|Handbook of Frequency Allocations and Spectrum Protection for Scientific Uses
The electromagnetic spectrum is a vital part of our environment. Information encoded in the spectrum of radiation arriving at earth from the universe is the means by which we learn about its workings and origin. Radiation collected from the Earth's land, oceans, biosphere, and atmosphere provide us with much of the data needed to better understand this environment. Wise use of the spectrum is necessary if we are to continue these advances in scientific understanding. To help guide this effort, the NSF and NASA asked the NRC to develop a set of principles for fostering effective allocation and protection of spectral bands for scientific research. This handbook contains practical information in this connection including a description of regulatory bodies and issues, a discussion of the relevant scientific background, a list of science spectrum allocations in the United States, and an analysis of spectrum protection issues.
|Renewing U.S. Telecommunications Research
The modern telecommunications infrastructure—made possible by research performed over the last several decades—is an essential element of the U.S. economy. The U.S. position as a leader in telecommunications technology, however, is at risk because of the recent decline in domestic support of long-term, fundamental telecommunications research. To help understand this challenge, the National Science Foundation asked the NRC to assess the state of telecommunications research in the United States and recommend ways to halt the research decline. This report provides an examination of telecommunications research support levels, focus, and time horizon in industry, an assessment of university telecommunications research, and the implications of these findings on the health of the sector. Finally, it presents recommendations for enhancing U.S. telecommunications’ research efforts.
|Review of the Space Communications Program of NASA's Space Operations Mission Directorate
The Space Communications Office (SCO) at NASA has two primary roles. The first is to manage two of the communications networks that enable spaceflight operations and research, and the second is to integrate agency-wide telecommunications issues. In 2005, NASA asked the NRC to review the effectiveness of the SCO in carrying out its responsibilities by assessing the overall quality of the space communications program. This report presents a review of each of the program elements within the SCO—the space network, NASA’s integrated space network (NISN), spectrum management, standards management, search and rescue, communications and navigation architecture, technology, and operations integration. The review focuses on formulation of plans for each element, plan development methodology, connections with the broader community, and overall capabilities. Recommendations for improving SCO operations and organization are provided.
|Letter Report on Electronic Voting
In September 2005, the NRC released a report, Asking the Right Questions about Electronic Voting, which provided an extensive list of questions that must be addressed about the use of electronic information technology in election administration. In May 2006, the NRC held a workshop that addressed progress that has been made since the publication of that report. This letter report summarizes the workshop and notes that many of the issues raised in the first report remain open and quite fluid as the nation approaches the 2006 election. The letter report presents a review of the current status of preparation for and a set of emerging factors that are likely to effect the election, and a series of recommendations to assist preparations and address these factors.
|Summary of a Workshop on the Technology, Policy, and Cultural Dimensions of Biometric Systems
Biometrics—the use of physiological and behavioral characteristics for identification purposes—has been promoted as a way to enhance security and identification efficiency. There are questions, however, about, among other issues, the effectiveness of biometric security measures, usability, and the social impacts of biometric technologies. To address these and other important questions, the NRC was asked by DARPA, the DHS, and the CIA to undertake a comprehensive assessment of biometrics that examines current capabilities, future possibilities, and the role of the government in their developments. As a first step, a workshop was held at which a variety of views about biometric technologies and systems were presented. This report presents a summary of the workshop’s five panels: scientific and technical challenges; measurement, statistics, testing, and evaluation; legislative, policy, human, and cultural factors; scenarios and applications; and technical and policy aspects of information sharing. The results of this workshop coupled with other information will form the basis of the study’s final report.