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OCR for page 147
Materials Needs and R&D Strategy for Future Military Aerospace Propulsion Systems A Statement of Task The committee will: Examine whether current and planned U.S. R&D efforts in materials for aerospace propulsion are sufficient (a) to meet U.S. military needs and (b) to keep the U.S. on the leading edge of propulsion technology. Consider mechanisms for the timely insertion of materials in propulsion systems and, if necessary, how these mechanisms might be improved. Consider mechanisms in place that retain intellectual property (IP) securely and how IP might be secured in future R&D programs. Describe the general elements of an R&D strategy to develop materials for future military aerospace propulsion systems. The committee will consider both air breathing and self contained fuel/oxidizer systems including scramjet capabilities and take account of: (a) fuel-efficiency and materials-technology challenges at both subsonic and supersonic (up to Mach 5); (b) findings and recommendations in the recent NRC report entitled A Review of United States Air Force and Department of Defense Aerospace Propulsion Needs issued in 2006; (c) the impact of current non-U.S. investments in propulsion materials technologies; (d) the lead time for insertion of new materials into aerospace propulsion technologies and what would it take to shorten the timeline, if it is too long; and (e) the evolution of U.S. R&D on materials for aerospace propulsion with due consideration of:
OCR for page 148
Materials Needs and R&D Strategy for Future Military Aerospace Propulsion Systems Historic funding levels; Government agencies involved; Government investments (for both defense and civil applications) and industrial investments in propulsion R&D; and Outside drivers such as non-defense and non-NASA investments and needs.