1
Introduction

This report, which assesses aeronautics research conducted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), was prepared in response to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2005 (Public Law 109-155), which directed NASA to enter into an arrangement with the National Research Council (NRC) for an assessment of aeronautics research. The specific purpose of this report is, in large part, to assess how well NASA’s aeronautics research program is addressing the challenges and implementing the recommendations from the Decadal Survey of Civil Aeronautics (NRC, 2006). It is focused on answering three key questions from the statement of task:1

  1. How well does NASA’s research portfolio implement appropriate recommendations and address relevant highest-priority research and technology (R&T) challenges identified in the NRC Decadal Survey of Civil Aeronautics? If gaps are found, what steps should be taken by the federal government to eliminate them?

  2. How well does NASA’s aeronautics research portfolio address the aeronautics research requirements of NASA, particularly for robotic and human space exploration? How well does NASA’s aeronautics research portfolio address other federal government department/agency non-civil aeronautics research needs? If gaps are found, what steps should be taken by NASA and/or other parts of the federal government to eliminate them? In order to answer this question the committee will identify and prioritize requirements for such research that fall within the scope of NASA’s Aeronautics Research Program. To assist in the identification of such research requirements, NASA will provide the NRC with a list of its current research activities that contribute to these areas no later than March 12, 2007. It is likely that much of this research will be “dual use” or even “triple use,” meaning that the research may provide benefit to the civil aeronautics community, and/or the space exploration community, and/or departments and agencies with non-civil aeronautics research needs.

  3. Will the nation have a skilled research workforce and research facilities commensurate with the requirements in (1) and (2) above? What critical improvements in workforce expertise and research facilities, if any, should NASA and the nation make to achieve the goals of NASA’s research program?

In answering the above questions, the committee that produced this report considered information contained in the National Aeronautics Research and Development Policy (NSTC, 2006), which was not available when the Decadal Survey of Civil Aeronautics was published. To a lesser extent, the

1

The complete statement of task appears in Appendix A.



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1 Introduction This report, which assesses aeronautics research conducted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), was prepared in response to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2005 (Public Law 109-155), which directed NASA to enter into an arrangement with the National Research Council (NRC) for an assessment of aeronautics research. The specific pur- pose of this report is, in large part, to assess how well NASA’s aeronautics research program is addressing the challenges and implementing the recommendations from the Decadal Surey of Ciil Aeronautics (NRC, 2006). It is focused on answering three key questions from the statement of task: 1 1. How well does NASA’s research portfolio implement appropriate recommendations and address relevant highest-priority research and technology (R&T) challenges identified in the NRC Decadal Surey of Ciil Aero- nautics? If gaps are found, what steps should be taken by the federal government to eliminate them? 2. How well does NASA’s aeronautics research portfolio address the aeronautics research requirements of NASA, particularly for robotic and human space exploration? How well does NASA’s aeronautics research portfolio address other federal government department/agency non-civil aeronautics research needs? If gaps are found, what steps should be taken by NASA and/or other parts of the federal government to eliminate them? In order to answer this question the committee will identify and prioritize requirements for such research that fall within the scope of NASA’s Aeronautics Research Program. To assist in the identification of such research requirements, NASA will provide the NRC with a list of its current research activities that contribute to these areas no later than March 12, 2007. It is likely that much of this research will be “dual use” or even “triple use,” meaning that the research may provide benefit to the civil aeronautics community, and/or the space exploration community, and/or departments and agencies with non-civil aeronautics research needs. 3. Will the nation have a skilled research workforce and research facilities commensurate with the require- ments in (1) and (2) above? What critical improvements in workforce expertise and research facilities, if any, should NASA and the nation make to achieve the goals of NASA’s research program? In answering the above questions, the committee that produced this report considered informa- tion contained in the National Aeronautics Research and Deelopment Policy (NSTC, 2006), which was not available when the Decadal Surey of Ciil Aeronautics was published. To a lesser extent, the 1The complete statement of task appears in Appendix A. 

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0 NASA AERONAUTICS RESEARCH—AN ASSESSMENT committee also considered information contained in the National Plan for Aeronautics Research and Deelopment and Related Infrastructure (NSTC, 2007), which was released as this report was being finalized. As described below, this study considers how the principles contained in the National Policy and the National Plan might affect the ranking of R&T challenges in the Decadal Surey. However, it was beyond the scope of this study to validate the substance of the challenges contained in the Decadal Surey or to consider other R&T challenges not contained in that report, except in response to questions 2 and 3, above. Neither did this study attempt to assess the effectiveness of the management structure of the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) or the current organization of ARMD research into various projects and programs, as described below. OVERVIEW OF THE DECADAL SURVEY OF CIVIL AERONAUTICS The Decadal Surey of Ciil Aeronautics (NRC, 2006) presents a set of strategic objectives that the next decade of research and technology development should strive to achieve. It also provides a set of the highest-priority R&T challenges—characterized by five common themes—and an analysis of key barriers that must be overcome to reach the strategic objectives. The purpose of the Decadal Surey is to develop a foundation for the future—a decadal strategy for the federal government’s involvement in civil aeronautics, with a particular emphasis on NASA’s research portfolio. The Decadal Surey of Ciil Aeronautics also includes guidance on how federal resources allocated for aeronautics research should be distributed between in-house and external organizations, how aero- nautics research can take advantage of advances in crosscutting technology funded by federal agencies and private industry, and how far along the development and technology readiness path federal agencies should advance key aeronautics technologies. It also provides a set of overall findings and recommenda- tions to provide a cumulative, integrated view of civil aeronautics R&T challenges and priorities. The Decadal Surey focuses on five areas that encompass the R&T of greatest relevance to civil aeronautics: • Area A: Aerodynamics and aeroacoustics. • Area B: Propulsion and power. • Area C: Materials and structures. • Area D: Dynamics, navigation, and control, and avionics. • Area E: Intelligent and autonomous systems, operations and decision making, human integrated systems, and networking and communications. The Decadal Surey then identifies and prioritizes within each area a set of key R&T challenges accord- ing to their ability to accomplish strategic objectives for U.S. aeronautics research. At the time the study was conducted, the federal government had yet to define what those strategic objectives should be. Therefore, in order to conduct the ranking, the authors of the Decadal Surey identified and defined six strategic objectives that, in their estimation, should motivate and guide the next decade of civil aeronautics research in the United States, pending the release of a national research and development (R&D) plan for aeronautics.2 The six strategic objectives from the Decadal Surey of Ciil Aeronautics are as follows (NRC, 2006, p. 1): 2In the same way, the research plans for the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NGATS) Air Traffic Management (ATM)-Airportal and ATM-Airspace Projects were prepared before the Next Generation Air Transportation System Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO) had formally established R&D requirements. As a result the Airportal and Airspace Projects are a good-faith effort to meet expected JPDO requirements in both content and timing, pending release of an R&D

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 INTRODUCTION • Increase capacity. • Improve safety and reliability. • Increase efficiency and performance. • Reduce energy consumption and environmental impact. • Take advantage of synergies with national and homeland security. • Support the space program. A quality function deployment (QFD) process3 was used to identify and rank-order a total of 89 R&T challenges in relation to their potential to achieve the above strategic objectives. The Decadal Surey recommends that NASA use the 51 highest-priority challenges as the foundation for the future of NASA’s civil aeronautics research program during the next decade (see Table 1-1). The Decadal Surey of Ciil Aeronautics identifies several R&T challenges that are a high national priority, but they are not a high priority for NASA. This was the case if the challenge was poorly aligned with NASA’s mission, if other organizations were likely to overcome the challenge, if NASA lacked the supporting infrastructure to investigate a particular challenge, and/or if the level of risk associated with the challenge was inappropriate for NASA research.4 The following challenges from the Decadal Surey fall into this category (i.e., high national priority, but not a high NASA priority): 5 • B11. Alternative fuels and additives for propulsion that could broaden fuel sources and/or lessen environmental impact • B13. Improved propulsion system tolerance to weather, inlet distortion, wake ingestion, bird strike, and foreign object damage • C11. Novel coatings • C13. Advanced airframe alloys • D11. Secure network-centric avionics architectures and systems to provide low-cost, efficient, fault-tolerant, onboard communications systems for data link and data transfer • D13. More efficient certification processes for complex systems • E11. Automated systems and dynamic strategies to facilitate allocation of airspace and airport resources • E13. Feasibility of deploying an affordable broad-area, precision navigation capability compatible with international standards • E17. Change management techniques applicable to the U.S air transportation system Given the statement of task for this study, this report does not address NASA research as it relates to the above challenges or other challenges that are not included in Table 1-1 (except for four challenges that are addressed in Appendix C). The Decadal Surey also makes eight recommendations (see Box 1-1) that summarize action neces- sary to properly prioritize civil aeronautics R&T and achieve the relevant strategic objectives. requirements document by the JPDO. Likewise, the committee’s assessments necessarily reflect the status of those projects at that point in their evolution. 3QFD is a group decision-making methodology often used in product design. 4The Decadal Surey of Ciil Aeronautics assumes that risk is too low for NASA if it is so low that industry can easily complete the research, and the risk is too high if the scientific and technical hurdles are so high that there is very little chance of success. 5The numbering of the challenges here and throughout this report is in accordance with the numbering scheme in the Decadal Surey of Ciil Aeronautics (NRC, 2006).

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TABLE 1-1 Fifty-One Highest-Priority Research and Technology (R&T) Challenges for NASA Aeronautics, Prioritized by R&T Area  Area E. Intelligent and Autonomous Systems, Operations and Decision Area D. Making, Human Integrated Area A. Area B. Area C. Dynamics, Navigation, and Systems, Networking and Aerodynamics and Aeroacoustics Propulsion and Power Materials and Structures Control, and Avionics Communications A1 Integrated system B1a Quiet propulsion C1 Integrated vehicle D1 Advanced guidance E1 Methodologies, tools, and performance through systems health management systems simulation and modeling novel propulsion-airframe B1b Ultraclean gas C2 Adaptive materials and D2 Distributed decision capabilities to design and integration turbine combustors to morphing structures making, decision evaluate complex interactive A2 Aerodynamic performance reduce gaseous and C3 Multidisciplinary making under systems improvement through particulate emissions analysis, design, and uncertainty, and flight- E2 New concepts and methods transition, boundary-layer, in all flight segments optimization path planning and of separating, spacing, and and separation control B3 Intelligent engines C4 Next-generation prediction sequencing aircraft A3 Novel aerodynamic and mechanical power polymers and D3 Aerodynamics and E3 Appropriate roles of humans configurations that enable systems capable composites vehicle dynamics and automated systems high-performance and/or of self-diagnosis C5 Noise prediction and via closed-loop flow for separation assurance, flexible multimission aircraft and reconfiguration suppression control including the feasibility and A4a Aerodynamic designs and between shop visits C6a Innovative high- D4 Intelligent and merits of highly automated flow control schemes to B4 Improved propulsion temperature metals adaptive flight control separation assurance reduce aircraft and rotor system fuel economy and environmental techniques systems noise B5 Propulsion systems coatings D5 Fault-tolerant and E4 Affordable new sensors, A4b Accuracy of prediction of for short takeoff and C6b Innovative load integrated vehicle system technologies, and aerodynamic performance vertical lift suppression, and health management procedures to improve the of complex 3-D B6a Variable-cycle vibration and systems prediction and measurement configurations, including engines to expand the aeromechanical D6 Improved onboard of wake turbulence improved boundary-layer operating envelope stability control weather systems and E5 Interfaces that ensure transition and turbulence B6b Integrated power and C8 Structural innovations tools effective information sharing models and associated thermal management for high-speed D7 Advanced and coordination among design tools systems rotorcraft communication, ground-based and airborne A6 Aerodynamics robust to B8 Propulsion systems for C9 High-temperature navigation, and human and machine agents atmospheric disturbances supersonic flight ceramics and coatings surveillance E6 Vulnerability analysis as and adverse weather B9 High-reliability, high- C10 Multifunctional technology an integral element in conditions, including icing performance, and materials D8 Human–machine the architecture design A7a Aerodynamic configurations high-power-density integration and simulations of the air to leverage advantages of aircraft electric power D9 Synthetic and transportation system formation flying systems enhanced vision E7 Adaptive ATM techniques A7b Accuracy of wake vortex B10 Combined-cycle systems to minimize the impact of prediction, and vortex hypersonic propulsion D10 Safe operation of weather by taking better detection and mitigation systems with mode unmanned air vehicles advantage of improved techniques transition in the national probabilistic forecasts A9 Aerodynamic performance airspace E8a Transparent and collaborative for V/STOL and ESTOL, decision support systems including adequate control E8b Using operational and power maintenance data to assess A10 Techniques for reducing/ leading indicators of safety mitigating sonic boom E8c Interfaces and procedures through novel aircraft that support human operators shaping in effective task and attention A11 Robust and efficient management multidisciplinary design tools NOTE: ATM, air traffic management; V/STOL, vertical and/or short takeoff and landing; ESTOL, extremely short takeoff and landing. SOURCE: Reprinted from NRC (2006), Table ES-1.

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 INTRODUCTION BOX 1-1 Recommendations to Achieve Strategic Objectives for Civil Aeronautics Research and Technology, from the Decadal Survey of Civil Aeronautics 1. NASA should use the 51 challenges listed in Table ES-1 as the foundation for the future of NASA’s civil aeronautics research program during the next decade.a 2. The U.S. government should place a high priority on establishing a stable aeronautics R&T plan, with the expectation that the plan will receive sustained funding for a decade or more, as necessary, for activities that are demonstrating satisfactory progress. 3. NASA should use five Common Themes to make the most efficient use of civil aeronautics R&T resources: • Physics-based analysis tools • Multidisciplinary design tools • Advanced configurations • Intelligent and adaptive systems • Complex interactive systems 4. NASA should support fundamental research to create the foundations for practical certification standards for new technologies. 5. The U.S. government should align organizational responsibilities as well as develop and implement techniques to improve change management for federal agencies and to assure a safe and cost- effective transition to the air transportation system of the future. 6. NASA should ensure that its civil aeronautics R&T plan features the substantive involvement of uni- versities and industry, including a more balanced allocation of funding between in-house and external organizations than currently exists. 7. NASA should consult with non-NASA researchers to identify the most effective facilities and tools appli- cable to key aeronautics R&T projects and should facilitate collaborative research to ensure that each project has access to the most appropriate research capabilities, including test facilities; computational models and facilities; and intellectual capital, available from NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Defense, and other interested research organizations in government, industry, and academia. 8. The U.S. government should conduct a high-level review of organizational options for ensuring U.S. leadership in civil aeronautics. aThese 51 challenges are listed in Table 1-1 in the present report. SOURCE: NRC (2006), p. 3. The strategic objectives defined in the Decadal Surey are closely linked to the seven principles embodied in the National Aeronautics Research and Deelopment Policy (NSTC, 2006) and the National Plan for Aeronautics Research and Deelopment and Related Infrastructure (NSTC, 2007), which were released subsequent to publication of the Decadal Surey. Those principles are as follows (NSTC, 2006, pp. 7-8; NSTC, 2007, pp. 1-2): • Aviation safety is paramount. • Mobility through the air is vital to economic stability, growth, and security as a nation. • Assuring energy availability and efficiency is central to the growth of the aeronautics enterprise.

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 NASA AERONAUTICS RESEARCH—AN ASSESSMENT TABLE 1-2 Comparison of the Strategic Objectives from the Decadal Survey of Civil Aeronautics with the Principles from the National Aeronautics Research and Development Policy and the National Plan for Aeronautics Research and Development and Related Infrastructure Strategic Objectives: Decadal Surveya Principles: National Policyb and National Planc • • Increase capacity. Mobility through the air is vital to economic stability, growth, and security as a nation. • • Improve safety and reliability. Aviation safety is paramount. • • Increase efficiency and performance. Assuring energy availability and efficiency is central to the growth of the aeronautics enterprise. • • Reduce energy consumption and The environment must be protected while sustaining growth in air environmental impact. transportation. • • Take advantage of synergies with Aviation is vital to national security and homeland defense. • national and homeland security. Security of and within the aeronautics enterprise must be maintained. • Support the space program. • The United States should continue to possess, rely on, and develop its world-class aeronautics workforce. aNRC (2006), p. 1. bNSTC (2006), pp. 7-8. cNSTC (2007), pp. 1-2. • The environment must be protected while sustaining growth in air transportation. • Aviation is vital to national security and homeland defense. • Security of and within the aeronautics enterprise must be maintained. • The United States should continue to possess, rely on, and develop its world-class aeronautics workforce. As shown in Table 1-2 and detailed in Appendix C, there is good correlation between the strategic objectives of the Decadal Surey and the key principles of the National Plan; the only exceptions are “support for the space program” (which appears in the Decadal Surey) and “world-class aeronautics workforce” (which appears in the National Policy and the National Plan, although the National Plan includes no research goals or objectives related to this principle).6 In addition, at the next level of detail, there are some differences between (1) the goals that the National Plan establishes to implement its principles and (2) the highest-priority R&T challenges that the Decadal Surey establishes for NASA to achieve the Decadal Surey’s strategic objectives. For example, the National Plan includes the fol- lowing as a goal: Enable new aviation fuels derived from diverse and domestic resources to improve fuel supply security and price stability (NSTC, 2007, p. 27). 6TheNational Plan for Aeronautics Research and Deelopment and Related Infrastructure notes that “aerospace workforce issues are being explored by the Aerospace Revitalization Task Force led by the Department of Labor pursuant to Public Law 109-420” (NSTC, 2007, p. 2).

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 INTRODUCTION The Decadal Surey notes the following: Challenge B11 (alternative fuels and additives for propulsion that could broaden fuel sources and/or lessen environmental impact) is clearly an important national priority. It was ranked lower as a NASA priority because the Department of Energy will need to take the lead in establishing the national infrastructure for an alternative fuel and because the combustion research needed to develop such a fuel will take much less time than putting an alternative fuel infrastructure in place. Furthermore, aviation fuels are likely to have a first call on petroleum supplies should they become scarce, so that the use of alternative fuels for aviation is likely to follow their widespread use for ground-based applications, which would place less stringent demands on weight, volume, reliability, safety, and certification of new systems and technologies. (NRC, 2006, p. 29) Accordingly, even though the Decadal Surey ranked alternative fuels as a top-10 challenge in terms of national priority (in the Propulsion and Power area), alternative fuels failed to make the cut as a highest-priority challenge for NASA, and the Decadal Surey does not recommend that NASA take on alternative fuels as a high-priority research topic at this time. This committee investigated whether the 51 highest-priority R&T challenges in the Decadal Surey of Ciil Aeronautics remain valid in light of the National Policy and the National Plan. To do so, the 89 R&T challenges from the Decadal Surey were tentatively reranked on the basis of the principles in the National Policy and the National Plan. As detailed in Appendix C, only four R&T challenges not previously ranked among the top 51 moved into the top 51. This does not mean that the list of the 51 highest-priority challenges should actually be adjusted, because the reranking described in Appendix C did not include additional deliberations on the merits and priorities of particular challenges, and those deliberations were a critical part of validating and final- izing the rankings in the Decadal Surey. Rather, the results of this exercise validate the rankings in the Decadal Surey, because it seems clear that even if the National Policy and the National Plan had been issued prior to the Decadal Surey, the rankings in the Decadal Surey would be essentially the same, with perhaps just a few changes for some of the R&T challenges that the Decadal Surey ranks near the dividing line between those challenges that were included in the group of the 51 highest-priority R&T challenges and those that were not. Finding. The strategic objectives used to set research priorities in the Decadal Surey of Ciil Aero- nautics, the weighting of those objectives, and the ranking of research and technology challenges in the Decadal Surey of Ciil Aeronautics are consistent with the R&D principles and priorities established by the National Aeronautics Research and Deelopment Policy and the National Plan for Aeronautics Research and Deelopment and Related Infrastructure that will implement the policy. ORGANIZATION OF NASA’S AERONAUTICS RESEARCH ARMD manages NASA’s aeronautics research portfolio, which includes 10 projects organized into three programs: • Fundamental Aeronautics Program — Subsonic Fixed Wing (SFW) Project — Subsonic Rotary Wing (SRW) Project — Supersonics Project — Hypersonics Project

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 NASA AERONAUTICS RESEARCH—AN ASSESSMENT • Airspace Systems Program — Next Generation Air Transportation System (NGATS)7 Air Traffic Management (ATM)-Airportal Project — NGATS ATM-Airspace Project • Aviation Safety Program — Integrated Vehicle Health Management (IVHM) Project — Integrated Intelligent Flight Deck (IIFD) Project — Integrated Resilient Aircraft Control (IRAC) Project — Aircraft Aging and Durability Project In addition, ARMD manages the Aeronautics Test Program (ATP), which is intended to preserve key aeronautics testing capabilities. Each of ARMD’s 10 projects includes milestones at four levels: Level 1. Foundational physics and modeling. Level 2. Discipline-level capabilities. Level 3. Multidisciplinary capabilities. Level 4. System design. The substance of each project is described in reference documents that NASA issued in May 2006 in support of a NASA Research Announcement (NRA) entitled “Research Opportunities in Aero- nautics.” Each document contains technical plans and milestones. The committee that produced this report reviewed the most current version of these documents (see NASA [2006a,b,c,d,e,f,g] and NASA [2007a,b,c]) and received briefings from the principal investigators (PIs) leading each of ARMD’s 10 projects regarding the current status of the programs. The committee also familiarized itself with NRAs issued by the projects to solicit proposals for external research. However, the committee relied primarily on the reference documents and PI briefings to define the content of the projects, in part because the NRA solicitations are not a commitment to fund research in any particular area. Finding. NASA’s aeronautics program responds to many requirements related to many missions and in support of many users. For the most part, these requirements have not been formally established. The National Aeronautics Research and Deelopment Policy establishes high-level objectives, and the National Plan for Aeronautics Research and Deelopment and Related Infrastructure takes this down to the next level of detail. The Decadal Surey of Ciil Aeronautics includes a third level of detail, in the form of milestones associated with each R&T challenge, as well as additional recommendations. The committee supplemented its review of the above documents through discussions with other orga- nizations—both within and outside NASA. These discussions led to a deeper understanding of what NASA’s research requirements are (or should be) and an assessment of NASA’s progress in meeting these requirements. Discussions were held with staff from the NASA Headquarters Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, Space Operations Mission Director- ate, and Science Mission Directorate; each of NASA’s 10 aeronautics research projects; congressional 7The Next Generation Air Transportation System is now most commonly abbreviated as NextGen, but the titles of NASA’s related research projects still feature the old acronym, NGATS.

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 INTRODUCTION committees; the Office of Management and Budget; the Office of Science and Technology Policy; the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO); and the U.S. Air Force. The committee also relied on the expertise and experience of its members. For example, half of the members participated in authoring the NRC’s Decadal Surey (to provide continuity with that study), and the other half were not veterans of the earlier effort (to ensure that the committee could view the issues and the Decadal Surey with a fresh perspective). RESOURCE CONSIDERATIONS Implementing all of the recommendations contained in the Decadal Surey of Ciil Aeronautics and in the present report, NASA Aeronautics Research: An Assessment, will be very difficult, in part because, in accordance with the statement of task for the Decadal Surey, that earlier work identifies highest-priority R&T challenges without considering the cost or affordability of meeting the chal- lenges. In addition, the committee that produced this new report requested from NASA comprehensive information on the NASA personnel and budget resources assigned to specific research tasks. Instead of providing this information, NASA directed the committee to assume that NASA would devote the resources necessary to accomplish the milestones described in the program plans that NASA provided to the study committee. NASA must determine how to respond to a vast array of worthwhile research possibilities within the constraints of budget, facilities, workforce composition, and federal policies. The committee, while not constrained by these factors, was sensitive to them and attempted to craft its recommendations within reasonable bounds in all of these dimensions. Even so, the Decadal Surey and this assessment of NASA’s aeronautics research would have been strengthened if the authoring committees had been directed to give some consideration to the likely cost and affordability of various challenges. This is normally the case when the NRC conducts decadal surveys for NASA related to space science. For example, cost realism was a “critical consideration” in developing the research strategy put forth in the last decadal on solar and space physics (NRC, 2003). The study that produced that report was designed “to ensure that its recommended research strategy is consistent with the anticipated budgets of the vari- ous federal agencies” (NRC, 2003, p. 53). For whatever reasons, the Decadal Surey of Ciil Aeronautics was designed such that cost real- ism was not included as a factor in setting its priorities. This report assesses whether NASA’s plans for aeronautics research are consistent with the R&T challenges from the Decadal Surey, but it provides only a limited view of how well NASA is implementing those plans. For example, this committee obtained staffing levels for several projects, and the staffing levels assigned to the various elements of some projects seemed to be inconsistent with the proposed content of the research plan and the mile- stones contained therein. Other decadal surveys that the NRC routinely produces for NASA in the space sciences consider budgetary factors in formulating their findings and recommendations, and it may be worthwhile to follow that model in future decadal surveys for aeronautics research. REPORT OVERVIEW Chapter 1 of this assessment describes the context in which the report was written. Chapter 2 evaluates how well each of NASA’s 10 aeronautics research projects supports the 51 highest-priority R&T challenges from the Decadal Surey of Ciil Aeronautics, as well as NASA’s response to the eight overall recommendations in the Decadal Surey. In addition, the section entitled

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 NASA AERONAUTICS RESEARCH—AN ASSESSMENT “Space and Non-Civil Aeronautics Research” addresses NASA’s own requirements for aeronautics research (including robotic and human space exploration) and the needs of other federal government departments and agencies for non-civil aeronautics research. Chapter 3 addresses workforce and facility issues. Chapter 4 identifies key gaps that must be eliminated for NASA’s aeronautics program to meet key goals in terms of the R&T challenges from the Decadal Surey of Ciil Aeronautics as well as internal NASA requirements for aeronautics research and the requirements that NASA is expected to satisfy in support of aeronautics research by other federal agencies. Chapter 4 also includes general recommenda- tions for improving NASA’s research. Appendix A contains the study statement of task. Appendix B provides a short professional biography for each of the committee members. Appendix C evaluates how well each of NASA’s 10 aeronautics research projects supports four R&T challenges that might have been included among the top 51 if the National Aeronautics Research and Deelopment Policy and the National Plan for Aeronautics Research and Deelopment and Related Infrastructure had been available in time to be considered in the prepara- tion of the Decadal Surey of Ciil Aeronautics. Appendix D is a list of acronyms. In summary, implementing all of the recommendations contained in the Decadal Surey of Ciil Aeronautics and in this report will be very difficult, because of constraints in terms of overall budget, the existing set of NASA centers, limitations on the ability to transfer staff positions among centers, and limitations on the ability to compete with the private sector in terms of financial compensation in some critical fields. Even so, NASA is already supporting a great deal of worthwhile research, and ongoing research will be very important, for example, to the critical work of the NextGen JPDO. The committee also recognizes that NASA’s ARMD has staff who are talented, hardworking, and committed to excel- lence in aeronautics to serve the nation and the national aeronautics enterprise. REFERENCES NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration). 2006a. Aviation Safety Program, Aircraft Aging & Durability Project Technical Plan Summary. Washington, D.C.: NASA Headquarters, Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. Available online at . NASA. 2006b. Aviation Safety Program, Integrated Intelligent Flight Deck Technical Plan Summary. Washington, D.C.: NASA Headquarters, Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. Available online at . NASA. 2006c. Fundamental Aeronautics, Hypersonics Project Reference Document. Washington, D.C.: NASA Headquarters, Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. Available online at . NASA. 2006d. Fundamental Aeronautics Program, Subsonic Fixed Wing Project Reference Document. Washington, D.C.: NASA Headquarters, Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. Available online at . NASA. 2006e. Fundamental Aeronautics, Subsonic Rotary Wing Reference Document. Washington, D.C.: NASA Headquarters, Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. Available online at . NASA. 2006f. Fundamental Aeronautics Program, Supersonics Project Reference Document. Washington, D.C.: NASA Headquarters, Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. Available online at . NASA. 2006g. Next Generation Air Transportation System (NGATS) Air Traffic Management (ATM)-Airspace Project Reference Material, External Release Version. Version 6.0. Washington, D.C.: NASA Headquarters, Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. Available online at . NASA. 2007a. Aviation Safety Program, Integrated Resilient Aircraft Control: “Stability, Maneuverability, and Safe Landing in the Presence of Adverse Conditions.” Washington, D.C.: NASA Headquarters, Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. Available online at . NASA. 2007b. Aviation Safety Program, Integrated Vehicle Health Management Technical Plan Summary. Washington, D.C.: NASA Head- quarters, Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. Available online at . NASA. 2007c. Next Generation Air Transportation System (NGATS) Air Traffic Management (ATM)-Airportal Project Reference Material, External Release Version. Version 8.5. Washington, D.C.: NASA Headquarters, Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. Available online at . NRC (National Research Council). 2003. The Sun to the Earth—and Beyond: A Decadal Research Strategy in Solar and Space Physics. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press. Available online at .

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 INTRODUCTION NRC. 2006. Decadal Survey of Civil Aeronautics: Foundation for the Future. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press. Available online at . NSTC (National Science and Technology Council). 2006. National Aeronautics Research and Development Policy. Washington, D.C.: Office of Science and Technology Policy. Available online at . NSTC. 2007. National Plan for Aeronautics Research and Development and Related Infrastructure. Washington, D.C.: Office of Science and Technology Policy. Available online at .