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Executive Summary APPROACH TO ASSESSMENT The Committee for the Review of NASA's Pio- neering Revolutionary Technology (PRT) Program and its three supporting panels were charged by the Na- tional Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) with assessing the overall scientific and technical qual- ity of the PRT program and its component programs, along with their associated elements and individual re- search tasks (see Figure ESPY. Major issues addressed in the review include (1) research portfolios, (2) re- search plans, (3) technical community connections, (4) methodologies, and (5) overall capabilities. As re- flected in the organization of the report, a two-pronged assessment was developed. Each panel provided a de- tailed assessment of the program under its purview, which was refined and updated over the course of the review. The committee, composed mainly of represen- tatives from each panel, integrated and evaluated the panel results and provided top-level advice on issues cutting across the entire PRT program. The committee' s overall assessment of the research within PRT was based on the individual (and essen- tially independent) assessments of three supporting panels the Panel on Computing, Information, and Communications Technology (CICT), the Panel on Engineering for Complex Systems (ECS), and the Panel on Enabling Concepts and Technologies (ECT). Individual research tasks judged by the committee and 1 panels to be world-class met the following criteria: (1) they gave evidence of productivity (i.e., mission- accepted technology, publications, industry-accepted software, presentations, patents); (2) they exhibited strong linkage at the task level to actual flight projects, flight engineers, or science customers; (3) they pos- sessed connectivity with external research communi- ties; and (4) they were recognized by external peers as an authority in the subject matter. In some cases, excel- lence was also observed when basic research, facili- ties, systems analysis, flight integration, and testing and evaluation were vertically integrated or when programs had achieved success over a period of 10 to 15 years and continue to do so. Key issues, findings, and recommendations relat- ing to both the overall PRT program and its three com- ponent programs are presented below. The main text offers discussion, findings, and recommendations in addition to those highlighted here. OVERALL ASSESSMENT While there are important concerns about some management practices within the PRT portfolio, the committee found that the majority of PRT research consisted of good work that is important to the future of NASA and the nation. Ten percent of the individual research tasks were judged to be work of the highest quality, representing truly world-class endeavors. The

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY committee and panels recommended that another 10 percent of the program's research tasks be discontin- ued or transitioned to mission applications. Tasks marked for transition are typically of excellent quality and involve successful work ready to be funded by a NASA mission or external partners. Tasks marked for discontinuation were identified primarily based on a judgment about the relative quality of the work or its value to NASA and alignment (or lack thereof) with PRT program goals. With 80 percent of the program being of good quality, but not world-class, the opportu- nity exists to maximize contributions from PRT pro- gram research by focusing more attention on several issues, including the need for research to be more re- sults-oriented, more pervasive use of systems analysis, further encouragement of external peer review, and in- creasing collaboration between outside experts and the program. PROGRAMWIDE COMMON THEMES The committee noted six themes recurring across the entire PRT program that, if addressed, would strengthen the program: systems analysis, bench- marking and metrics, external peer review and compe- tition, stability and continuity, research portfolio bal- ance, and technology transition. Systems Analysis A crucial part of portfolio management, systems analysis underlies competitive task selection and ongo- ing refinement and redirection as technical progress is made in a program. Systems analysis also leads to an awareness of the system-level impacts of individual technologies under development. The committee ob- served gaps in system-level awareness and systems analysis capability throughout the PRT program, from top to bottom. Methods for risk assessment were nei- ther widely used nor well understood. Yet, pockets of systems analysis were found within the program, typi- cally in the areas of excellence. Systems analysis capability that covers a range of fidelity from back-of-the-envelope to refined para- metric excursions of specific point designs should be employed throughout the PRT program. Awareness of system-level impacts should be encouraged down to the level of individual tasks and researchers as a mecha- nism for ensuring that research goals retain their rel- evance. Such analyses should vary in complexity: In 3 some cases, a simple, first-order calculation suffices, but in others a more rigorous state-of-the-art analysis is needed. During the course of the review and in response to the committee's interim report (NRC, 2003), the PRT program made several changes in the area of systems analysis. The ECT program's Technology Assessment Analysis (TAA), although its planned funding was cut by approximately one-half, is focusing its work on four mission-based pilot studies chosen by the various en- terprises within NASA. However, much additional work is necessary to develop a pervasive tool set with which to analyze technology portfolios and systems issues. The CICT program has filled a position respon- sible for program-level coordination of CICT system analysis activities and specific impact assessments (Tu and VanDalsem, 2003~. However, because these efforts are so new, the committee cannot comment on their quality or predict their eventual success. Finding: Gaps in the awareness of potential system- level impacts of individual technologies and in the use of systems analysis for research and portfolio management were observed throughout the PRT program. Further emphasis and strengthening are necessary in this area. Recommendation: Systems analysis should be strengthened as a crucial part of the portfolio man- agement and project selection process to support in- vestment decisions in the technology areas needing development. This process should recognize the pri- orities NASA has set for its missions and the poten- tial impact the research projects have on enabling and enhancing those missions. The process should also be applied to individual tasks and used by indi- vidual researchers as a mechanism for ensuring that research goals retain their original desired rel- evance. However, it should not be so rigid as to dis- allow serendipity and ideas of opportunity. Benchmarking and Metrics Benchmarking establishes quantitative goals or expectations that will serve as technical measures of success. These objective goals are expressed at the dis- cipline, component, subsystem, and system levels, tied together by systems analysis. Excellent projects and tasks within the PRT program have always developed methodologies and goals from meaningful technical

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4 AN ASSESSMENT OF NASA 'S PIONEERING REVOLUTIONARY TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM benchmarks and subjected their research progress to external assessment with appropriate metrics. The benchmarks were supported by analyses, where appro- priate, and developed from basic scientific principles. Each program element and task lacking them should establish technical benchmarks that are sup- ported by analyses from basic principles. These metrics should be tempered with realistic engineering consid- erations and used to devise consistent, science-based research methodologies. Used correctly, these metrics can enable a useful assessment of long-term progress and results in the tasks, element, and projects where they are applied. Finding: Tasks within the PRT program that devel- oped methodologies and goals from specific techni- cal benchmarks produced excellent work. Recommendation: Each project, element, and task within the PRT program should establish technical benchmarks to enable assessment of progress and results. These benchmarks should include measur- able, objective targets for research and should be developed in the context of the research's applica- tion. External Peer Review and Competition Interaction with external peers comes in a number of different forms, all of which should be encouraged throughout the research life cycle. Before research is initiated, external peer reviews are used fairly effec- tively in the competitively selected external portion of the PRT program but only sparingly in competitively selecting in-house research projects. Furthermore, as in-house research proceeds, there is limited involve- ment of external peers in evaluating its technical qual- ity, which has implications for which tasks should continue and which should be redirected or terminated. The encouragement of peer-reviewed publication is in- consistent across the PRT program. As observed by the panels, there is a clear correlation between excellence and ( 1 ) tangible results presented in peer-reviewed pub- lications or (2) manifested flight hardware and soft- ware. The PRT program should institutionalize an exter- nal peer review process in all aspects of the research and technology enterprise: task selection (including the in-house portion of the program), ongoing progress re- views, and final assessment of results. It is important for the credibility and success of such reviews that an appropriate number of nonadvocate reviews and re- viewers be used. Finding: The PRT program makes little use of ex- ternal peer review to select and evaluate the inter- nal research program. Recommendation: The PRT program should incor- porate external peer review in all aspects of the pro- gram, including selection of internal research tasks, ongoing progress reviews and working groups, and final assessment of results. Finding: The committee observed uneven involve- ment of researchers in publishing in peer-reviewed publications (either in journals or in the proceed- ings of peer-reviewed conferences). Recommendation: NASA management should en- courage peer-reviewed publication in landmark journals and peer-reviewed conference proceedings. It is important for NASA to ensure that competen- cies in areas critical to NASA's mission (O'Keefe, 2002) be maintained, whether inside NASA or out. However, this does not mean that research in these ar- eas should be exempt from competition, even for tech- nologies where NASA is the only customer. In many cases, NASA will be the most appropriate place for such research, because of its unique capabilities, infra- structure, or superior skills for example, space power and propulsion sources and autonomous robots. In such cases, NASA will be competitive. In other cases, academia, research laboratories, or industry may be better placed to pursue the research. Cooperation and teaming with external partners would enhance the qual- ity of research in the program. A systematic use of competitive processes and ex- ternal peer reviews will ensure that the research is of the highest quality. However, even where research is done outside NASA, it is critical that NASA maintain subject matter expertise so it can effectively direct and interact with external researchers and integrate their work within NASA. Finding: Broader external participation in the PRT program can enhance productivity, cooperative teaming, and quality of research. World-class pro- grams within PRT exhibit these qualities.

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Recommendation: All PRT research projects should be subject to competition. Internal and external competition should be separate to avoid conflicts of interest and ensure fairness and coop- eration. Clearly, NASA must maintain internal technical expertise to ensure that research products are effectively transitioned and integrated. Stability and Continuity Changes in priority, organization, and funding will always occur and should be expected in a dynamic research program. However, the PRT program has un- dergone frequent and sometimes disruptive restructur- ing and reorganization. Some of these changes ap- peared to be a destructive force rather than a natural reallocation of resources as a part of research progress and maturation. For example, portions of the program have been managed by five different enterprises within NASA during the past 10 years (Moore, 2002~. A link can be made between the stability of a project in this regard and the project's technical performance over a long time horizon. This is especially so for the more challenging basic research tasks, where fundamental advances in science and engineering are required. The committee recognizes that certain program time spans are imposed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). However, the OMB constraints apply 5-year time horizons, whereas the past incarna- tions of the PRT program experienced reorganization at 1- and 2-year intervals. Even during the course of this 12-month review, portions of the PRT program were renamed and other portions reorganized in sig- nificant ways. NASA should strive to redirect programs based on sound technical issues and progress. NASA management and the technical team must share respon- sibility for providing stability and continuity in the face of inevitable change. A well-structured process is needed for selecting and maturing technology through development and transition to application. Such a pro- cess was noted in the Advanced Measurement and De- tection element in ECT. Finding: The PRT program components have un- dergone frequent and sometimes disruptive restruc- turing and reorganization. Recommendation: To provide stability and conti- nuity despite inevitable program changes, NASA should further develop and utilize more structured processes for selecting and developing technology from basic research to application. Program redi- rection should be based primarily on technical is- sues and progress. Projects should be provided with stable funding and assured stable organization to the extent possible. Research Portfolio Balance The committee observed that the PRT program consisted of tasks apparently assembled from a bot- tom-up selection and lacking top-down connection to the NASA Strategic Plan (Goldin, 2000; O'Keefe, 2002~. Clearly, the connection between the top-down, mission-driven technology needs of the NASA mission codes and the bottom-up technology planning must be tighter. While top-level PRT program goals and objec- tives (Hanks, 2002) are well connected to the NASA Strategic Plan, they are not generally well connected to the individual tasks or even, in some cases, to missions. This is due in part to the restructuring of the program and to an apparent lack of acceptance on the part of researchers of the NASA-wide strategic plan. This dis- connect can be rectified by engaging individual re- searchers in a more collaborative planning process. Space Communications and Advanced Measurement and Detection are two areas (one a project, the other an element) where the top-down, bottom-up connection is strong. Finding: The NASA strategic plan is not well con- nected top to bottom. Recommendation: NASA should use a more col- laborative process in strategic planning and the ex- ecution of goals in order to involve researchers, cus- tomers, and managers in the strategic planning process. In an ideal collaborative planning process, tech- nology development plans (including tasks, priorities, and investment levels) are created and accepted by all the stakeholders. Periodic reviews should be used to assess progress and make appropriate project adjust- ments. The design, execution, funding, and assessment of a research portfolio as substantial as that of PRT must weigh a number of factors to determine a good balance of projects and tasks to meet NASA's mission. There is no single best balance, and the definition of a tuned portfolio will change over time, but once the port-

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6 AN ASSESSMENT OF NASA 'S PIONEERING REVOLUTIONARY TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM folio is defined through strategic planning and a com- petitive selection process that balances need and op- portunity, further adjustments should be expected based on such factors as relative funding for the three programs, CICT, ECS, and ECT; the balance between fundamental scientific research and engineering, user- driven research; and the proportion of evolutionary (low-risk) versus revolutionary (disruptive, high-risk) research. Determining an optimum balance among these fac- tors is not possible until a well-defined method for de- veloping a program architecture is in place. As a re- sult, the committee felt it inappropriate to suggest such a balance. However, the committee did feel it appro- priate to comment on the amount of revolutionary technology research in the program. The committee recognizes that a large portion of the PRT program appropriately contains evolutionary technology. Only a few stretch, high-risk research efforts were ob- served those that, if successful, disrupt conventional thinking and open up new approaches, missions, and systems. Although the program is investing in some so-called revolutionary areas (such as nanotechnology and quantum computing), the committee notes that a research topic perceived as revolutionary does not nec- essarily mean that the research itself is of excellent quality or high potential relevance to NASA. Also, the committee noted that some excellent research very rel- evant to NASA missions is more evolutionary and sup- ports a core technical competency that is unique to NASA capabilities and needs. For this reason, the com- mittee urges NASA to select research projects on the basis of the quality of the research and its relevance to NASA, independent of whether it is perceived as revo- lutionary. That said, the committee also believes that the PRT portfolio should exhibit more tolerance for taking on stretch goals (properly grounded in physics) that could yield high-payoff results in areas where NASA can have a unique impact. Finding: Few efforts within the PRT program were considered to be high-risk, high-payoff efforts. Most of the work, much of it high in quality, was evolu- tionary. Recommendation: The PRT program should en- courage more stretch goals in revolutionary areas that could yield high-payoff and mission-enabling results. Technology Transition The committee observed that some useful technol- ogy becomes caught between the end of PRT support (at a lower TRL) and the start of user support (at a mid- to high TRL). Every effort should be made to work with the user enterprises of NASA and industry to pre- vent such breaks in funding. As successful research efforts mature, transition funding should come jointly from PRT and the user enterprises or industry. Such cost-sharing of transitional research is a goal of the ECT program and is used quite frequently. This prac- tice should be continued and expanded beyond ECT. Finding: Promising technology often fails in transi- tion, when the PRT program concludes, often with good reason, that it is mature enough for applica- tion but before a mission organization has accepted ownership. Recommendation: Provisions for cost-sharing of transitional research between the PRT program and mission organizations at NASA and in industry should be pursued as an explicit milestone in the TRL maturation process. PANEL ASSESSMENTS OF THE THREE PRT PROGRAMS Computing, Information, and Communications Technology Program The CICT panel found that the great majority of the work within CICT was good, NASA-focused re- search that should continue. Of 242 research tasks, 17 were highlighted by the panel as examples of world- class work. Four areas (comprising multiple tasks) were judged world-class: autonomous robots, planning and scheduling, software validation and verification, and space communications hardware. The panel also iden- tified nine tasks that, for various reasons, were ready for transition out of the research and development fund- ing line, were complete and should be discontinued, or should no longer be pursued. In several instances, the CICT panel identified tasks that originally started as research and later pro- duced very good and useful engineering or research tools. Once the tools were established, the task within CICT became one of providing a service by maintain-

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ing the tools for use by NASA as a whole. This practice should be discontinued, and the CICT program should make certain that mechanisms are in place to transition completed tasks to an end user. The CICT panel believes that the current CICT program could benefit from a research program archi- tecture as well as an architecture that identifies future targets. Such a program architecture would clearly identify what is included in a program and what is not, the relationships among the program components, and the principles and guidelines under which the compo- nents are to function. The CICT panel also observed on numerous occa- sions a poor understanding of the requirements for the final application of the work being conducted. Also, the program should ensure that all tasks, elements, and projects have clearly defined measures of success. CICT research in human-centered computing could be improved through better cross-center coordination and new research in distributed collaboration. Early in the review, the panel also found little evidence of the use of assessments based on cognitive human factors in the human-centered computing area. Program changes made after the committee's interim report (NRC, 2003) resulted in an improvement in this area. The emphasis on carbon nanotube basic research within the CICT nanotechnology effort should be periodically reevaluated to ensure that such research is relevant to the NASA mission. The panel noted two gaps in the CICT computing research portfolio. NASA scientists and missions gen- erate terabytes of data that must be globally distributed and analyzed. Initially, the CICT panel saw little or no research on the management of massively distributed data and found no work on the new software architec- tures needed for highly distributed processing (in both real-time and information systems applications). In re- sponse to the PRT committee's interim report, the CICT program has taken positive steps to address both issues (Tu and VanDalsem, 2003~. The qualifications of CICT's technical staff are very good. NASA should continue to ensure that it has expertise in all areas of research deemed critical, whether the work is performed internally or externally, and should strive to maintain a lead relative to industry and academia in areas critical to NASA' s mission, such as autonomous robots; space communications hard- ware; planning and scheduling; and software valida- tion and verification. The CICT panel was troubled by the varying levels of researcher awareness of others 7 working outside the PRT program and outside NASA and of researcher collaboration and cooperation with them. For example, the high-performance computing research within CICT does not appear to exploit out- side work. On the other hand, the software verification and validation team showed good awareness of work done outside NASA. Similarly, some outside research- ers have a poor understanding of NASA's work, in part because NASA researchers do not publish their results in peer-reviewed journals often enough. NASA's ro- botics and software verification and validation teams are well known outside the agency; however, its efforts on parallel programming tools are not well known. CICT managers should continue to encourage close connections between its researchers and the external research community through peer-reviewed publica- tion of research results, participation in and organiza- tion of major conferences and technical workshops, involvement as reviewers and editors for journals, and other similar efforts. As of April 2003, there were some indications that this is starting to take place. The panel encourages the CICT program to continue these efforts. Finding: The overall CICT research portfolio is very good and supports NASA objectives. Four technology areas (comprising multiple tasks) in CICT were judged world-class: autonomous robots, planning and scheduling, software validation and verification, and space communications hardware. Recommendation: To manage the technical quality of work more effectively so that research tasks are meaningful and on track, CICT management should ensure that each task has a clearly defined, realistic, yet challenging measure of technical suc- cess. Recommendation: To expose the external NASA technical community to NASA-specific issues and provide maximum leverage for CICT-funded tasks, CICT management should strongly encourage task principal investigators to seek peer-reviewed publi- cation in journals and in the proceedings of major conferences and workshops. CICT management should also organize and run technical workshops. Engineering for Complex Systems Program The ECS program is in a state of flux and is in the early stages of developing a critical mass that is, be-

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8 AN ASSESSMENT OF NASA 'S PIONEERING REVOLUTIONARY TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM coming a large enough effort to make a difference within NASA and the external community of re- search in programmatic risk management. However ECS does not have the resources to develop a compre- hensive programmatic risk management program in the foreseeable future that would contribute to the compre- hensive programmatic risk management approach that is under development and being applied by safety or- ganizations within NASA. Such work is critical to NASA in light of the Mars exploration losses and the Columbia tragedy. Over the course of the review, the ECS program worked to stabilize itself by downselecting to a core set of research tasks and pursuing those tasks consistently, as opposed to constantly reorganizing. These efforts to redirect the program have been appropriate given the importance of risk assessment and management to NASA's mission. ECS work in individual tasks is, in general, consid- ered good even given the state of flux in much of the program. Of the 52 individual research tasks within the ECS program, 3 are examples of world-class work: Organizational Risk Perception and Management, Vir- tual Iron Birds, and Advanced Software Verification and Testing Tools. The ECS program appears to ad- dress the right problems through multidisciplinary re- search; however, there are also gaps that weaken the ECS portfolio. The panel recommends that the ECS program in- crease its use of benchmarks quantitative goals or expectations that serve as measures of technical suc- cess and progress at the lowest practical organiza- tional level. The ECS program should also carefully consider the system-level impact of the work being conducted. The panel initially had concerns about the state of flux within the portfolio of the System Reasoning and Risk Management (SRRM) project. As presented to the panel in June 2002, the SRRM portfolio appeared to include mainly internal work and knowledge, with few signs that external work in risk management was being leveraged. As of April 2003, the SRRM project's rebaselined portfolio appeared to be appropriate given the limited amount of funding available. The ECS panel was encouraged by this significant improvement, since programmatic risk management research is critical to future NASA missions and has the potential to achieve cross-NASA applicability and national importance. In the Knowledge Engineering for Safety and Suc- cess (KESS) project, developing the much-needed models of risk perception and management is challeng- ing, and current efforts are commended by the panel. The Resilient Systems and Operations (RSO) project has top-quality researchers working on problems, but the panel has concerns about whether the right NASA- specific tasks are being pursued. The ECS program should explore the use of nonconventional software research, including dependable computing and static analysis, to help NASA reduce unproductive overlap in the current portfolios. Finding: NASA has a critical need for a compre- hensive risk management program that can be implemented throughout program life cycles. The ECS program should contribute to the development and application of such a program for NASA. Recommendation: In light of the Mars exploration failures and the Columbia tragedy, the ECS pro- gram should aggressively contribute to a compre- hensive programmatic risk management program that would develop the probability (with uncer- tainty delineated) of achieving each of the following system requirements: . . System safety (probability of crew survival), Reliability (probability of system complet- ing its designed mission), Performance (probability of achieving the design parameters of system performance), Cost of the program (probability of staying within the budget), and Schedule for system delivery (probability of meeting the schedule). Finding: The current ECS program, as formulated and funded, will not by itself develop a comprehen- sive programmatic risk management program in the foreseeable future, yet this ECS risk manage- ment work is important for NASA. Enabling Concepts and Technologies Program While the panel found that much of the FY2002 ECT program's portfolio was inherited in a piecemeal fashion from previous programs without a comprehen- sive strategy, it does note that NASA managers plan to develop future ECT portfolios using strategic planning tools and processes. The panel supports such a systems approach to portfolio management.

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Most of the tasks within the ECT program were deemed either good or excellent on an individual basis. ECT panel members judged approximately 20 percent of the ECT program tasks as world-class. The Ener.get- ics project had seven tasks of world-class quality (27 percent of its slate of tasks). The Advanced Measure- ment and Detection (AMD) element had eight world- class tasks (24 percent of the AMD tasks). Revolution- ary and world-class areas of research noted by the panel within the ECT program are radio-frequency/terahertz (RF/THz) and focal planes for astrophysics and plan- etary exploration. Other areas of world-class excellence have been successfully transitioned to missions, includ- ing the microshutter and microthermopile sensor ar- rays and electric propulsion. Within the Resilient Ma- terials and Structures (RMS) element, two tasks were found to be of world-class quality, and within the Dis- tributed and Micro-Spacecraft (D&MS) element, three tasks were considered world-class. The Space Envi- ronmental Effects (SEE) element provides a unique and much-needed service to the spacecraft design commu- nity. Conversely, the panel determined that several ECT research tasks should be considered for discon- tinuation or transition. The panel did not make a specific judgment on the Technology Assessment Analysis (TAA) element within the Advanced Systems Concepts project of the ECT program because the TAA is so new. However, there is concern that although the type of research in this program element is crucial to the PRT program and possibly to all of NASA, it is not receiving the emphasis and technical direction it needs, and appro- priate attention should be paid to it. Consistently lacking across the ECT program was an expectation of peer-reviewed publication. NASA should maintain an environment that nurtures and re- wards intellectual leadership and technical excellence. Expectations should be aligned with metrics of excel- lence and leadership in the broader technical commu- nity for example, the acceptance of work in refereed publications and the receipt of patents. These metrics should be looked at in addition to, not in place of, metrics for progress toward technology maturation and transition to NASA flight programs. The highest-qual- ity tasks managed to do all these things. The facilities used by the ECT program are excel- lent. NASA should strive to maintain several that are world-class, including the Electron-Beam Lithography Laboratory at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Poly- mer Rechargeable Battery Laboratory at NASA Glenn 9 Research Center, and the electric propulsion and pho- tovoltaic test facilities at NASA Glenn. Panel members also observed that the coloration of basic research, sys- tems analysis, engineering, testing and evaluation, and flight qualification improves quality and keeps research focused. This was evident for both the AMD element and the Energetics project. The panel recommends that researchers, test facilities, and systems analysis capa- bilities be vertically integrated wherever possible, at least virtually if coloration is not possible. Connectivity of the ECT program to other areas within NASA and to the broader technical community varied from project to project. There were specific ex- amples of good teaming between NASA researchers and external partners in the SEE element and the Ener- getics project. The panel recommends that this type of teaming and collaboration be encouraged and expanded whenever possible. The panel observed, however, a lack of connectivity between the nanotechnology, microsensors, distributed and microspacecraft, and in- telligent systems work in the PRT program overall. NASA should take actions to ensure value-adding com- munication between these programs. About 40 percent of the ECT program is funded through Cross-Enterprise NASA Research Announce- ments (NRAs). While the panel views this type of com- petitive solicitation as a valuable incubator for technol- ogy development, the NRA solicitation rules prevented NASA researchers and NRA winners from working together. Upon formation of the ECT program, NRA management was transferred from the Space Science Enterprise to the Aerospace Technology Enterprise. This management change, coupled with the broad fo- cus of the announcement and the absence of a clear mechanism for evaluating progress during the award's duration, has meant that Cross-Enterprise NRA re- search is generally not integrated with NASA programs and centers. This effect may also be due in part to the competitive environment that prevails between the awardees and NASA researchers who did not win awards. Finding: The panel judged approximately 20 per- cent of the ECT program to be world-class. Specific areas of world-class quality within the ECT pro- gram include the radio frequency/terahertz thrust, the focal plane thrust, the microshutter arrays, and the microthermopile arrays in Advanced Measure- ment and Detection; electric propulsion, advanced photovoltaics technology, and advanced energy

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10 AN ASSESSMENT OF NASA 'S PIONEERING REVOLUTIONARY TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM storage in Energetics; modulated sideband technol- ogy and formation flying in Distributed and Micro- Spacecraft; and gossamer structure characteriza- tion in Resilient Materials and Structures. Finding: The Technology Assessment Analysis ele- ment within the ECT program is an important area for NASA and one where it should continue invest- ment. However, the panel feels that the area has not been given the emphasis it needs. Finding: The ECT panel observed a general lack of integration of Cross-Enterprise NRA research with NASA programs and centers, limiting the overall return on investment. Recommendation: The research performed under the Cross-Enterprise NRA contracts should be managed as an integral part of in-house PRT re- search activities, with individual program elements being responsible for the performance of the con- tract, including contract deliverables and milestone ~ monitoring. REFERENCES Goldin, Daniel.2000. National Aeronautics and Space Administration Stra- tegic Plan 2000, September. Washington, D.C.: National Aeronautics and Space Administration. National Research Council (NRC). 2003. Interim Report of National Re- search Council Review of NASA's Pioneering Revolutionary Technol- ogy Program. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press. Avail- able online at . Accessed August 11, 2003. BRIEFINGS Dennis Andrucyk, NASA Headquarters, "Office of Aerospace Technology FY2004 President's Budget," material provided to the committee on May 5, 2003. Yuri Gawdiak, NASA Ames Research Center, "ECS NASA Research Council Review," presentation to the committee and panels on June 11, 2002. Brantley Hanks, NASA Headquarters, "Pioneer Revolutionary Technolo- gies: OAT Strategic Program Area Overview," presentation to the com- mittee and the panels on June 11, 2002. Chris Moore, NASA Headquarters, "Enabling Concepts and Technologies Program Overview," presentation to the committee and panels on June 11, 2002. Chris Moore, NASA Headquarters, "ECT Master Task List," material pro- vided to the committee on May 5, 2003. Sean O'Keefe, NASA Headquarters, "NASA Vision," briefing to Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs on April 12, 2002. Available online at . Ac- cessed September 4, 2003. Eugene Tu, NASA Ames Research Center, "Computing, Information, and Communications Technology (CICT) Program Overview," presentation to the committee and panels on June 11, 2002. Eugene Tu and Bill VanDalsem, NASA Ames Research Center, "CICT Actions in Response to the NRC Review of NASA's Pioneering Revo- lutionary Technology Program Interim Report, dated January 16, 2003," material provided to the committee on April 21, 2003.