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ASSESSING THE IMPACTS OF CHANGES IN THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY R&D ECOSYSTEM: Retaining Leadership in an Increasingly Global Environment

by National Research Council of the National Academies

The U.S. information technology (IT) research and development (R&D) ecosystem was the envy of the world in 1995. However, this position of leadership is not a birthright, and it is now under pressure. In recent years, the rapid globalization of markets, labor pools, and capital flows have encouraged many strong national competitors. During the same period, national policies have not sufficiently buttressed the ecosystem, or have generated side effects that have reduced its effectiveness. As a result, the U.S. position in IT leadership today has materially eroded compared with that of prior decades, and the nation risks ceding IT leadership to other nations within a generation. Assessing the Impacts of Changes in the Information Technology R&D Ecosystem calls for a recommitment to providing the resources needed to fuel U.S. IT innovation, to removing important roadblocks that reduce the ecosystem's effectiveness in generating innovation and the fruits of innovation, and to becoming a lead innovator and user of IT. The book examines these issues and makes recommendations to strengthen the U.S. IT R&D ecosystem.

ASSESSING THE MEDICAL RISKS OF HUMAN OOCYTE DONATION FOR STEM CELL RESEARCH: Workshop Report

by Institute of Medicine National Research Council of the National Academies

The National Academies Press (NAP)--publisher for the National Academies--publishes more than 200 books a year offering the most authoritative views, definitive information, and groundbreaking recommendations on a wide range of topics in science, engineering, and health. Our books are unique in that they are authored by the nation's leading experts in every scientific field.

Assessing the Research and Development Plan for the Next Generation Air Transportation System: Summary of a Workshop

by National Research Council of the National Academies

The U.S. aviation industry, airline passengers, aircraft pilots, airports, and airline companies are all facing challenges. The air transportation system is experiencing unprecedented and increasing levels of use. The federal government understands the critical need to update the U.S. air transportation system, and plans to implement the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) by 2025. This system is an example of active networking technology that updates itself with real-time shared information and tailors itself to the individual needs of all U.S. aircraft, stressing adaptability by enabling aircraft to immediately adjust to ever-changing factors. On April 1-2, 2008, a workshop was held at the National Academies to gather reactions to the research and development aspects of the Joint Planning and Development Office’s baseline Integrated Work Plan (IWP), which is designed to increase the efficiency of airport and air space use in the United States. This book provides a summary of the workshop, which included presentations on the following topics: Airport operations and support; Environmental management; Air navigation operations, Air navigation support, and flight operation support; Positioning, navigation, and timing services and surveillance; Weather information services; Safety management; Net-centric infrastructure services and operations; and Layered adaptive security.

Assessing the Role of K-12 Academic Standards in States: WORKSHOP SUMMARY

by National Research Council of the National Academies

The National Academies Press (NAP)--publisher for the National Academies--publishes more than 200 books a year offering the most authoritative views, definitive information, and groundbreaking recommendations on a wide range of topics in science, engineering, and health. Our books are unique in that they are authored by the nation's leading experts in every scientific field.

Assessing the United States Institute of Peace Jennings Randolph Senior Fellowship

by National Research Council of the National Academies

The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) is an independent, nonpartisan, national institution established and funded by the U.S. Congress. The goals of the USIP are to help prevent and resolve violent international conflicts; promote post-conflict stability and development; and to increase conflict management capacity, tools, and intellectual capital worldwide. One way the USIP meets those goals is through the Jennings Randolph Program for International Peace, which awards Senior Fellowships to outstanding scholars, policymakers, journalists, and other professionals from around the world to conduct research at the USIP. The Fellowship Program began in 1987, and 253 Fellowships have been awarded through 2007. This book presents a preliminary assessment of the Fellowship Program, and recommends certain steps to improve it, including more rigorous and systematic monitoring and evaluation of the Fellowship in the future. The committee also makes several recommendations intended to help USIP gain further knowledge about the perceptions of the Fellowships in the wider expert community.

Assessment of Approaches for Using Process Safety Metrics at the Blue Grass and Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plants

by National Research Council of the National Academies

The Department of Defense, through the Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives program, is currently in the process of constructing two full-scale pilot plants at the Pueblo Chemical Depot in Colorado and the Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky to destroy the last two remaining inventories of chemical weapons in the U.S. stockpile. Unlike their predecessors, these facilities will use neutralization technologies to destroy agents contained within rockets, projectiles, and mortar rounds, requiring the use of specially designed equipment. Concern about potential problems associated with using this "first-of-a-kind" equipment, and the need to ensure that plant operations adhere to congressional mandates calling for the maximum protection of workers, the public, and the environment, led the Program Manager for Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives to request that the National Research Council undertake a study to guide the development and application of process safety metrics for the Pueblo and Blue Grass facilities.

An Assessment Of Balance In Nasa's Science Programs

by National Research Council of the National Academies

When the space exploration initiative was announced, Congress asked the NRC to review the science NASA proposed to carryout under the initiative. It also asked the NRC to assess whether this program would provide balanced scientific research across the established disciplines supported by NASA in addition to supporting the new initiative. In 2005, the NRC released three studies focusing on a portion of that task, but changes at NASA forced the postponement of the last phase. This report presents that last phase with an assessment of the health of the NASA scientific disciplines under the budget requests imposed by the exploration initiative. The report also provides an analysis of whether the science budget appropriately reflects cross-disciplinary scientific priorities.

Assessment Of The Benefits Of Extending The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission: A Perspective From The Research And Operations Communities

by National Research Council of the National Academies

Launched jointly in 1997 by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) is a satellite mission that placed a unique suite of instruments, including the first precipitation radar, in space. These instruments are used to monitor and predict tropical cyclone tracks and intensity, estimate rainfall, and monitor climate variability (precipitation and sea surface temperature). TRMM has been collecting data for seven years; this data is used by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, the National Center for Environmental Prediction, and the National Hurricane Center, among others worldwide. In July 2004, NASA announced that it would terminate TRMM in August 2004. At the request of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the White House, and the science community, NASA agreed to continue TRMM operations through the end of 2004. Meanwhile, NASA asked a National Research Council (NRC) committee to provide advice on the benefits of keeping TRMM in operation beyond 2004. After holding a workshop with a number of experts in the field, the committee found that TRMM will contribute significantly to operations and science if the mission is extended; and therefore, strongly recommends continued operation of TRMM with the caveat that cost and risk will need to be further examined before a final decision about the future of TRMM can be made.

Assessment Of The Bureau Of Reclamation's Security Program

by National Research Council of the National Academies

The water impounded behind a dam can be used to generate power and to provide water for drinking, irrigation, commerce, industry, and recreation. However, if a dam fails, the water that would be unleashed has the energy and power to cause mass destruction downstream, killing and injuring people and destroying property, agriculture, industry, and local and regional economies. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) is responsible for managing and operating some of this nation’s largest and most critical dams. The failure of one or more of these dams as the result of a malicious act would come with little warning and a limited time for evacuation. In the years since the 9/11 attacks, Reclamation has invested significant resources to establish and build a security program. Reclamation is now ready to evaluate the results of these efforts and determine how best to move forward to develop a security program that is robust and sustainable. This book assesses Reclamation’s security program and determines its level of preparedness to deter, respond to, and recover from malicious acts to its physical infrastructure and to the people who use and manage it.

Assessment Of Corrosion Education

by National Research Council of the National Academies

The threat from the degradation of materials in the engineered products that drive our economy, keep our citizenry healthy, and keep us safe from terrorism and belligerent threats has been well documented over the years. And yet little effort appears to have been made to apply the nation's engineering community to developing a better understanding of corrosion and the mitigation of its effects. The engineering workforce must have a solid understanding of the physical and chemical bases of corrosion, as well as an understanding of the engineering issues surrounding corrosion and corrosion abatement. Nonetheless, corrosion engineering is not a required course in the curriculum of most bachelor degree programs in MSE and related engineering fields, and in many programs, the subject is not even available. As a result, most bachelor-level graduates of materials- and design-related programs have an inadequate background in corrosion engineering principles and practices. To combat this problem, the book makes a number of short- and long-term recommendations to industry and government agencies, educational institutions, and communities to increase education and awareness, and ultimately give the incoming workforce the knowledge they need.

Assessment of Department of Defense Basic Research

by National Research Council of the National Academies

The Department of Defense (DOD) supports basic research to advance fundamental knowledge in fields important to national defense. Over the past six years, however, several groups have raised concern about whether the nature of DOD-funded basic research is changing. The concerns include these: Funds are being spent for research that does not fall under DOD's definition of basic research; reporting requirements have become cumbersome and onerous; and basic research is handled differently by the three services. To explore these concerns, the Congress directed DOD to request a study from the National Research Council (NRC) about the nature of basic research now being funded by the Department. Specifically the NRC was to determine if the programs in the DOD basic research portfolio are consistent with the DOD definition of basic research and with the characteristics associated with fundamental research.

Assessment Of Explosive Destruction Technologies For Specific Munitions At The Blue Grass And Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plants

by National Research Council of the National Academies

The Army's ability to meet public and congressional demands to destroy expeditiously all of the U.S. declared chemical weapons would be enhanced by the selection and acquisition of appropriate explosive destruction technologies (EDTs) to augment the main technologies to be used to destroy the chemical weapons currently at the Blue Grass Army Depot (BGAD) in Kentucky and the Pueblo Chemical Depot (PCD) in Colorado. The Army is considering four EDTs for the destruction of chemical weapons: three from private sector vendors, and a fourth, Army-developed explosive destruction system (EDS). This book updates earlier evaluations of these technologies, as well as any other viable detonation technologies, based on several considerations including process maturity, process efficacy, process throughput, process safety, public and regulatory acceptability, and secondary waste issues, among others. It also provides detailed information on each of the requirements at BGAD and PCD and rates each of the existing suitable EDTs plus the Army's EDS with respect to how well it satisfies these requirements.

Assessment of Fuel Economy Technologies for Light-Duty Vehicles

by National Research Council of the National Academies

Various combinations of commercially available technologies could greatly reduce fuel consumption in passenger cars, sport-utility vehicles, minivans, and other light-duty vehicles without compromising vehicle performance or safety. Assessment of Technologies for Improving Light Duty Vehicle Fuel Economy estimates the potential fuel savings and costs to consumers of available technology combinations for three types of engines: spark-ignition gasoline, compression-ignition diesel, and hybrid. According to its estimates, adopting the full combination of improved technologies in medium and large cars and pickup trucks with spark-ignition engines could reduce fuel consumption by 29 percent at an additional cost of $2,200 to the consumer. Replacing spark-ignition engines with diesel engines and components would yield fuel savings of about 37 percent at an added cost of approximately $5,900 per vehicle, and replacing spark-ignition engines with hybrid engines and components would reduce fuel consumption by 43 percent at an increase of $6,000 per vehicle. The book focuses on fuel consumption--the amount of fuel consumed in a given driving distance--because energy savings are directly related to the amount of fuel used. In contrast, fuel economy measures how far a vehicle will travel with a gallon of fuel. Because fuel consumption data indicate money saved on fuel purchases and reductions in carbon dioxide emissions, the book finds that vehicle stickers should provide consumers with fuel consumption data in addition to fuel economy information.

Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions

by National Research Council of the National Academies

Through an examination of case studies, agency briefings, and existing reports, and drawing on personal knowledge and direct experience, the Committee on Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Cooperation on Space and Earth Science Missions found that candidate projects for multiagency collaboration in the development and implementation of Earth-observing or space science missions are often intrinsically complex and, therefore costly, and that a multiagency approach to developing these missions typically results in additional complexity and cost. Advocates of collaboration have sometimes underestimated the difficulties and associated costs and risks of dividing responsibility and accountability between two or more partners; they also discount the possibility that collaboration will increase the risk in meeting performance objectives. This committee's principal recommendation is that agencies should conduct Earth and space science projects independently unless: It is judged that cooperation will result in significant added scientific value to the project over what could be achieved by a single agency alone; or Unique capabilities reside within one agency that are necessary for the mission success of a project managed by another agency; or The project is intended to transfer from research to operations necessitating a change in responsibility from one agency to another during the project; or There are other compelling reasons to pursue collaboration, for example, a desire to build capacity at one of the cooperating agencies. Even when the total project cost may increase, parties may still find collaboration attractive if their share of a mission is more affordable than funding it alone. In these cases, alternatives to interdependent reliance on another government agency should be considered. For example, agencies may find that buying services from another agency or pursuing interagency coordination of spaceflight data collection is preferable to fully interdependent cooperation.

Assessment of Interseasonal to Interannual Climate Prediction and Predictability

by National Research Council of the National Academies

More accurate forecasts of climate conditions over time periods of weeks to a few years could help people plan agricultural activities, mitigate drought, and manage energy resources, amongst other activities; however, current forecast systems have limited ability on these time- scales. Models for such climate forecasts must take into account complex interactions among the ocean, atmosphere, and land surface. Such processes can be difficult to represent realistically. To improve the quality of forecasts, this book makes recommendations about the development of the tools used in forecasting and about specific research goals for improving understanding of sources of predictability. To improve the accessibility of these forecasts to decision-makers and researchers, this book also suggests best practices to improve how forecasts are made and disseminated.

Assessment Of Millimeter-wave And Terahertz Technology For Detection And Identification Of Concealed Explosives And Weapons

by National Research Council of the National Academies

The security of the U.S. commercial aviation system has been a growing concern since the 1970’s when the hijacking of aircraft became a serious problem. Over that period, federal aviation officials have been searching for more effective ways for non-invasive screening of passengers, luggage, and cargo to detect concealed explosives and weapons. To assist in this effort, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) asked the NRC for a study of emerging screening technologies. This report—the third of four—focuses on currently maturing millimeter-wavelength/terahertz imaging and spectroscopy technologies that offer promise in meeting aviation security requirements. The report provides a description of the basic operation of these imaging systems, an assessment of their component technologies, an analysis of various system concepts, and an implementation strategy for deployment of millimeter-wavelength/terahertz technology screening systems.

Assessment Of The Nasa Applied Sciences Program

by National Research Council of the National Academies

Remote sensing data and models from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are the basis for a wide spectrum of scientific research endeavors and are key inputs to many public and private services. The NASA Applied Sciences Program (ASP) and its precursors have been tasked with ensuring the extension of NASA Earth observation data and associated research into practical applications for society through external partnerships. With approximately five years having elapsed under the current ASP structure, and a growing government-wide emphasis on societal benefits in its Earth observing programs, NASA and the ASP leadership asked the National Research Council to assess ASP's approach in extending NASA research results to practical, societal applications. The report recommends that ASP partnerships should focus not only federal agencies but alsoon direct engagement of the broader community of users. The report also recommends that ASP enhance communication and feedback mechanisms with its partners, with the end users and beneficiaries of NASA data and research, and with the NASA organization.

Assessment of NASA's Mars Architecture 2007-2016

by National Research Council of the National Academies

The National Academies Press (NAP)--publisher for the National Academies--publishes more than 200 books a year offering the most authoritative views, definitive information, and groundbreaking recommendations on a wide range of topics in science, engineering, and health. Our books are unique in that they are authored by the nation's leading experts in every scientific field.

Assessment Of Nih Minority Research And Training Programs: Phase 3

by National Research Council of the National Academies

This report provides an assessment of NIH’s programs for increasing the participation in biomedical science of individuals from underrepresented minority groups. The report examines, using available data and the results of a survey of NIH trainees, the characteristics and outcomes of programs at the undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral, and junior faculty levels. The report provides recommendations for improving these programs and their administration. It also recommends how NIH can improve the data it collects on trainees in all NIH research training programs so as to enhance training program evaluation.

ASSESSMENT OF OPTIONS FOR EXTENDING THE LIFE OF THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE: Final Report

by National Research Council of the National Academies

The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has operated continuously since 1990. During that time, four space shuttle-based service missions were launched, three of which added major observational capabilities. A fifth — SM-4 — was intended to replace key telescope systems and install two new instruments. The loss of the space shuttle Columbia, however, resulted in a decision by NASA not to pursue the SM-4 mission leading to a likely end of Hubble’s useful life in 2007-2008. This situation resulted in an unprecedented outcry from scientists and the public. As a result, NASA began to explore and develop a robotic servicing mission; and Congress directed NASA to request a study from the National Research Council (NRC) of the robotic and shuttle servicing options for extending the life of Hubble. This report presents an assessment of those two options. It provides an examination of the contributions made by Hubble and those likely as the result of a servicing mission, and a comparative analysis of the potential risk of the two options for servicing Hubble. The study concludes that the Shuttle option would be the most effective one for prolonging Hubble’s productive life.

Assessment Of The Performance Of Engineered Waste Containment Barriers

by National Research Council of the National Academies

President Carter’s 1980 declaration of a state of emergency at Love Canal, New York, recognized that residents’ health had been affected by nearby chemical waste sites. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, enacted in 1976, ushered in a new era of waste management disposal designed to protect the public from harm. It required that modern waste containment systems use “engineered” barriers designed to isolate hazardous and toxic wastes and prevent them from seeping into the environment. These containment systems are now employed at thousands of waste sites around the United States, and their effectiveness must be continually monitored. Assessment of the Performance of Engineered Waste Containment Barriers assesses the performance of waste containment barriers to date. Existing data suggest that waste containment systems with liners and covers, when constructed and maintained in accordance with current regulations, are performing well thus far. However, they have not been in existence long enough to assess long-term (postclosure) performance, which may extend for hundreds of years. The book makes recommendations on how to improve future assessments and increase confidence in predictions of barrier system performance which will be of interest to policy makers, environmental interest groups, industrial waste producers, and industrial waste management industry.

Assessment of Planetary Protection Requirements for MARS: SAMPLE RETURN MISSIONS

by National Research Council of the National Academies

NASA maintains a planetary protection policy to avoid the forward biological contamination of other worlds by terrestrial organisms, and back biological contamination of Earth from the return of extraterrestrial materials by spaceflight missions. Forward-contamination issues related to Mars missions were addressed in a 2006 National Research Council (NRC) book, Preventing the Forward Contamination of Mars. However, it has been more than 10 years since back-contamination issues were last examined. Driven by a renewed interest in Mars sample return missions, this book reviews, updates, and replaces the planetary protection conclusions and recommendations contained in the NRC's 1997 report Mars Sample Return: Issues and Recommendations. The specific issues addressed in this book include the following: The potential for living entities to be included in samples returned from Mars; Scientific investigations that should be conducted to reduce uncertainty in the above assessment; The potential for large-scale effects on Earth's environment by any returned entity released to the environment; Criteria for intentional sample release, taking note of current and anticipated regulatory frameworks; and The status of technological measures that could be taken on a mission to prevent the inadvertent release of a returned sample into Earth's biosphere.

An Assessment Of Potential Health Effects From Exposure To Pave Paws Low-level Phased-array Radiofrequency Energy

by National Research Council of the National Academies

PAVE PAWS is a phased-array warning system designed to detect and track sea-launched and intercontinental ballistic missiles operated on Cape Cod since 1979 by the U.S. Air Force Space Command. In 1979, the National Research Council issued two reports to address concerns from Cape Cod residents about the safety and possible health effects of the radiofrequency energy from the radar. Following up on the1979 report, the new report finds no evidence of adverse health effects to Cape Cod residents from long-term exposure to the PAVE PAWS radar. The report specifically investigated whether the PAVE PAWS radar might be responsible in part for the reported higher rates of certain cancers in the area, but concludes there is no increase in the total number of cancers or in specific cancers of the prostate, breast, lung, or colon due to radiation exposure from PAVE PAWS. The report did find in the scientific literature a few biological responses to radiofrequency exposures that were statistically significant. Such responses do not necessarily result in adverse health effects, but the report recommends additional studies to better discern the significance, if any, of those findings.

Assessment of Sea-Turtle Status and Trends: Integrating Demography and Abundance

by National Research Council of the National Academies

All six species of sea turtles found in U.S. waters are listed as endangered or threatened, but the exact population sizes of these species are unknown due to a lack of key information regarding birth and survival rates. The U.S. Endangered Species Act prohibits the hunting of sea turtles and reduces incidental losses from activities such as shrimp trawling and development on beaches used for nesting. However, current monitoring does not provide enough information on sea turtle populations to evaluate the effectiveness of these protective measures. Sea Turtle Status and Trends reviews current methods for assessing sea turtle populations and finds that although counts of sea turtles are essential, more detailed information on sea turtle biology, such as survival rates and breeding patterns, is needed to predict and understand changes in populations in order to develop successful management and conservation plans.

Assessment of the Continuing Operability of Chemical Agent Disposal Facilities and Equipment

by National Research Council of the National Academies

The U.S. Army’s Chemical Materials Agency (CMA) currently oversees contracts for the operation of chemical agent stockpile incineration facilities at four disposal sites. Because the period of time required to dispose of these chemical agents has grown beyond that originally planned, the Army is becoming concerned about the possibility of growing operational problems as the processing equipment ages. To help address these concerns, the CMA requested the NRC to assess whether current policies and practices will be able to adequately anticipate and address facility obsolescence issues. This report presents a review of potential infrastructure and equipment weaknesses given that the facilities are being operated well beyond their original design lifetime; an assessment of the Army’s current and evolving obsolescence management programs; and offers recommendations about how the programs may be improved and strengthened to permit safe and expeditious completion of agent stockpile destruction and facility closure.

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