Methodology for Estimating Prospective Benefits of Energy R&D Programs
Since its inception in 1977, the Department of Energy has invested substantial sums in energy efficiency and fossil energy R&D. To monitor its effectiveness, the agency and Congress have, over the years, pursued evaluation of these R&D programs that focuses on its cost and benefits. Such evaluation, however, is difficult and must incorporate the full range of public benefits as well as what might happen if that R&D had not been funded by the federal government. To help address these challenges, and at the direction of Congress, DOE asked the NRC to develop a methodology for evaluating the prospective benefits of its fossil energy and energy efficiency R&D programs. Such methodology can be used to evaluate program management and funding decisions on an ongoing basis. This letter report provides an overview of the studies approach and how it differs from retrospective studies of this R&D previously carried out by the NRC. A final report is expected to be completed in February 2005.
|Exploration of the Outer Heliosphere and the Local Interstellar Medium: A Workshop Report
This report is the summary of a workshop held in May 2003 by the Space Studies Board's Committee on Solar and Space Physics to synthesize understanding of the physics of the outer heliosphere and the critical role played by the local interstellar medium (LISM) and to identify directions for the further exploration of this challenging environment.
|Summary of a Workshop on Software Certification and Dependability
Certification of critical software systems (e.g., for safety and security) is important to help ensure their dependability. Today, certification relies as much on evaluation of the software development process as it does on the system s properties. While the latter are preferable, the complexity of these systems usually makes them extremely difficult to evaluate. To explore these and related issues, the National Coordination Office for Information technology Research and Development asked the NRC to undertake a study to assess the current state of certification in dependable systems. The study is in two phases: the first to frame the problem and the second to assess it. This report presents a summary of a workshop held as part of the first phase. The report presents a summary of workshop participants presentations and subsequent discussion. It covers, among other things, the strengths and limitations of process; new challenges and opportunities; experience to date; organization context; and cost-effectiveness of software engineering techniques. A consensus report will be issued upon completion of the second phase.
|Accelerating Technology Transition: Bridging the Valley of Death for Materials and Processes in Defense Systems
Accelerating the transition of new technologies into systems and products will be crucial to the Department of Defenses development of a lighter, more flexible fighting force. Current long transition times-ten years or more is now typical-are attributed to the complexity of the process. To help meet these challenges, the Department of Defense asked the National Research Council to examine lessons learned from rapid technology applications by integrated design and manufacturing groups. This report presents the results of that study, which was based on a workshop held to explore these successful cases. Three key areas emerged: creating a culture for innovation and rapid technology transition; methodologies and approaches; and enabling tools and databases.
|Solar and Space Physics and Its Role in Space Exploration
In February 2004, the President announced a new goal for NASA; to use humans and robots together to explore the Moon, Mars, and beyond. In response to this initiative, NASA has adopted new exploration goals that depend, in part, on solar physics research. These actions raised questions about how the research agenda recommended by the NRC in its 2002 report, The Sun to the Earth and Beyond, which did not reflect the new exploration goals, would be affected. As a result, NASA requested the NRC to review the role solar and space physics should play in support of the new goals. This report presents the results of that review. It considers solar and space physics both as aspects of scientific exploration and in support of enabling future exploration of the solar system. The report provides a series of recommendations about NASA's Sun-Earth Connections program to enable it to meet both of those goals.
|Statistical Analysis of Massive Data Streams: Proceedings of a Workshop
Massive data streams, large quantities of data that arrive continuously, are becoming increasingly commonplace in many areas of science and technology. Consequently development of analytical methods for such streams is of growing importance. To address this issue, the National Security Agency asked the NRC to hold a workshop to explore methods for analysis of streams of data so as to stimulate progress in the field. This report presents the results of that workshop. It provides presentations that focused on five different research areas where massive data streams are present: atmospheric and meteorological data; high-energy physics; integrated data systems; network traffic; and mining commercial data streams. The goals of the report are to improve communication among researchers in the field and to increase relevant statistical science activity.
|Utilization of Operational Environmental Satellite Data: Ensuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond
The system of satellites in place to provide environmental data-data to monitor events such as forest fires and floods; to make weather predictions; and to assess crops, transportation impacts, fisheries, land-use patterns, sea temperature, and soil moisture, among other things- serves a wide and growing array of users. In the coming years as the next generation of operational environmental satellites in put in orbit, the will be a large expansion in data availability. To ensure that these data serve effectively this broad user community, a new vision for the future of operational environmental satellite data utilization is needed. To help develop approaches for handling this potential data overload, NASA, with technical support from NOAA, asked the NRC to conduct an end-to-end review of issues about the utilization of operational environmental satellite data for 2010 and beyond. This report presents the result of that review. It focuses on ensuring the value of environmental satellite data for addressing specific user needs, distribution of such data, and data access and utilization.
|Retooling Manufacturing:Bridging Design, Materials, and Production
As the Department of Defense continues development of the future warrior system, the difficulty of moving rapidly from design to manufacturing for complex technologies is becoming a major concern. In particular, there are communication gaps between design and manufacturing that hinder rapid development of new products important for these future military developments. To help address those concerns, DOD asked the NRC to develop a framework for bridging these gaps through data management, modeling, and simulation. This report presents the results of this study. It provides a framework for virtual design and manufacturing and an assessment of the necessary tools; an analysis of the economic dimensions; an examination of barriers to virtual design and manufacturing in the DOD acquisition process; and a series of recommendations and research needs.
|Capturing the Full Power of Biomaterials for Military Medicine: Report of a Workshop
Recent results in biomaterials R&D suggest that there are exceptional opportunities for these emerging materials in military medicine. To facilitate this possibility, the National Research Council convened a workshop at the request of the Department of Defense to help create a technology development roadmap to enhance military R&D into biomaterials technology. The workshop focused primarily on identifying useful near- and mid-term applications of biomaterials including wound care, tissue engineering, drug delivery, and physiological sensors and diagnostics. This report presents a summary of the workshop. It provides a review of biomaterials and their importance to military medicine, the roadmap, and a discussion of ways to enable biomaterials development. Several important outcomes of successful capture of potential benefits of these materials are also discussed.
|The Hydrogen Economy: Opportunities, Costs, Barriers, and R&D Needs
The announcement of a hydrogen fuel initiative in the President s 2003 State of the Union speech substantially increased interest in the potential for hydrogen to play a major role in the nation s long-term energy future. Prior to that event, DOE asked the National Research Council to examine key technical issues about the hydrogen economy to assist in the development of its hydrogen R&D program. Included in the assessment were the current state of technology; future cost estimates; CO2 emissions; distribution, storage, and end use considerations; and the DOE RD&D program. The report provides an assessment of hydrogen as a fuel in the nation s future energy economy and describes a number of important challenges that must be overcome if it is to make a major energy contribution. Topics covered include the hydrogen end-use technologies, transportation, hydrogen production technologies, and transition issues for hydrogen in vehicles.
|Army Science and Technology for Homeland Security: Report 2 -- C4ISR
Shortly after the events of September 11, 2001, the U.S. Army asked the National Research Council (NRC) for a series of reports on how science and technology could assist the Army meet its Homeland defense obligations. The first report, Science and Technology for Army Homeland Security Report 1, presented a survey of a road range of technologies and recommended applying Future Force technologies to homeland security wherever possible. In particular, the report noted that the Army should play a major role in providing emergency command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities and that the technology and architecture needed for homeland security C4ISR was compatible with that of the Army s Future Force. This second report focuses on C4ISR and how it can facilitate the Army s efforts to assist the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and emergency responders meet a catastrophic event.
|Evaluation of the National Aerospace Initiative
The National Aerospace Initiative (NAI) was conceived as a joint effort between the Department of Defense (DOD) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to sustain the aerospace leadership of the United States through the acceleration of selected aerospace technologies: hypersonic flight, access to space, and space technologies. The Air Force became concerned about the NAI s possible consequences on Air Force programs and budget if NAI program decisions differed from Air Force priorities. To examine this issue, it asked the NRC for an independent review of the NAI. This report presents the results of that assessment. It focuses on three questions asked by the Air Force: is NAI technically feasible in the time frame laid out; is it financially feasible over that period; and is it operationally relevant.
|Setting Priorities for Large Research Facility Projects Supported by the National Science Foundation
In 1995, the National Science Foundation (NSF) created a special account to fund large (several tens of millions of dollars) research facilities. Over the years, these facilities have come to represent an increasingly prominent part of the nation s R&D portfolio. Recently concern has intensified about the way NSF is selecting projects for this account. In 2003, six U.S. Senators including the chair and ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on VA, HUD, and Independent Agencies Appropriations expressed these concerns in a letter to the NRC asking it to review the current prioritization process and report to us on how it can be improved. This report presents a series of recommendations on how NSF can improve its priority setting process for large research facilities. While noting that NSF has improved this process, the report states that further strengthening is needed if NSF is to meet future demands for such projects.
|Letter Report to the FBI
This letter report presents a review of actions taken by the FBI that address many of the concerns discussed in the NRC report, A Review of the FBI s Trilogy Information Technology Modernization Program. That report was released in early May. After its release, the FBI noted that it had taken such steps and requested the NRC to review them in light of the recommendations and findings of the first report. In addition, Rep. Frank Wolf, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations, asked the NRC to undertake this follow-up study. The letter report presents the NRC assessment of those steps, noting where progress is apparent in addressing earlier concerns and where additional efforts are needed.
|Investments in Federal Facilities: Asset Management Strategies for the 21st Century
Facilities now owned by the Federal Government are valued at over $300 billion. It also spends over $25 billion per year for acquisition, renovation, and upkeep. Despite the size of these sums, there is a growing litany of problems with federal facilities that continues to put a drain on the federal budget and compromise the effectiveness of federal services. To examine ways to address these problems, the sponsoring agencies of the Federal Facilities Council (FFC) asked the National Research Council (NRC) to develop guidelines for making improved decisions about investment in and renewal, maintenance, and replacement of federal facilities. This report provides the result of that assessment. It presents a review of both public and private practices used to support such decision making and identifies appropriate objectives, practices, and performance measures. The report presents a series of recommendations designed to assist federal agencies and departments improve management of and investment decision making for their facilities.
|Maintaining High Scientific Quality at Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories
In recent years, there has been concern about security and operations management at Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories (LANL and LLNL). As a result, Congress directed the Department of Energy (DOE) to hold open competitions for the management and operations (M&O) contracts for both LANL and LLNL. The quality of the scientific programs, however, did not appear to be a factor in that action, and the DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) wanted to ensure that the contract competitions preserve the high-quality science and engineering currently being performed at the labs. It asked the NRC to recommend how best the NNSA can create meaningful qualification and selection discriminators to help ensure world-class scientific quality is maintained in programs and activities at LANL and LLNL. This report presents those recommendations along with other important factors that should be considered in developing the request for proposals for the upcoming contract competition.
|Opportunities to Improve Airport Passenger Screening with Mass Spectrometry
Protection of the traveling public from terrorist threats involving explosives is a major goal of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). For 20 years, the TSA (and the Federal Aviation Administration before it) have been investing in technologies to meet that goal. To support that activity, the TSA has asked the NRC to assess a variety of technological opportunities for offering such protection. The NRC is approaching this assignment by issuing a series of reports on chosen technology applications. This is the first of that series and presents an assessment of mass spectrometry for enhanced trace detection (ETD) of chemicals contained in explosives. The report describes limitations of trace detection in general and the current technologies in particular. It then presents a discussion of the potential for mass spectrometry to improve EDT including challenges faced by such a system, recommendations for starting a program to take advantage of mass spectrometry, and recommendations for a phased implementation plan.
|University Research Centers of Excellence for Homeland Security: A Summary Report of a Workshop
In establishing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Administration and Congress determined that science and technology should play a key role in the nation s efforts to counter terrorism. Congress included an S&T directorate prominently in the DHS. Within that directorate, is the Office of University Programs, which is responsible for sponsoring a number of homeland security centers of excellence in the nation s universities. These centers are to work on a spectrum of short- and long-range R&D and carry out crosscutting, multidisciplinary work on a variety of threats. To assist it in planning for these centers, TSA asked the NRC to hold a workshop to generate a broad range of ideas to draw on to help define the centers. This report presents the results of that workshop including the major ideas that emerged from the discussions.
|A Review of the FBI's Trilogy Information Technology Modernization Program
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is in the process of developing a modern information technology (IT) system the Trilogy program that is designed to provide a high-speed network, modern workstations and software, and an application the Virtual Case File (VCF) to enhance the ability of agents to organize, access, and analyze information. Implementation of this system has encountered substantial difficulties, however, and has been the subject of much investigation and congressional concern. To help address these problems, the FBI asked the National Research Council (NRC) to undertake a quick review of the program and the progress that has been made to date. This report presents that review. The current status of four major aspects of the program the enterprise architecture, system design, program management, and human resources are discussed, and recommendations are presented to address the problems.
|Plasma Physics of the Local Cosmos
Solar and space physics is the study of solar system phenomena that occur in the plasma state. Examples include sunspots, the solar wind, planetary magnetospheres, radiation belts, and the aurora. While each is a distinct phenomenon, there are commonalities among them. To help define and systematize these universal aspects of the field of space physics, the National Research Council was asked by NASA s Office of Space Science to provide a scientific assessment and strategy for the study of magnetized plasmas in the solar system. This report presents that assessment. It covers a number of important research goals for solar and space physics. The report is complementary to the NRC report, The Sun to the Earth and Beyond: A Decadal Research Strategy for Solar and Space Physics, which presents priorities and strategies for future program activities.
|Summary of a Forum on Spectrum Management Policy Reform
In 2003, the Department of Commerce s Spectrum Policy Initiative was established with the objective of promoting a more efficient and beneficial use of the spectrum. As part of that Initiative, a series of public forums about spectrum management policy was held. The Computer Science and Telecommunications Board was asked to organize one of these forums, a public forum to gather the views of a variety of government and private sector stakeholders about the impact of spectrum policy on their activities. This report presents a summary of those views. Among those included are those representing national defense, homeland security, aviation, science, public safety, amateur radio, cellular voice and data, and terrestrial broadcast uses of the spectrum. Although prepared by the NRC, the report does not present NRC findings or recommendations. A broader study of spectrum policy, including findings and recommendations, will be issued in early 2005.
|Steps to Facilitate Principal-Investigator-Led Earth Science Missions
Principal-investigator (PI) Earth science missions are small, focused science projects involving relatively small spacecraft. The selected PI is responsible for the scientific and programmatic success of the entire project. A particular objective of PI-led missions has been to help develop university-based research capacity. Such missions, however, pose significant challenges that are beyond the capabilities of most universities to manage. To help NASA s Office of Earth Science determine how best to address these, the NRC carried out an assessment of key issues relevant to the success of university-based PI-led Earth observation missions. This report presents the result of that study. In particular, the report provides an analysis of opportunities to enhance such missions and recommendations about whether and, if so, how they should be used to build university-based research capabilities.
|The Mathematical Sciences' Role in Homeland Security: Proceedings of a Workshop
Mathematical sciences play a key role in many important areas of Homeland Security including data mining and image analysis and voice recognition for intelligence analysis, encryption and decryption for intelligence gathering and computer security, detection and epidemiology of bioterriost attacks to determine their scope, and data fusion to analyze information coming from simultaneously from several sources. This report presents the results of a workshop focusing on mathematical methods and techniques for addressing these areas. The goal of the workshop is to help mathematical scientists and policy makers understand the connections between mathematical sciences research and these homeland security applications.
|Burning Plasma: Bringing a Star to Earth
Significant advances have been made in fusion science, and a point has been reached when we need to decide if the United States is ready to begin a burning plasma experiment. A burning plasma in which at least 50 percent of the energy to drive the fusion reaction is generated internally is an essential step to reach the goal of fusion power generation. The Burning Plasma Assessment Committee was formed to provide advice on this decision. The committee concluded that there is high confidence in the readiness to proceed with the burning plasma step. The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), with the United States as a significant partner, was the best choice. Once a commitment to ITER is made, fulfilling it should become the highest priority of the U.S. fusion research program. A funding trajectory is required that both captures the benefits of joining ITER and retains a strong scientific focus on the long-range goals of the program. Addition of the ITER project will require that the content, scope, and level of U.S. fusion activity be defined by program balancing through a priority-setting process initiated by the Office of Fusion Energy Science.
|Progress in Improving Project Management at the Department of Energy: 2003 Assessment
In 1997, Congress, in the conference report, H.R. 105-271, to the FY1998 Energy and Water Development Appropriation Bill, directed the NRC to carry out a series of assessments of project management at the Department of Energy (DOE). This report, the 2003 Assessment, is the final one in that series. It presents an examination of DOE's progress in improving program management over the past three years including the Department's response to the recommendations of the previous assessments in this series. In addition to assessing DOE s progress, the report also describes opportunities for further improvement and gives a prognosis for future developments.
|Smaller Facilities: Letter Report
The Committee on Smaller Facilities is review the current state of small and mid-sized facilities for materials research in the United States at the request of NSF and DOE. Such facilities play a major role in materials research, but they are widely considered to be less than optimally developed or used. To address this concern, the NRC was asked to assess these facilities to help determine ways to use them more effectively. This letter report presents key topics that the committee will explore in depth to carry out this assessment. In particular, the study will assess the characteristics of successful smaller facilities and challenges they face. Recommendations will be provided to enhance the effectiveness of such facilities in performing materials research.
|Preliminary Assessment of DOE Facility Management and Infrastructure Renewal: Letter Report
The report that accompanied the House-approved Energy and Water Development Appropriations for FY2003 (H.Rept. 107-112) directed the National Research Council to evaluate the steps being taken by DOE to improve its facility and infrastructure management. Specifically, the NRC was to assess DOE s facilities and infrastructure management practices; identify or develop best practice tools for DOE property management; develop guidelines for deciding when to repair, renovate, or replace facilities; and define performance metrics. This interim letter report presents the NRC s preliminary assessment of DOE facility management policies and procedures and its current renewal activities. Seven broad-based attributes that characterize the quality of an organization s facility management policies and practices were applied by the study committee in developing this assessment.
|2003 Assessment of the Office of Naval Research's Marine Corps Science and Technology Program
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) funds research across a broad range of scientific and engineering disciplines in support of the Navy and Marine Corps. To ensure that its investments are serving those ends and are of high quality, ONR requires each of its departments to undergo annual review. Since 1999, the Naval Expeditionary Warfare Department of ONR has requested that the NRC conduct these reviews. This report presents the results of the second review of the Marine Corps Science and Technology program. The first review was conducted in 2000. The 2003 assessment examines the overall Marine Corps S&T program, the littoral combat future naval capability, the core thrusts of the program, and basic research activities.
|Opportunities in High Magnetic Field Science: Letter Report
In recent years the field of high magnetic field science has become increasingly important to other disciplines, including biology. In 2002, the National Science Foundation concluded that there was a need for an assessment of the field in the United States to set the stage for future planning. Accordingly, it requested that the NRC assess the current state and future prospects for high-magnetic-field science and instrumentation in the United States. This letter report provides a status report of that study. The letter report offers a brief assessment of the current position of the United States in this field and lists a series of questions that will be addressed in the final report.
|Advanced Energetic Materials
Advanced energetic materials explosive fill and propellants are a critical technology for national security. While several new promising concepts and formulations have emerged in recent years, the Department of Defense is concerned about the nation s ability to maintain and improve the knowledge base in this area. To assist in addressing these concerns, two offices within DOD asked the NRC to investigate and assess the scope and health of the U.S. R&D efforts in energetic materials. This report provides that assessment. It presents several findings about the current R&D effort and recommendations aimed at improving U.S. capabilities in developing new energetic materials technology. This study reviewed U.S. research and development in advanced energetics being conducted by DoD, the DoE national laboratories, industries, and academia, from a list provided by the sponsors. It also: (a) reviewed papers and technology assessments of non-U.S. work in advanced energetics, assessed important parameters, such as validity, viability, and the likelihood that each of these materials can be produced in quantity; (b) identified barriers to scale-up and production, and suggested technical approaches for addressing potential problems; and (c) suggested specific opportunities, strategies, and priorities for government sponsorship of technologies and manufacturing process development.
|Effects of Degraded Agent and Munitions Anomalies on Chemical Stockpile Disposal Operations
The U.S. Army is in the process of destroying its entire stock of chemical weapons. To help with stockpile disposal, the Army s Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program (CSDP), in 1987, asked the National Research Council (NRC) for scientific and technical advice. This report is one in a series of such prepared by the NRC over the last 16 years in response to that request. It presents an examination of the effect of leaking munitions (leakers) and other anomalies in the stored stockpile on the operation of the chemical agent disposal facilities. The report presents a discussion of potential causes of these anomalies, leaker tracking and analysis issues, risk implications of anomalies, and recommendations for monitoring and containing these anomalies during the remaining life of the stockpile.
|Review of NASA's Aerospace Technology Enterprise: An Assessment of NASA's Aeronautics Technology Programs
The National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academies was asked by NASA and the Office of Management and Budget to perform an assessment of NASA's Aerospace Technology Enterprise. The first such review, which began in early 2002, examined Pioneering Revolutionary Technology (now known as Mission and Science Measurement Technology). The assessment presented here, of the Aeronautics Technology Programs, began in early 2003 and is the second in the review series. The Aeronautics Technology Programs has three components: the Vehicle Systems Program, the Airspace Systems Program, and the Aviation Safety Program. To conduct this review, the NRC established three panels, one for each of the component programs. The NRC also established a parent committee, consisting of the chairman and a subset of members from each panel. The committee and panels comprised a cross-section of experts from industry, academia, and government and included senior-level managers and researchers in the aeronautics field. Biographical information on the committee and panel members is found in Appendix A. Review of NASA's Aerospace Technology Enterprise: An Assessment of NASA's Aeronautics Technology Programs contains the committee's assessment of the Aeronautics Technology Programs. Chapter 1 presents a top-level assessment, and Chapters 2 through 4 provide the assessments of the Vehicle Systems Program, the Airspace Systems Program, and the Aviation Safety Program, respectively.
|Vehicle Systems Panel Report on the Status of NASA's Vehicles Systems Program: Letter Report
In November 2003, ASEB released a report, An Assessment of NASA s Aeronautics Technology Programs. After the release, NASA requested the NRC to reconvene the Panel on Vehicle Systems Program, which had been established as part of the study infrastructure for the report. Specifically, NASA wanted an evaluation of the progress made by the Program in formulating and directing its activities over the past nine months (since March 2003). This letter report presents the findings of that review. In almost all cases, the recommendations contained in this letter report, amplify and reinforce those contained in the full report.