Engineering Research and Applications
|Assessment of Corrosion Education
The threat from the degradation of materials in engineered products has been well documented over the years. And yet little effort appears to have been made to developing a better understanding of corrosion and the mitigation of its effects.
Assessment of Corrosion Education makes a number of short- and long-term recommendations to industry and government agencies, educational institutions, and communities to increase education and awareness.
|Construction Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
The diverse and distributed nature of the construction industry presents special challenges for occupational health and safety protection. Among other things, the work environment and the workers change daily and exposure to hazardous environments are difficult to track. For the same reasons, it is difficult to conduct research designed to improve worker health and safety. Nevertheless, construction-related fatalities and injuries have declined significantly in recent years in part due to the research programs of the NIOSH Construction Research Program. To evaluate the effectiveness of its activities, NIOSH asked the National Academies to review 15 specific NIOSH programs including its Construction Research Program. This report provides the context and analysis of the program, an evaluation of its relevance and impact, and recommendations for future research and for program improvement.
|Review of the 21st Century Truck Partnership
Heavy-duty trucks and buses now consume about 21 percent of the fuel used for surface transportation in the United States. As gasoline and diesel fuel prices have risen in the past few years, the pressure to find ways to increase fuel use efficiency by these trucks and buses has grown significantly. In 2000, four federal agencies and 15 industrial partners formed the 21st Century Truck Partnership (21CTP) to manage a cooperative R&D effort towards a safer and more efficient fleet of vehicles. In 2007, DOE--which now leads the partnership--asked the NRC to conduct an independent assessment of the 21CTP. This report provides a discussion of the organization and background of the Partnership; an analysis of its management strategy and priority setting; and an assessment of the Partnership's technical goals for engine systems and fuels, heavy-duty hybrid vehicles; reduction of parasitic energy losses, engine idle reduction, and safety.
|Proceedings of a Workshop on Materials State Awareness
In order to ensure effective military operations and continued warfighter safety, the functionality and integrity of the equipment used must also be ensured. For the past several years, the Nondestructive Evaluation Branch at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has focused actively on the development of embedded sensing technologies for the real-time monitoring of damage states in aircraft, turbine engines, and aerospace structures. These sensing technologies must be developed for use in environments ranging from the normal to the extreme, confronting researchers with the need to understand issues involving reliability, wireless telemetry, and signal processing methods. Additionally, there is a need to develop science and technology that will address the sensing of a material state at the microstructure level, precursor damage at the dislocation level, and fatigue-crack size population. To address these issues, the National Research Council convened a workshop at which speakers gave their personal perspectives on technological approaches to understanding materials state and described potential challenges and advances in technology. This book consists primarily of extended abstracts of the workshop speakers' presentations, conveying the nature and scope of the material presented.
|Review of NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program: An Interim Report
To meet the objectives of the Vision for Space Exploration (VSE), NASA must develop a wide array of enabling technologies. For this purpose, NASA established the Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP). Currently, ETDP has 22 projects underway. In the report accompanying the House-passed version of the FY2007 appropriations bill, the agency was directed to request from the NRC an independent assessment of the ETDP. This interim report provides an assessment of each of the 22 projects including a quality rating, an analysis of how effectively the research is being carried out, and the degree to which the research is aligned with the VSE. To the extent possible, the identification and discussion of various cross-cutting issues are also presented. Those issues will be explored and discussed in more detail in the final report.
|Managing Space Radiation Risk in the New Era of Space Exploration
As part of the Vision for Space Exploration (VSE), NASA is planning for humans to revisit the Moon and someday go to Mars. An important consideration in this effort is protection against the exposure to space radiation. That radiation might result in severe long-term health consequences for astronauts on such missions if they are not adequately shielded. To help with these concerns, NASA asked the NRC to further the understanding of the risks of space radiation, to evaluate radiation shielding requirements, and recommend a strategic plan for developing appropriate mitigation capabilities. This book presents an assessment of current knowledge of the radiation environment; an examination of the effects of radiation on biological systems and mission equipment; an analysis of current plans for radiation protection; and a strategy for mitigating the risks to VSE astronauts.