Physics and Astronomy
|A Review of the Next Generation Air Transportation System: Implications and Importance of System Architecture
The Next Generation Air Transportation System's (NextGen) goal is the transformation of the U.S. national airspace system through programs and initiatives that could make it possible to shorten routes, navigate better around weather, save time and fuel, reduce delays, and improve capabilities for monitoring and managing of aircraft. A Review of the Next Generation Air Transportation provides an overview of NextGen and examines the technical activities, including human-system design and testing, organizational design, and other safety and human factor aspects of the system, that will be necessary to successfully transition current and planned modernization programs to the future system. This report assesses technical, cost, and schedule risk for the software development that will be necessary to achieve the expected benefits from a highly automated air traffic management system and the implications for ongoing modernization projects. The recommendations of this report will help the Federal Aviation Administration anticipate and respond to the challenges of implementing NextGen.
|Optimizing the U.S. Ground-Based Optical and Infrared Astronomy System
New astronomical facilities, such as the under-construction Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and planned 30-meter-class telescopes, and new instrumentation on existing optical and infrared (OIR) telescopes, hold the promise of groundbreaking research and discovery. How can we extract the best science from these and other astronomical facilities in an era of potentially flat federal budgets for both the facilities and the research grants? Optimizing the U.S. Ground-Based Optical and Infrared Astronomy System provides guidance for these new programs that align with the scientific priorities and the conclusions and recommendations of two National Research Council (NRC) decadal surveys, New Worlds, New Horizons for Astronomy and Astrophysics and Vision and Voyages for Planetary Sciences in the Decade 2013-2022, as well as other NRC reports. This report describes a vision for a U.S. OIR System that includes a telescope time exchange designed to enhance science return by broadening access to capabilities for a diverse community, an ongoing planning process to identify and construct next generation capabilities to realize decadal science priorities, and near-term critical coordination, planning, and instrumentation needed to usher in the era of LSST and giant telescopes.