Monday, July 28, 2014
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences The National Academies
National Academy of Sciences National Academy of Engineering Institute of Medicine National Research Council
- Deps home
deps_leftnav_icon08 America's Energy Future
- DEPS COMMITTEE
- Reports
- DEPSNews Archives
- Boards and Committees
- Contact DEPS Staff
- Our Mission
- DEPS FAQ
- Current Projects
DEPS Reports
2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004
Responding to Capability Surprise: A Strategy for U.S. Naval Forces   (NSB)
Released 2013-12-31

From a military operational standpoint, surprise is an event or capability that could affect the outcome of a mission or campaign for which preparations are not in place. By definition, it is not possible to truly anticipate surprise. It is only possible to prevent it (in the sense of minimizing the number of possible surprises by appropriate planning), to create systems that are resilient to an adversary's unexpected actions, or to rapidly and effectively respond when surprised. Responding to Capability Surprise examines the issues surrounding capability surprise, both operational and technical, facing the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. This report selects a few surprises from across a continuum of surprises, from disruptive technologies, to intelligence-inferred capability developments, to operational deployments, and assesses what the Naval Forces are doing (and could do) about them while being mindful of future budgetary declines. The report then examines which processes are in place or could be in place in the Navy, the Marine Corps, and the Coast Guard to address such surprises. Today's U.S. naval forces continue to face a wide range of potential threats in the indefinite future and for this reason must continue to balance and meet their force structure needs. The recommendations of Responding to Capability Surprise will help to ensure more responsive, more resilient, and more adaptive behavior across the organization from the most senior leadership to the individual sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen.

An Assessment of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Center for Neutron Research: Fiscal Year 2013   (LAB)
Released 2013-12-12

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Center for Neutron Research (NCNR), with its strong tradition of hiring and developing excellent scientific and technical staff, is one of the leading institutions worldwide in neutron instrumentation, technology, and science. It is a very well-managed user facility. With the recent completion of a $95 million expansion, performed on time and on budget, it has enhanced its instrumentation capabilities and has constructed a new guide hall. This expansion further enhances NCNR s ability to meet high user demands a factor of two higher than capacity for experimentation to conduct cutting-edge research. NCNR's high scientific productivity is due, in part, to effective communication between the management and staff and with the internal and external user communities. This report assesses the quality and effectiveness of the NIST measurements and standards laboratories, of which there are now six, including two user facilities, as well as the adequacy of the laboratories resources. An Assessment of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Center for Neutron Research considers the merit of the current NCNR scientific and technical programs relative to current state-of-the-art programs; the degree to which the NCNR scientific and technical programs achieve their objectives and fulfill the mission of the NCNR; and the adequacy of the NCNR facilities, equipment, and human resources, as they affect the quality of the NCNR s scientific and technical programs.

Assessment to Enhance Air Force and Department of Defense Prototyping for the New Defense Strategy: A Workshop Summary   (AFSB)
Released 2013-12-12

Assessment to Enhance Air Force and Department of Defense Prototyping for the New Defense Strategy is the summary of a workshop convened by the Air Force Studies Board of the National Academies' National Research Council in September 2013 to enhance Air Force and Department of Defense (DoD) prototyping for the new defense strategy. This workshop examined of a wide range of prototyping issues, including individual recommendations for a renewed prototype program, application of prototyping as a tool for technology/system development and sustainment (including annual funding), and positive and negative effects of a renewed program. Prototyping has historically been of great benefit to the Air Force and DoD in terms of risk reduction and concept demonstration prior to system development, advancing new technologies, workforce enhancement and skills continuity between major acquisitions, dissuasion of adversaries by demonstrating capabilities, maintaining technological surprise through classified technologies, and an overarching strategy of overall risk reduction during austere budget environments. Over the last two decades, however, many issues with prototyping have arisen. For example, the definitions and terminology associated with prototyping have been convoluted and budgets for prototyping have been used as offsets to remedy budget shortfalls. Additionally, prototyping has been done with no strategic intent or context, and both government and industry have misused prototyping as a key tool in the DoD and defense industrial base. Assessment to Enhance Air Force and Department of Defense Prototyping for the New Defense Strategy envisions a prototyping program that encourages innovation in new concepts and approaches and provides a means to assess and reduce risk before commitment to major new programs.

Twenty-Fifth Symposium on Naval Hydrodynamics   (NSB)
Released 2013-12-03

This report is part of a series of reports that summarize this regular event. The report discusses research developments in ship design, construction, and operation in a forum that encouraged both formal and informal discussion of presented papers.

Landsat and Beyond: Sustaining and Enhancing the Nation's Land Imaging Program   (SSB)
Released 2013-12-03

In 1972 NASA launched the Earth Resources Technology Satellite (ETRS), now known as Landsat 1, and on February 11, 2013 launched Landsat 8. Currently the United States has collected 40 continuous years of satellite records of land remote sensing data from satellites similar to these. Even though this data is valuable to improving many different aspects of the country such as agriculture, homeland security, and disaster mitigation; the availability of this data for planning our nation\'s future is at risk. Thus, the Department of the Interior\'s (DOI\'s) U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) requested that the National Research Council\'s (NRC\'s) Committee on Implementation of a Sustained Land Imaging Program review the needs and opportunities necessary for the development of a national space-based operational land imaging capability. The committee was specifically tasked with several objectives including identifying stakeholders and their data needs and providing recommendations to facilitate the transition from NASA\'s research-based series of satellites to a sustained USGS land imaging program. Landsat and Beyond: Sustaining and Enhancing the Nation's Land Imaging Program is the result of the committee\'s investigation. This investigation included meetings with stakeholders such as the DOI, NASA, NOAA, and commercial data providers. The report includes the committee\'s recommendations, information about different aspects of the program, and a section dedicated to future opportunities.

Review of the Draft 2014 Science Mission Directorate Science Plan   (SSB)
Released 2013-12-02

NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) is engaged in the final stages of a comprehensive, agency-wide effort to develop a new strategic plan at a time when its budget is under considerable stress. SMD's Science Plan serves to provide more detail on its four traditional science disciplines - astronomy and astrophysics, solar and space physics (also called heliophysics), planetary science, and Earth remote sensing and related activities - than is possible in the agency-wide Strategic Plan. Review of the Draft 2014 Science Mission Directorate Science Plan comments on the responsiveness of SMD's Science Plan to the National Research Council's guidance on key science issues and opportunities in recent NRC decadal reports. This study focuses on attention to interdisciplinary aspects and overall scientific balance; identification and exposition of important opportunities for partnerships as well as education and public outreach; and integration of technology development with the science program. The report provides detailed findings and recommendations relating to the draft Science Plan.

Novel Processes for Advanced Manufacturing: Summary of a Workshop   (NMMB)
Released 2013-11-25

The Standing Committee on Defense Materials Manufacturing and Infrastructure (the DMMI standing committee) of the National Materials and Manufacturing Board of the National Research Council (NRC) held a workshop on December 5 and 6, 2012, to discuss new and novel processes in industrial modernization. The participants of the workshop provided their individual opinions but no recommendations were developed as a result of the workshop. The workshop focused on Additive manufacturing, electromagnetic field manipulation of materials, and design of materials. Additive manufacturing is the process of making three-dimensional objects from a digital description or file. The workshop addresses different aspects of additive manufacturing including surface finish and access to manufacturing capabilities and resources. Electromagnetic field manipulation of materials is the use of electric and/or magnetic fields to change the mechanical or functional properties of a material or for the purposes of sintering. The workshop examined research prioritization in this area as well as other objectives. "Design of materials" refers to the application of computational and analytic methods to materials to obtain a desired material characteristic; the workshop features a discussion on materials genomics in this area and more. Novel Processes for Advanced Manufacture: Summary of a Workshop presents a summarization of the key points of this workshop and includes outlines of the open discussions on each area.

High Magnetic Field Science and Its Application in the United States: Current Status and Future Directions   (BPA)
Released 2013-11-25

The Committee to Assess the Current Status and Future Direction of High Magnetic Field Science in the United States was convened by the National Research Council in response to a request by the National Science Foundation. This report answers three questions: (1) What is the current state of high-field magnet science, engineering, and technology in the United States, and are there any conspicuous needs to be addressed? (2) What are the current science drivers and which scientific opportunities and challenges can be anticipated over the next ten years? (3) What are the principal existing and planned high magnetic field facilities outside of the United States, what roles have U.S. high field magnet development efforts played in developing those facilities, and what potentials exist for further international collaboration in this area? A magnetic field is produced by an electrical current in a metal coil. This current exerts an expansive force on the coil, and a magnetic field is "high" if it challenges the strength and current-carrying capacity of the materials that create the field. Although lower magnetic fields can be achieved using commercially available magnets, research in the highest achievable fields has been, and will continue to be, most often performed in large research centers that possess the materials and systems know-how for forefront research. Only a few high field centers exist around the world; in the United States, the principal center is the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL). High Magnetic Field Science and Its Application in the United States considers continued support for a centralized high-field facility such as NHFML to be the highest priority. This report contains a recommendation for the funding and siting of several new high field nuclear magnetic resonance magnets at user facilities in different regions of the United States. Continued advancement in high-magnetic field science requires substantial investments in magnets with enhanced capabilities. High Magnetic Field Science and Its Application in the United States contains recommendations for the further development of all-superconducting, hybrid, and higher field pulsed magnets that meet ambitious but achievable goals.

Research Progress on Environmental, Health, and Safety Aspects of Engineered Nanomaterials   (BEST,BCST,NMMB)
Released 2013-11-25

Despite the increase in funding for research and the rising numbers of peer-reviewed publications over the past decade that address the environmental, health, and safety aspects of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs), uncertainty about the implications of potential exposures of consumers, workers, and ecosystems to these materials persists. Consumers and workers want to know which of these materials they are exposed to and whether the materials can harm them. Industry is concerned about being able to predict with sufficient certainty whether products that it makes and markets will pose any environmental, health or safety issues and what measures should be taken regarding manufacturing practices and worldwide distribution to minimize any potential risk. However, there remains a disconnect between the research that is being carried out and its relevance to and use by decision-makers and regulators to make informed public health and environmental policy and regulatory decisions. Research Progress on Environmental, Health, and Safety Aspects of Nanomaterials evaluates research progress and updates research priorities and resource estimates on the basis of results of studies and emerging trends in the nanotechnology industry. This report follows up the 2012 report A Research Strategy for Environmental, Health, and Safety Aspects of Engineered Nanomaterials, which presented a strategic approach for developing the science and research infrastructure needed to address uncertainties regarding the potential environmental, health, and safety risks posed by ENMs. This new report looks at the state of nanotechnology research, examines market and regulatory conditions and their affect on research priorities, and considers the criteria for evaluating research progress on the environmental, health, and safety aspects of nanotechnology.

Assessment of Supercritical Water Oxidation System Testing for the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant   (BAST)
Released 2013-10-30

Assessment of Supercritical Water Oxidation System Testing for the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant reviews and evaluates the results of the tests conducted on one of the SCWO units to be provided to Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant. The Army Element, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives (ACWA) is responsible for managing the conduct of destruction operations for the remaining 10 percent of the nation's chemical agent stockpile, stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot (Kentucky) and the Pueblo Chemical Depot (Colorado). Facilities to destroy the agents and their associated munitions are currently being constructed at these sites. The Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) will destroy chemical agent and some associated energetic materials by a process of chemical neutralization known as hydrolysis. The resulting chemical waste stream is known as hydrolysate. Among the first-of-a-kind equipment to be installed at BGCAPP are three supercritical water oxidation (SCWO) reactor systems. These particular hydrolysate feeds present unique non-agent-related challenges to subsequent processing via SCWO due to their caustic nature and issues of salt management.This report provides recommendations on SCWO systemization testing inclusive of durability testing and discusses systemization testing objectives and concepts.

The Resilience of the Electric Power Delivery System in Response to Terrorism and Natural Disasters: Summary of a Workshop   (BEES)
Released 2013-10-22

The Resilience of the Electric Power Delivery System in Response to Terrorism and Natural Disasters is the summary of a workshop convened in February 2013 as a follow-up to the release of the National Research Council report Terrorism and the Electric Power Delivery System. That report had been written in 2007 for the Department of Homeland Security, but publication was delayed because of security concerns. While most of the committee's findings were still relevant, many developments affecting vulnerability had occurred in the interval. The 2013 workshop was a discussion of the committee\'s results, what had changed in recent years, and how lessons learned about the grid's resilience to terrorism could be applied to other threats to the grid resulting from natural disasters. The purpose was not to translate the entire report into the present, but to focus on key issues relevant to making the grid sufficiently robust that it could handle inevitable failures without disastrous impact. The workshop focused on five key areas: physical vulnerabilities of the grid; cybersecurity; mitigation and response to outages; community resilience and the provision of critical services; and future technologies and policies that could enhance the resilience of the electric power delivery system. The electric power transmission and distribution system (the grid) is an extraordinarily complex network of wires, transformers, and associated equipment and control software designed to transmit electricity from where it is generated, usually in centralized power plants, to commercial, residential, and industrial users. Because the U.S. infrastructure has become increasingly dependent on electricity, vulnerabilities in the grid have the potential to cascade well beyond whether the lights turn on, impacting among other basic services such as the fueling infrastructure, the economic system, and emergency services. The Resilience of the Electric Power Delivery System in Response to Terrorism and Natural Disasters discusses physical vulnerabilities and the cybersecurity of the grid, ways in which communities respond to widespread outages and how to minimize these impacts, the grid of tomorrow, and how resilience can be encouraged and built into the grid in the future.

Views of the NAS and NAE on Agenda Items at Issue at the World Radiocommunication Conference 2012   (BPA)
Released 2013-10-09

The passive, receive-only Radio Astronomy Service (RAS) and the Earth Exploration-Satellite Service (EESS) provide otherwise impossible scientific observations of the Universe and Earth through the use of advanced receiver technology with extreme sensitivity and the employment of complex noise reduction algorithms. Even with such technology, RAS and EESS are quite adversely affected by what most active services would consider low noise levels. To ensure their ability to use the radio spectrum for scientific purposes, scientists must be party to the discussion in the lead-up to the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC), which will next be held in January and February 2012 in Geneva, Switzerland. By request of the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Research Council was convened to provide guidance to the U.S. spectrum managers and policymakers as they prepare for the WRC in order to protect the scientific exploration of the Earth and Universe using the radio spectrum. While the resulting document is targeted at U.S. agencies, representatives of foreign governments and foreign scientific users will find its contents useful as they plan their own WRC positions.

Professionalizing the Nation's Cybersecurity Workforce?: Criteria for Decision-Making   (CSTB)
Released 2013-10-01

Professionalizing the Nation's Cybersecurity Workforce? Criteria for Decision-Making considers approaches to increasing the professionalization of the nation's cybersecurity workforce. This report examines workforce requirements for cybersecurity and the segments and job functions in which professionalization is most needed; the role of assessment tools, certification, licensing, and other means for assessing and enhancing professionalization; and emerging approaches, such as performance-based measures. It also examines requirements for the federal (military and civilian) workforce, the private sector, and state and local government. The report focuses on three essential elements: (1) understanding the context for cybersecurity workforce development, (2) considering the relative advantages, disadvantages, and approaches to professionalizing the nation's cybersecurity workforce, and (3) setting forth criteria that can be used to identify which, if any, specialty areas may require professionalization and set forth criteria for evaluating different approaches and tools for professionalization. Professionalizing the Nation's Cybersecurity Workforce? Criteria for Decision-Making characterizes the current landscape for cybersecurity workforce development and sets forth criteria that the federal agencies participating in the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education—as well as organizations that employ cybersecurity workers—could use to identify which specialty areas may require professionalization and to evaluate different approaches and tools for professionalization.

Geotargeted Alerts and Warnings: Report of a Workshop on Current Knowledge and Research Gaps   (CSTB)
Released 2013-09-19

Geotargeted Alerts and Warnings: Report of a Workshop on Current Knowledge and Research Gaps is the summary of a February, 2013 workshop convened by the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Research Council to examine precise geotargeting of public alerts and warnings using social media. The workshop brought together social science researchers, technologists, emergency management professionals, and other experts to explore what is known about how the public responds to geotargeted alerts and warnings, technologies and techniques for enhancing the geotargeting of alerts and warnings, and open research questions about how to effectively use geotargeted alerts and warnings and technology gaps. This report considers the potential for more precise geographical targeting to improve the effectiveness of disaster alerts and warnings; examines the opportunities presented by current and emerging technologies to create, deliver, and display alerts and warnings with greater geographical precision; considers the circumstances where more granular targeting would be useful; and examines the potential roles of federal, state, and local agencies and private sector information and communications providers in delivering more targeted alerts.

The Quality of Science and Engineering at the NNSA National Security Laboratories   (LAB)
Released 2013-09-10

The three National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) national security laboratories--Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL)--are a major component of the U.S. government's laboratory complex and of the national science and technology base. These laboratories are large, diverse, highly respected institutions with broad programs in basic sciences, applied sciences, technology development, and engineering; and they are home to world-class staff and facilities. Under a recent interagency agreement between the Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and the intelligence community, they are evolving to serve the needs of the broad national security community. Despite this broadening of substance and support, these laboratories remain the unique locus of science and engineering (S&E) for the U.S. nuclear weapons program, including, most significantly, the science-based stockpile stewardship program and the S&E basis for analyzing and understanding nuclear weapon developments of other nations and non-state actors. The National Research Council (NRC) was asked by Congress to assess the quality of S&E and the management of S&E at these three laboratories. The Quality of Science and Engineering at the NNSA National Security Laboratories is the second of two reports produced as part of this study. This report assesses the quality of S&E in terms of the capability of the laboratories to perform the necessary tasks to execute the laboratories' missions, both at present and in the future. The report identifies the following as four basic pillars of stockpile stewardship and non-proliferation analysis: (1) the weapons design; (2) systems engineering and understanding of the effects of aging on system performance; (3) weapons science base; and (4) modeling and simulation, which provides a capability to integrate theory, experimental data, and system design. The Quality of Science and Engineering at the NNSA National Security Laboratories offers a snapshot of the present with an eye to the future. This report discusses the current state of S&E and makes recommendations to maintain robust programs.

Frontiers in Massive Data Analysis   (BMSA)
Released 2013-09-03

Data mining of massive data sets is transforming the way we think about crisis response, marketing, entertainment, cybersecurity and national intelligence. Collections of documents, images, videos, and networks are being thought of not merely as bit strings to be stored, indexed, and retrieved, but as potential sources of discovery and knowledge, requiring sophisticated analysis techniques that go far beyond classical indexing and keyword counting, aiming to find relational and semantic interpretations of the phenomena underlying the data. Frontiers in Massive Data Analysis examines the frontier of analyzing massive amounts of data, whether in a static database or streaming through a system. Data at that scale--terabytes and petabytes--is increasingly common in science (e.g., particle physics, remote sensing, genomics), Internet commerce, business analytics, national security, communications, and elsewhere. The tools that work to infer knowledge from data at smaller scales do not necessarily work, or work well, at such massive scale. New tools, skills, and approaches are necessary, and this report identifies many of them, plus promising research directions to explore. Frontiers in Massive Data Analysis discusses pitfalls in trying to infer knowledge from massive data, and it characterizes seven major classes of computation that are common in the analysis of massive data. Overall, this report illustrates the cross-disciplinary knowledge--from computer science, statistics, machine learning, and application disciplines--that must be brought to bear to make useful inferences from massive data.

Selected Directed Energy Research and Development for U.S. Air Force Aircraft Applications: A Workshop Summary   (AFSB)
Released 2013-08-30

The U. S. Air force currently invests significantly in science and technology for directed-energy weapon (DEW) systems. Key elements of this investment include high-energy lasers and high-power microwaves. Other DEW research and development efforts include: optical beam control for high-energy lasers; vulnerability and lethality assessments; and advanced non-conventional and innovative weapons. Selected Directed Energy Research and Development for U.S. Air Force Aircraft Applications is the summary of three workshop sessions convened between February and April, 2013 by the Air Force Studies Board of the National Academies' National Research Council. Representatives from the Air Force science and technology community and DEW experts from the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency presented and discussed threats that DEW capabilities might defend against and assessments of foreign progress in DEW. This report examines the current status of DEW capabilities both in the U.S. and abroad, and considers future applications of DEW systems.

Solar and Space Physics: A Science for a Technological Society   (ASEB,SSB)
Released 2013-08-26

From the interior of the Sun, to the upper atmosphere and near-space environment of Earth, and outward to a region far beyond Pluto where the Sun's influence wanes, advances during the past decade in space physics and solar physics--the disciplines NASA refers to as heliophysics--have yielded spectacular insights into the phenomena that affect our home in space. Solar and Space Physics, from the National Research Council's (NRC's) Committee for a Decadal Strategy in Solar and Space Physics, is the second NRC decadal survey in heliophysics. Building on the research accomplishments realized during the past decade, the report presents a program of basic and applied research for the period 2013-2022 that will improve scientific understanding of the mechanisms that drive the Sun's activity and the fundamental physical processes underlying near-Earth plasma dynamics, determine the physical interactions of Earth's atmospheric layers in the context of the connected Sun-Earth system, and enhance greatly the capability to provide realistic and specific forecasts of Earth's space environment that will better serve the needs of society. Although the recommended program is directed primarily at NASA and the National Science Foundation for action, the report also recommends actions by other federal agencies, especially the parts of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration charged with the day-to-day (operational) forecast of space weather. In addition to the recommendations included in this summary, related recommendations are presented in this report.

Lessons Learned in Decadal Planning in Space Science: Summary of a Workshop   (SSB,BPA)
Released 2013-08-23

The National Research Council (NRC) has been conducting decadal surveys in the Earth and space sciences since 1964, and released the latest five surveys in the past 5 years, four of which were only completed in the past 3 years. Lessons Learned in Decadal Planning in Space Science is the summary of a workshop held in response to unforseen challenges that arose in the implementation of the recommendations of the decadal surveys. This report takes a closer look at the decadal survey process and how to improve this essential tool for strategic planning in the Earth and space sciences. Workshop moderators, panelists, and participants lifted up the hood on the decadal survey process and scrutinized every element of the decadal surveys to determine what lessons can be gleaned from recent experiences and applied to the design and execution of future decadal surveys.

Managing for High-Quality Science and Engineering at the NNSA National Security Laboratories   (LAB)
Released 2013-08-20

The three National Security Laboratories--Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)--are managed by private-sector entities under contract to the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The FY2010 Defense Authorization Act mandated that NNSA task the National Research Council (NRC) to study the quality and management of Science and Engineering (S&E) at these Laboratories. This study (addressing a total of 5 tasks) is being conducted in two phases. This report covers the first phase, which addresses the relationship between the quality of the science and engineering at the Laboratory and the contract for managing and operating the Laboratory (task 4), and also addresses the management of work conducted by the Laboratory for entities other than the Department of Energy (task 5). The study's second phase will evaluate the actual quality of S&E in key subject areas. Managing for High-Quality Science and Engineering at the NNSA National Security Laboratories presents assessments of the evolution of the mission of the NNSA Labs and the management and performance of research in support of the missions, and the relationship between the Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program and the ability of the Labs to fulfill their mission. The report examines the framework for managing science and engineering research at the Labs and provides an analysis of the relationships among the several players in the management of the Labs--the NNSA, the site offices, the contractors, and the Lab managers--and the effect of that relationship on the Laboratories' ability to carry out science and engineering research.

Views of the U.S. NAS and NAE on Agenda Items at the World Radiocommunications Conference 2015   (BPA)
Released 2013-08-16

The World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) is a meeting of official delegations from over 140 nations and is organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Delegates meet every few years to negotiate proposals to changes in international radio spectrum regulations; changes that would be enforced by the ITU internationally if approved. Proposals are brought up during a WRC and then negotiated at the next WRC. The time in between each WRC allows for national governments to work internally and with their regional counterparts to develop a consensus position on each proposal. The consensus position can then be presented at the next WRC. Each proposal is referred to as an agenda item and agenda items are specific and propose narrow yet potentially substantial changes to the use of the spectrum that can have significant impact on its users. Most agenda items support the active use of the spectrum, so it is important for vulnerable, passive services to voice their concerns about potentially adverse effects on their operations. Two U.S. passive services, the passive Radio Astronomy Service (RAS) and the Earth Exploration-Satellite Service (EESS), provide scientific observations of the universe and Earth through the use of advanced receiver technology with extreme sensitivity and the employment of complex noise reduction algorithms. Even with such technology, RAS and EESS are seriously adversely affected by what most active services would consider extremely low noise levels. Views of the U.S. NAS and NAE on Agenda Items at Issue at the World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 present the NAS and NAE\'s views on agenda items that affect RAS and EESS. This report includes a list of each agenda item, how it affects the programs, and the committee\'s recommendations.

Engineering Aviation Security Environments--Reduction of False Alarms in Computed Tomography-Based Screening of Checked Baggage   (NMMB)
Released 2013-07-19

On November 19, 2001 the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created as a separate entity within the U.S. Department of Transportation through the Aviation and Transportation Security Act. The act also mandated that all checked baggage on U.S. flights be scanned by explosive detection systems (EDSs) for the presence of threats. These systems needed to be deployed quickly and universally, but could not be made available everywhere. As a result the TSA emphasized the procurement and installation of certified systems where EDSs were not yet available. Computer tomography (CT)-based systems became the certified method or place-holder for EDSs. CT systems cannot detect explosives but instead create images of potential threats that can be compared to criteria to determine if they are real threats. The TSA has placed a great emphasis on high level detections in order to slow false negatives or missed detections. As a result there is abundance in false positives or false alarms. In order to get a better handle on these false positives the National Research Council (NRC) was asked to examine the technology of current aviation-security EDSs and false positives produced by this equipment. The ad hoc committee assigned to this task examined and evaluated the cases of false positives in the EDSs, assessed the impact of false positive resolution on personnel and resource allocation, and made recommendations on investigating false positives without increase false negatives. To complete their task the committee held four meetings in which they observed security measures at the San Francisco International Airport, heard from employees of DHS and the TSA. Engineering Aviation Security Environments--Reduction of False Alarms in Computed Tomography-Based Screening of Checked Baggage is the result of the committee's investigation. The report includes key conclusions and findings, an overview of EDSs, and recommendations made by the committee.

Adapting to a Changing World--Challenges and Opportunities in Undergraduate Physics Education   (BPA)
Released 2013-06-24

Adapting to a Changing World was commissioned by the National Science Foundation to examine the present status of undergraduate physics education, including the state of physics education research, and, most importantly, to develop a series of recommendations for improving physics education that draws from the knowledge we have about learning and effective teaching. Our committee has endeavored to do so, with great interest and more than a little passion. The Committee on Undergraduate Physics Education Research and Implementation was established in 2010 by the Board on Physics and Astronomy of the National Research Council. This report summarizes the committee's response to its statement of task, which requires the committee to produce a report that identifies the goals and challenges facing undergraduate physics education and identifies how best practices for undergraduate physics education can be implemented on a widespread and sustained basis, assess the status of physics education research (PER) and discuss how PER can assist in accomplishing the goal of improving undergraduate physics education best practices and education policy.

Overcoming Barriers to Electric-Vehicle Deployment: Interim Report   (BEES)
Released 2013-06-18

The electric vehicle offers many promises—increasing U.S. energy security by reducing petroleum dependence, contributing to climate-change initiatives by decreasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, stimulating long-term economic growth through the development of new technologies and industries, and improving public health by improving local air quality. There are, however, substantial technical, social, and economic barriers to widespread adoption of electric vehicles, including vehicle cost, small driving range, long charging times, and the need for a charging infrastructure. In addition, people are unfamiliar with electric vehicles, are uncertain about their costs and benefits, and have diverse needs that current electric vehicles might not meet. Although a person might derive some personal benefits from ownership, the costs of achieving the social benefits, such as reduced GHG emissions, are borne largely by the people who purchase the vehicles. Given the recognized barriers to electric-vehicle adoption, Congress asked the Department of Energy (DOE) to commission a study by the National Academies to address market barriers that are slowing the purchase of electric vehicles and hindering the deployment of supporting infrastructure. As a result of the request, the National Research Council (NRC)—a part of the National Academies—appointed the Committee on Overcoming Barriers to Electric-Vehicle Deployment. This committee documented their findings in two reports—a short interim report focused on near-term options, and a final comprehensive report. Overcoming Barriers to Electric-Vehicle Deployment fulfills the request for the short interim report that addresses specifically the following issues: infrastructure needs for electric vehicles, barriers to deploying the infrastructure, and possible roles of the federal government in overcoming the barriers. This report also includes an initial discussion of the pros and cons of the possible roles. This interim report does not address the committee's full statement of task and does not offer any recommendations because the committee is still in its early stages of data-gathering. The committee will continue to gather and review information and conduct analyses through late spring 2014 and will issue its final report in late summer 2014. Overcoming Barriers to Electric-Vehicle Deployment focuses on the light-duty vehicle sector in the United States and restricts its discussion of electric vehicles to plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), which include battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The common feature of these vehicles is that their batteries are charged by being plugged into the electric grid. BEVs differ from PHEVs because they operate solely on electricity stored in a battery (that is, there is no other power source); PHEVs have internal combustion engines that can supplement the electric power train. Although this report considers PEVs generally, the committee recognizes that there are fundamental differences between PHEVs and BEVs.

Review of Biotreatment, Water Recovery, and Brine Reduction Systems for the Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant   (BAST)
Released 2013-06-17

The Pueblo Chemical Depot (PCD) in Colorado is one of two sites that features U.S. stockpile of chemical weapons that need to be destroyed. The PCD features about 2,600 tons of mustard-including agent. The PCD also features a pilot plant, the Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant (PCAPP), which has been set up to destroy the agent and munition bodies using novel processes. The chemical neutralization or hydrolysis of the mustard agent produces a Schedule 2 compound called thiodiglycol (TDG) that must be destroyed. The PCAPP uses a combined water recovery system (WRS) and brine reduction system (BRS) to destroy TDG and make the water used in the chemical neutralization well water again. Since the PCAPP is using a novel process, the program executive officer for the Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives (ACWA) program asked the National Research Council (NRC) to initiate a study to review the PCAPP WRS-BRS that was already installed at PCAPP. 5 months into the study in October, 2012, the NRC was asked to also review the Biotreatment area (BTA). The Committee on Review of Biotreatment, Water Recovery, and Brine Reduction Systems for the Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant was thus tasked with evaluating the operability, life-expectancy, working quality, results of Biotreatment studies carried out prior to 1999 and 1999-2004, and the current design, systemization approached, and planned operation conditions for the Biotreatment process. Review of Biotreatment, Water Recovery, and Brine Reduction Systems for the Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant is the result of the committee's investigation. The report includes diagrams of the Biotreatment area, the BRS, and WRS; a table of materials of construction, the various recommendations made by the committee; and more.

Future of Battlespace Situational Awareness: A Workshop Summary  
Released 2013-05-15

Future Battlespace Situational Awareness is the third workshop in an ongoing series of workshops conducted by the National Research Council's Committee for Science and Technology Challenges to U.S. National Security Interests. The first two workshops looked at individual technologies related to "big" data and future antennas and provided context for the topic addressed in the third workshop—the planning of a future warfare scenario. The objectives for the third workshop were to review technologies that enable battlespace situational awareness 10-20 years into the future for red and blue forces; and emphasize the capabilities within air, land, sea, space, and cyberspace. The workshop was held on May 30-31, 2012, in Suffolk, Virginia, at the Lockheed Martin Center for Innovation. The sessions were not open to the public because they involved discussions of classified material, including data addressing vulnerabilities, indicators, and observables. This series of workshops address U.S. and foreign research, why S&T applications of technologies in development are important in the context of military capabilities, and what critical scientific breakthroughs are needed to achieve advances in the fields of interest— focusing detailed attention on specific developments in the foregoing fields that might have national security implications for the United States. These workshops also consider methodology to track the relevant technology landscape for the future. The three workshops feature invited presentations and panelists and include discussions on a selected topic including themes relating to defense warning and surprise. Future of Battlespace Situational Awareness summarizes the third workshop.

Directed Evolution for Development and Production of Bioactive Agents: A Meeting Summary  
Released 2013-05-15

In 2012, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) approached the National Research Council and asked that a committee be formed to develop a list of workshop topics to explore the impact of emerging science and technology. One topic that came out of that list was directed evolution for development and production of bioactive agents. This workshop was held on February 21-22, 2013. Directed Evolution for Development and Production of Bioactive Agents explains the objectives of the workshop, which were to explore the potential use of directed evolution1 for military science and technology. Understanding the current research in this area, and the potential opportunities for U.S. adversaries to use this research, might allow the DIA to advise U.S. policy makers in an appropriate and timely manner. The workshop featured invited presentations and discussions that aimed to: -Inform the U.S. intelligence community of the current status of directed evolution technology and related research, and -Discuss possible approaches involving directed evolution that might be used by an adversary to develop toxic biological agents that could pose a threat to the United States or its allies, and how they could be identified. Members of the Committee on Science and Technology for Defense Warning planned the agenda for the workshop, selected the presenters, and helped moderate discussions in which meeting participants probed issues of national security related to directed evolution in an effort to gain an understanding of potential vulnerabilities. Experts were invited from the areas of directed evolution, biosynthesis, detection, and biological agents.

The Mathematical Sciences in 2025   (BMSA)
Released 2013-05-13

The mathematical sciences are part of nearly all aspects of everyday life--the discipline has underpinned such beneficial modern capabilities as Internet search, medical imaging, computer animation, numerical weather predictions, and all types of digital communications. The Mathematical Sciences in 2025 examines the current state of the mathematical sciences and explores the changes needed for the discipline to be in a strong position and able to maximize its contribution to the nation in 2025. It finds the vitality of the discipline excellent and that it contributes in expanding ways to most areas of science and engineering, as well as to the nation as a whole, and recommends that training for future generations of mathematical scientists should be re-assessed in light of the increasingly cross-disciplinary nature of the mathematical sciences. In addition, because of the valuable interplay between ideas and people from all parts of the mathematical sciences, the report emphasizes that universities and the government need to continue to invest in the full spectrum of the mathematical sciences in order for the whole enterprise to continue to flourish long-term.

Making the Soldier Decisive on Future Battlefields   (BAST)
Released 2013-05-10

The U.S. military does not believe its soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines should be engaged in combat with adversaries on a "level playing field." Our combat individuals enter engagements to win. To that end, the United States has used its technical prowess and industrial capability to develop decisive weapons that overmatch those of potential enemies. In its current engagement—what has been identified as an "era of persistent conflict"— the nation's most important weapon is the dismounted soldier operating in small units. Today's soldier must be prepared to contend with both regular and irregular adversaries. Results in Iraq and Afghanistan show that, while the U.S. soldier is a formidable fighter, the contemporary suite of equipment and support does not afford the same high degree of overmatch capability exhibited by large weapons platforms—yet it is the soldier who ultimately will play the decisive role in restoring stability. Making the Soldier Decisive on Future Battlefields establishes the technical requirements for overmatch capability for dismounted soldiers operating individually or in small units. It prescribes technological and organizational capabilities needed to make the dismounted soldier a decisive weapon in a changing, uncertain, and complex future environment and provides the Army with 15 recommendations on how to focus its efforts to enable the soldier and tactical small unit (TSU) to achieve overmatch.

U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Capabilities in the 21st Century Security Environment: A Workshop Summary   (AFSB)
Released 2013-05-03

Changes in the 21st century security environment require new analytic approaches to support strategic deterrence. Because current adversaries may be deterred from the use of nuclear weapons differently than were Cold War adversaries, the Air Force needs an analytic process and tools that can help determine those Air Force capabilities that will successfully deter or defeat these new nuclear-armed adversaries and assure U.S. allies. While some analytic tools are available, a coherent approach for their use in developing strategy and policy appears to be lacking. Without a coherent analytic approach that addresses the nuances of today's security environment, Air Force views of its strategic deterrence needs may not be understood or accepted by the appropriate decision makers. A coherent approach will support Air Force decisions about its strategic force priorities and needs, deter actual or potential adversaries, and assure U.S. allies. In this context, the Air Force in 2012 requested that the Air Force Studies Board of the National Research Council undertake a workshop to bring together national experts to discuss current challenges relating strategic deterrence and potential new tools and methods that the Air Force might leverage in its strategic deterrence mission. The workshop consisted of two 3-day sessions held in Washington, DC on September 26-28, 2012 and January 29-31, 2013 and was attended by a very diverse set of participants with expertise in strategic deterrence and a range of analytic tools of potential interest to the Air Force. U.S. Air Force Strategic Deterrence Capabilities in the 21st Century Security Environment summarizes this workshop.

Triennial Review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative   (NMMB)
Released 2013-04-23

The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) is a multiagency, multidisciplinary federal initiative comprising a collection of research programs and other activities funded by the participating agencies and linked by the vision of "a future in which the ability to understand and control matter at the nanoscale leads to a revolution in technology and industry that benefits society." As first stated in the 2004 NNI strategic plan, the participating agencies intend to make progress in realizing that vision by working toward four goals. Planning, coordination, and management of the NNI are carried out by the interagency Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology (NSET) Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Committee on Technology (CoT) with support from the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO). Triennial Review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative is the latest National Research Council review of the NNI, an assessment called for by the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act of 2003. The overall objective of the review is to make recommendations to the NSET Subcommittee and the NNCO that will improve the NNI's value for basic and applied research and for development of applications in nanotechnology that will provide economic, societal, and national security benefits to the United States. In its assessment, the committee found it important to understand in some detail—and to describe in its report—the NNI's structure and organization; how the NNI fits within the larger federal research enterprise, as well as how it can and should be organized for management purposes; and the initiative's various stakeholders and their roles with respect to research. Because technology transfer, one of the four NNI goals, is dependent on management and coordination, the committee chose to address the topic of technology transfer last, following its discussion of definitions of success and metrics for assessing progress toward achieving the four goals and management and coordination. Addressing its tasks in this order would, the committee hoped, better reflect the logic of its approach to review of the NNI. Triennial Review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative also provides concluding remarks in the last chapter.

Space Studies Board Annual Report 2012   (SSB)
Released 2013-04-05

The original charter of the Space Science Board was established in June 1958, 3 months before the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) opened its doors. The Space Science Board and its successor, the Space Studies Board (SSB), have provided expert external and independent scientific and programmatic advice to NASA on a continuous basis from NASA's inception until the present. The SSB has also provided such advice to other executive branch agencies, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Department of Defense, as well as to Congress. Space Studies Board Annual Report 2012 covers a message from the chair of the SSB, Charles F. Kennel. This report also explains the origins of the Space Science Board, how the Space Studies Board functions today, the SSB's collaboration with other National Research Council units, assures the quality of the SSB reports, acknowledges the audience and sponsors, and expresses the necessity to enhance the outreach and improve dissemination of SSB reports. This report will be relevant to a full range of government audiences in civilian space research - including NASA, NSF, NOAA, USGS, and the Department of Energy, as well members of the SSB, policy makers, and researchers.

Materials and Manufacturing Capabilities for Sustaining Defense Systems: Summary of a Workshop  
Released 2013-03-29

The Standing Committee on Defense Materials Manufacturing and Infrastructure (DMMI) conducted a workshop on July 23-24, 2012, to share information and gather perspectives on issues concerning Materials and Manufacturing Capabilities for Sustaining Defense Systems. This workshop, held at the headquarters building of the National Academies, 2101 Constitution Avenue N.W., Washington D.C., was conducted according to the procedures of the National Research Council (NRC) for a convening activity. That is, all workshop participants—including presenters, members of the DMMI standing committee, Reliance 21, invited guests, and visitors—spoke as individuals, and no overall findings, conclusions, or recommendations were developed during or as a result of the workshop. All statements and views summarized in this publication are attributable only to those individuals who expressed them. It is worth noting that the sponsor, Reliance 21, is a Department of Defense group of professionals that was established to enable the DOD science and technology (S&T) community to work together to enhance Defense S&T programs, eliminate unwarranted duplication, and strengthen cooperation among the military services and other DOD agencies. The DMMI standing committee named a workshop planning group to develop the workshop agenda and decide on invited guests and presenters, in accordance with the statement of task approved by the Governing Board of the NRC. The planning group also consulted with the Reliance 21 materials and processing community of interest. The presentations and discussions during the workshop are summarized sequentially in the main part of this report. As an aid to readers, nine themes have been identified by the author that recurred in multiple presentations and discussions. Materials and Manufacturing Capabilities for Sustaining Defense Systems: Summary of a Workshop explains these nine themes and summarizes the two day workshop.

Assessment of Advanced Solid State Lighting   (BEES)
Released 2013-03-27

The standard incandescent light bulb, which still works mainly as Thomas Edison invented it, converts more than 90% of the consumed electricity into heat. Given the availability of newer lighting technologies that convert a greater percentage of electricity into useful light, there is potential to decrease the amount of energy used for lighting in both commercial and residential applications. Although technologies such as compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) have emerged in the past few decades and will help achieve the goal of increased energy efficiency, solid-state lighting (SSL) stands to play a large role in dramatically decreasing U.S. energy consumption for lighting. This report summarizes the current status of SSL technologies and products—light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and organic LEDs (OLEDs)—and evaluates barriers to their improved cost and performance. Assessment of Advanced Solid State Lighting also discusses factors involved in achieving widespread deployment and consumer acceptance of SSL products. These factors include the perceived quality of light emitted by SSL devices, ease of use and the useful lifetime of these devices, issues of initial high cost, and possible benefits of reduced energy consumption.

Interim Report for the Triennial Review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative, Phase II   (NMMB)
Released 2013-03-20

Nanotechnology has become one of the defining ideas in global R&D over the past decade. In 2001 the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) was established as the U.S. government interagency program for coordinating nanotechnology research and development across deferral agencies and facilitating communication and collaborative activities in nanoscale science, engineering, and technology across the federal government. The 26 federal agencies that participate in the NNI collaborate to (1) advance world-class nanotechnology research and development; (2) foster the transfer of new technologies into products for commercial and public benefit; (3) develop and sustain educational resources, a skilled workforce and the supporting infrastructure and tools to advance nanotechnology; and (4) support the responsible development of nanotechnology. As part of the third triennial review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative, the Committee on Triennial Review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative: Phase II was asked to provide advice to the Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology (NSET) Subcommittee and the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office in three areas: Task 1 - Examine the role of the NNI in maximizing opportunities to transfer selected technologies to the private sector, provide an assessment of how well the NNI is carrying out this role, and suggest new mechanisms to foster transfer of technologies and improvements to NNI operations in this area where warranted. Task 2 - Assess the suitability of current procedures and criteria for determining progress towards NNI goals, suggest definitions of success and associated metrics, and provide advice on those organizations (government or non-government) that could perform evaluations of progress. Task 3 - Review NNI's management and coordination of nanotechnology research across both civilian and military federal agencies. Interim Report for the Triennial Review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative, Phase II offers initial comment on the committee's approach to Task 2 and offers initial comments on the current procedures and criteria for determining progress toward and achievement of the desired outcomes.

Transitions to Alternative Vehicles and Fuels   (BEES)
Released 2013-03-14

For a century, almost all light-duty vehicles (LDVs) have been powered by internal combustion engines (ICEs) operating on petroleum fuels. Energy security concerns over petroleum imports and the eff ect of greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions on global climate are driving interest in alternatives. This report assesses the potential for reducing petroleum consumption and GHG emissions by 80% across the U.S. LDV fleet by 2050, relative to 2005. It examines the current capability and estimated future performance and costs for each vehicle type and non-petroleum-based fuel technology as options that could significantly contribute to these goals. By analyzing scenarios that combine various fuel and vehicle pathways, the report also identifies barriers to implementation of these technologies and suggests policies to achieve the desired reductions. Several scenarios are promising, but strong, effective, and sustained but adaptive policies such as research and development (R&D), subsidies, energy taxes, or regulations will be necessary to overcome barriers such as cost and consumer choice.

Zero-Sustainment Aircraft for the U.S. Air Force: A Workshop Summary   (AFSB)
Released 2013-03-12

The Air Force recognizes that sustainment of legacy weapon systems is a strategic issue for the United States. To assist the Air Force in addressing this issue, the Air Force Studies Board (AFSB) of the National Research Council of the National Academies drafted terms of reference to bring together Department of Defense organizations and industry for one 3-day workshop highlighting current sustainment practices that the Air Force might leverage to reduce maintenance and sustainment costs in the near term. An ad hoc committee was formed to plan and convene the workshop, which was held on December 4 6, 2012 in Washington, D.C., to discuss how science and technology can reduce aircraft sustainment costs in the Air Force and to review costs in maintenance, upgrades, and aging aircraft in the Air Force.

2011-2012 Assessment of the Army Research Laboratory   (LAB)
Released 2013-02-27

The charge of the Army Research Laboratory Technical Assessment Board (ARLTAB) is to provide biennial assessments of the scientific and technical quality of the research, development, and analysis programs at the Army Research Laboratory (ARL). The ARLTAB is assisted by six panels, each of which focuses on the portion of the ARL program conducted by one of ARL's six directorates1. When requested to do so by ARL, the ARLTAB also examines work that cuts across the directorates. For example, during 2011-2012, ARL requested that the ARLTAB examine crosscutting work in the areas of autonomous systems and network science. The overall quality of ARL's technical staff and their work continues to be impressive. Staff continue to demonstrate clear, passionate mindfulness of the importance of transitioning technology to support immediate and longer-term Army needs. Their involvement with the wider scientific and engineering community continues to expand. Such continued involvement and collaboration are fundamentally important for ARL's scientific and technical activities and need to include the essential elements of peer review and interaction through publications and travel to attend professional meetings, including international professional meetings. In general, ARL is working very well within an appropriate research and development niche and has been demonstrating significant accomplishments, as exemplified in the following discussion, which also addresses opportunities and challenges.

Adaptive Materials and Structures: A Workshop Report  
Released 2013-02-25

In 2012, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) approached the National Research Council's TIGER standing committee and asked it to develop a list of workshop topics to explore the impact of emerging science and technology. One topic that came out of that list was adaptive structural materials. This workshop was held on July 11-12, 2012. The objectives for the workshop were to explore the potential use of adaptive structural materials science and technology for military application. Understanding the current research in this area, and the potential opportunities to use this research by U.S. adversaries, allows the Defense Warning Office to advise U.S. policy makers in an appropriate and timely manner to take action on those areas deemed a national security risk. The workshop featured invited presentations and discussions that aimed to: 1. Review the latest advances and applications both nationally and internationally related to adaptive structural materials scientific research and technology development. 2. Review adaptive materials related to shape memory, magnetostrictive materials, magnetic shape memory alloys, phase change materials, and other metal and non-metallic materials research that may be uncovered during the course of workshop preparation and execution, to include all soft or nanoscale materials such as those used in human bone or tissue. 3. Review modeling, processing and fabrication related to defining designs or design requirements for future military or dual-use air, space, land, sea or human systems. 4. Review dual-use applications of commercial adaptive structural materials research and development, and the potential impacts on U.S. national security interests. 5. The workshop then focused on the application of adaptive structural materials technology and the national security implications for the United States, discussing U.S. and foreign researchers' current research, why the state or non-state actor application of a technology is important in the context of technological and military capabilities, and what critical breakthroughs are needed to advance the field.

Nuclear Physics: Exploring the Heart of Matter   (BPA)
Released 2013-02-25

The principal goals of the study were to articulate the scientific rationale and objectives of the field and then to take a long-term strategic view of U.S. nuclear science in the global context for setting future directions for the field. Nuclear Physics: Exploring the Heart of Matter provides a long-term assessment of an outlook for nuclear physics. The first phase of the report articulates the scientific rationale and objectives of the field, while the second phase provides a global context for the field and its long-term priorities and proposes a framework for progress through 2020 and beyond. In the second phase of the study, also developing a framework for progress through 2020 and beyond, the committee carefully considered the balance between universities and government facilities in terms of research and workforce development and the role of international collaborations in leveraging future investments. Nuclear physics today is a diverse field, encompassing research that spans dimensions from a tiny fraction of the volume of the individual particles (neutrons and protons) in the atomic nucleus to the enormous scales of astrophysical objects in the cosmos. Nuclear Physics: Exploring the Heart of Matter explains the research objectives, which include the desire not only to better understand the nature of matter interacting at the nuclear level, but also to describe the state of the universe that existed at the big bang. This report explains how the universe can now be studied in the most advanced colliding-beam accelerators, where strong forces are the dominant interactions, as well as the nature of neutrinos.

Assessment of Inertial Confinement Fusion Targets   (BEES,BPA)
Released 2013-02-20

In the fall of 2010, the Office of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Secretary for Science asked for a National Research Council (NRC) committee to investigate the prospects for generating power using inertial confinement fusion (ICF) concepts, acknowledging that a key test of viability for this concept—ignition —could be demonstrated at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in the relatively near term. The committee was asked to provide an unclassified report. However, DOE indicated that to fully assess this topic, the committee's deliberations would have to be informed by the results of some classified experiments and information, particularly in the area of ICF targets and nonproliferation. Thus, the Panel on the Assessment of Inertial Confinement Fusion Targets ("the panel") was assembled, composed of experts able to access the needed information. The panel was charged with advising the Committee on the Prospects for Inertial Confinement Fusion Energy Systems on these issues, both by internal discussion and by this unclassified report. A Panel on Fusion Target Physics ("the panel") will serve as a technical resource to the Committee on Inertial Confinement Energy Systems ("the Committee") and will prepare a report that describes the R&D challenges to providing suitable targets, on the basis of parameters established and provided to the Panel by the Committee. The Panel on Fusion Target Physics will prepare a report that will assess the current performance of fusion targets associated with various ICF concepts in order to understand: 1. The spectrum output; 2. The illumination geometry; 3. The high-gain geometry; and 4. The robustness of the target design. The panel addressed the potential impacts of the use and development of current concepts for Inertial Fusion Energy on the proliferation of nuclear weapons information and technology, as appropriate. The Panel examined technology options, but does not provide recommendations specific to any currently operating or proposed ICF facility.

An Assessment of the Prospects for Inertial Fusion Energy   (BEES,BPA)
Released 2013-02-20

The potential for using fusion energy to produce commercial electric power was first explored in the 1950s. Harnessing fusion energy offers the prospect of a nearly carbon-free energy source with a virtually unlimited supply of fuel. Unlike nuclear fission plants, appropriately designed fusion power plants would not produce the large amounts of high-level nuclear waste that requires long-term disposal. Due to these prospects, many nations have initiated research and development (R&D) programs aimed at developing fusion as an energy source. Two R&D approaches are being explored: magnetic fusion energy (MFE) and inertial fusion energy (IFE). An Assessment of the Prospects for Inertial Fusion Energy describes and assesses the current status of IFE research in the United States; compares the various technical approaches to IFE; and identifies the scientific and engineering challenges associated with developing inertial confinement fusion (ICF) in particular as an energy source. It also provides guidance on an R&D roadmap at the conceptual level for a national program focusing on the design and construction of an inertial fusion energy demonstration plant.

Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for Our Nation   (NMMB)
Released 2013-02-19

Optics and photonics technologies are ubiquitous: they are responsible for the displays on smart phones and computing devices, optical fiber that carries the information in the internet, advanced precision manufacturing, enhanced defense capabilities, and a plethora of medical diagnostics tools. The opportunities arising from optics and photonics offer the potential for even greater societal impact in the next few decades, including solar power generation and new efficient lighting that could transform the nation's energy landscape and new optical capabilities that will be essential to support the continued exponential growth of the Internet. As described in the National Research Council report Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for our Nation, it is critical for the United States to take advantage of these emerging optical technologies for creating new industries and generating job growth. The report assesses the current state of optical science and engineering in the United States and abroad--including market trends, workforce needs, and the impact of photonics on the national economy. It identifies the technological opportunities that have arisen from recent advances in, and applications of, optical science and engineering. The report also calls for improved management of U.S. public and private research and development resources, emphasizing the need for public policy that encourages adoption of a portfolio approach to investing in the wide and diverse opportunities now available within photonics. Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for our Nation is a useful overview not only for policymakers, such as decision-makers at relevant Federal agencies on the current state of optics and photonics research and applications but also for individuals seeking a broad understanding of the fields of optics and photonics in many arenas.

Energy-Efficiency Standards and Green Building Certification Systems Used by the Department of Defense for Military Construction and Major Renovations   (BICE)
Released 2013-02-15

Congress has an ongoing interest in ensuring that the 500,000 buildings and other structures owned and operated by the Department of Defense (DOD) are operated effectively in terms of cost and resource use. Section 2830 of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year requires the Secretary of Defense to submit a report to the congressional defense committees on the energy-efficiency and sustainability standards used by DOD for military construction and major renovations of buildings. DOD's report must include a cost-benefit analysis, return on investment, and long-term payback for the building standards and green building certification systems, including: (A) American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 189.1-2011 for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential. (B) ASHRAE Energy Standard 90.1-2010 for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential. (C) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver, Gold, and Platinum certification for green buildings, as well as the LEED Volume certification. (D) Other American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited standards. DOD's report to the congressional defense committees must also include a copy of DOD policy prescribing a comprehensive strategy for the pursuit of design and building standards across the department that include specific energy-efficiency standards and sustainable design attributes for military construction based on the cost-benefit analysis, return on investment, and demonstrated payback required for the aforementioned building standards and green building certification systems. Energy-Efficiency Standards and Green Building Certification Systems Used by the Department of Defense for Military Construction and Major Renovations summarizes the recommendations for energy efficiency.

Energy Reduction at U.S. Air Force Facilities Using Industrial Processes: A Workshop Summary   (AFSB)
Released 2013-02-04

The Department of Defense (DoD) is the largest consumer of energy in the federal government. In turn, the U.S. Air Force is the largest consumer of energy in the DoD, with a total annual energy expenditure of around $10 billion. Approximately 84 percent of Air Force energy use involves liquid fuel consumed in aviation whereas approximately 12 percent is energy (primarily electricity) used in facilities on the ground. This workshop was concerned primarily with opportunities to reduce energy consumption within Air Force facilities that employ energy intensive industrial processes—for example, assembly/disassembly, painting, metal working, and operation of radar facilities—such as those that occur in the maintenance depots and testing facilities. Air Force efforts to reduce energy consumption are driven largely by external goals and mandates derived from Congressional legislation and executive orders. To date, these goals and mandates have targeted the energy used at the building or facility level rather than in specific industrial processes. In response to a request from the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Energy and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Science, Technology, and Engineering, the National Research Council, under the auspices of the Air Force Studies Board, formed the Committee on Energy Reduction at U.S. Air Force Facilities Using Industrial Processes: A Workshop. The terms of reference called for a committee to plan and convene one 3 day public workshop to discuss: (1) what are the current industrial processes that are least efficient and most cost ineffective? (2) what are best practices in comparable facilities for comparable processes to achieve energy efficiency? (3) what are the potential applications for the best practices to be found in comparable facilities for comparable processes to achieve energy efficiency? (4) what are constraints and considerations that might limit applicability to Air Force facilities and processes over the next ten year implementation time frame? (5) what are the costs and paybacks from implementation of the best practices? (6) what will be a proposed resulting scheme of priorities for study and implementation of the identified best practices? (7) what does a holistic representation of energy and water consumption look like within operations and maintenance?

Capability Surprise for U.S. Naval Forces: Initial Observations and Insights: Interim Report   (NSB)
Released 2013-01-29

A letter dated December 21, 2011, to National Academy of Sciences President Dr. Ralph Cicerone from the Chief of Naval Operations, ADM Jonathan W. Greenert, U.S. Navy, requested that the National Research Council's (NRC's) Naval Studies Board (NSB) conduct a study to examine the issues surrounding capability surprise—both operationally and technically related—facing the U.S. naval services. Accordingly, in February 2012, the NRC, under the auspices of its NSB, established the Committee on Capability Surprise for U.S. Naval Forces. The study's terms of reference, provided in Enclosure A of this interim report, were formulated by the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) in consultation with the NSB chair and director. The terms of reference charge the committee to produce two reports over a 15-month period. The present report is the first of these, an interim report issued, as requested, following the third full committee meeting. The terms of reference direct that the committee in its two reports do the following: (1) Select a few potential capability surprises across the continuum from disruptive technologies, to intelligence inferred capability developments, through operational deployments and assess what U.S. Naval Forces are doing (and could do) about these surprises while mindful of future budgetary declines; (2) Review and assess the adequacy of current U.S. Naval Forces' policies, strategies, and operational and technical approaches for addressing these and other surprises; and (3) Recommend any changes, including budgetary and organizational changes, as well as identify any barriers and/or leadership issues that must be addressed for responding to or anticipating such surprises including developing some of our own surprises to mitigate against unanticipated surprises. Capability Surprise for U.S. Naval Forces: Initial Observations and Insights: Interim Report highlights issues brought to the committee's attention during its first three meetings and provides initial observations and insights in response to each of the three tasks above. It is very much an interim report that neither addresses in its entirety any one element of the terms of reference nor reaches final conclusions on any aspect of capability surprise for naval forces. The committee will continue its study during the coming months and expects to complete by early summer 2013 its final report, which will address all of the elements in the study's terms of reference and explore many potential issues of capability surprise for U.S. naval forces not covered in this interim report.

An Evaluation of the U.S. Department of Energy's Marine and Hydrokinetic Resource Assessments   (BEES,OSB)
Released 2013-01-29

Increasing renewable energy development, both within the United States and abroad, has rekindled interest in the potential for marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) resources to contribute to electricity generation. These resources derive from ocean tides, waves, and currents; temperature gradients in the ocean; and free-flowing rivers and streams. One measure of the interest in the possible use of these resources for electricity generation is the increasing number of permits that have been filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). As of December 2012, FERC had issued 4 licenses and 84 preliminary permits, up from virtually zero a decade ago. However, most of these permits are for developments along the Mississippi River, and the actual benefit realized from all MHK resources is extremely small. The first U.S. commercial gridconnected project, a tidal project in Maine with a capacity of less than 1 megawatt (MW), is currently delivering a fraction of that power to the grid and is due to be fully installed in 2013. As part of its assessment of MHK resources, DOE asked the National Research Council (NRC) to provide detailed evaluations. In response, the NRC formed the Committee on Marine Hydrokinetic Energy Technology Assessment. As directed in its statement of task (SOT), the committee first developed an interim report, released in June 2011, which focused on the wave and tidal resource assessments (Appendix B). The current report contains the committee's evaluation of all five of the DOE resource categories as well as the committee's comments on the overall MHK resource assessment process. This summary focuses on the committee's overarching findings and conclusions regarding a conceptual framework for developing the resource assessments, the aggregation of results into a single number, and the consistency across and coordination between the individual resource assessments. Critiques of the individual resource assessment, further discussion of the practical MHK resource base, and overarching conclusions and recommendations are explained in An Evaluation of the U.S. Department of Energy's Marine and Hydrokinetic Resource Assessment.

Review of the Research Program of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership: Fourth Report   (BEES)
Released 2013-01-23

Review of the Research Program of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership: Fourth Report follows on three previous NRC reviews of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership, which was the predecessor of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership (NRC, 2005, 2008a, 2010). The U.S. DRIVE (Driving Research and Innovation for Vehicle Efficiency and Energy Sustainability) vision, according to the charter of the Partnership, is this: American consumers have a broad range of affordable personal transportation choices that reduce petroleum consumption and significantly reduce harmful emissions from the transportation sector. Its mission is as follows: accelerate the development of pre-competitive and innovative technologies to enable a full range of efficient and clean advanced light-duty vehicles (LDVs), as well as related energy infrastructure. The Partnership focuses on precompetitive research and development (R&D) that can help to accelerate the emergence of advanced technologies to be commercialization-feasible. The guidance for the work of the U.S. DRIVE Partnership as well as the priority setting and targets for needed research are provided by joint industry/government technical teams. This structure has been demonstrated to be an effective means of identifying high-priority, long-term precompetitive research needs for each technology with which the Partnership is involved. Technical areas in which research and development as well as technology validation programs have been pursued include the following: internal combustion engines (ICEs) potentially operating on conventional and various alternative fuels, automotive fuel cell power systems, hydrogen storage systems (especially onboard vehicles), batteries and other forms of electrochemical energy storage, electric propulsion systems, hydrogen production and delivery, and materials leading to vehicle weight reductions.

Public Response to Alerts and Warnings Using Social Media: Report of a Workshop on Current Knowledge and Research Gaps   (CSTB)
Released 2013-01-04

Following an earlier NRC workshop on public response to alerts and warnings delivered to mobile devices, a related workshop was held on February 28 and 29, 2012 to look at the role of social media in disaster response. This was one of the first workshops convened to look systematically at the use of social media for alerts and warnings—an event that brought together social science researchers, technologists, emergency management professionals, and other experts on how the public and emergency managers use social media in disasters.In addition to exploring how officials monitor social media, as well as the resulting privacy considerations, the workshop focused on such topics as: what is known about how the public responds to alerts and warnings; the implications of what is known about such public responses for the use of social media to provide alerts and warnings to the public; and approaches to enhancing the situational awareness of emergency managers. Public Response to Alerts and Warnings Using Social Media: Report of a Workshop on Current Knowledge and Research Gaps summarizes presentations made by invited speakers, other remarks by workshop participants, and discussions during parallel breakout sessions. It also points to potential topics for future research, as well as possible areas for future research investment, and it describes some of the challenges facing disaster managers who are seeking to incorporate social media into regular practice.