BOX 1-1


This report uses the following terminology to create the framework for a decadal plan for civil aeronautics:

  • R&T Area. Five Areas were identified that encompassed the R&T of greatest relevance to the air transportation system (see Chapter 2).

  • R&T Challenge. For each Area, a set of key Challenges was identified and prioritized (see Chapter 3).

  • Strategic Objective. The Strategic Objectives described in the first section of this chapter were used as the primary criteria for assessing the national importance of each R&T Challenge.

  • Why NASA? Four criteria (supporting infrastructure, mission alignment, lack of alternative sponsorship, and appropriate level of risk) were used to determine how appropriate it is for NASA to address each R&T Challenge. The scores assigned to these four criteria were averaged to create a single “Why NASA?” score for each Challenge.

  • R&T Thrust. Thrusts describe threads of commonality among R&T Challenges within each Area (see Chapter 3).

  • Common Theme. Common Themes are used to group cross-cutting Challenges from more than one R&T Area (see Chapter 4). These Themes do not encompass all the high-priority Challenges, because some high-priority Challenges did not have closely linked challenges in other Areas.

  • Milestone. Milestones for each Challenge are included in the detailed descriptions that appear in Appendixes A through E. These milestones are intended to indicate levels of achievement that demonstrate important advances in capability rather than detailed programmatic progress.

FIGURE 1-1 Terminology breakdown tree.

Energy and the environment refer to minimizing the negative impact of air transportation on Earth, its atmosphere, and its natural resources. This objective also includes the search for alternative fuels should petroleum-derived fuels become a constraint on air transportation. The goal is to reduce noise, emissions, and hazardous waste products (such as coolants and retired aircraft components), as well as fuel use per passenger seat mile and cargo ton mile.

Synergy with national and homeland security refers to the added value of specific aeronautical research when it helps to achieve the first four goals while also helping to achieve the goals of the DoD and the DHS. Because the steering

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