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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century 3 Technology Assessments and Forecasts In the request that initiated the STAR study, the first item was to identify the advanced technologies most likely to be important to ground warfare in the twenty-first century. The STAR study included eight technology groups that focused on particular areas of technology. These groups assessed the state of the art and forecast the technology that was likely to be available within 10 to 15 years, so it could be included in Army systems by 2020. All advanced technologies with major Army applications were divided into the following eight technology groups: Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics; Electronics and Sensors; Optics, Photonics, and Directed Energy; Biotechnology and Biochemistry; Advanced Materials; Propulsion and Power; Advanced Manufacturing; and Environmental and Atmospheric Sciences. Each group reported its work in a Technology Forecast Assessment (TFA). After the TFAs for the eight areas had been prepared, a panel drawn from the Science and Technology Subcommittee met to forecast potential long-term trends in research that might not produce useful technology until well after the 10 to 15-year time horizon of
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century the other TFAs. The eight area-specific TFAs and the Long-Term Forecast of Research are bound together as a separate volume of the STAR publications. In this chapter the STAR Committee summarizes what it considers to be the key findings of the Long-Term Forecast Panel and the technology groups, with particular emphasis on their responsiveness to the STAR mandate. The summaries are organized by sections corresponding to the individual reports. For the sake of brevity, much supporting detail has been omitted; the STAR Committee urges readers interested in particular findings to study them in the context of the full report. LONG-TERM FORECAST OF RESEARCH Scope of the Long-Term Forecast The Long-Term Forecast of Research represents the best guesses of a panel of experts on the directions in which technology of interest to the U.S. Army may progress during the next 30 years or more. The principal objective of this report was to highlight significant trends rather than forecast specific technological advances. The forecast panel identified 11 major trends that cut across the traditional boundaries between scientific or technical disciplines. These are discussed below as major multidisciplinary trends. In addition, a number of narrower discipline-specific trends within specific technology areas will have important consequences for future Army applications. In many cases these trends, which are summarized here, tie in with one or more of the major trends. Management of Basic Research The long-term forecast panel agreed that continued support of Army basic research (funding line 6.1) will be necessary if these research trends are to find fruition in Army-specific applications. Budgetary continuity and stability are crucial to achieving long-term objectives. Major Multidisciplinary Trends Trend 1: The Information Explosion The flow of information in preparation for ground warfare and during battle will continue to increase as intelligent sensors, unmanned
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century systems, computer-based communications, and other information-intensive systems proliferate. Data bases and their management software will progress beyond even object-oriented data bases to third-generation data bases with new modes of indexing stored data and more intelligence in interacting with the human user of the data base. Mixed machine-human learning will team the learning capabilities of a person with the rapid data-processing and analysis capabilities of a computer. The current limitations to practical application of artificial intelligence may be overcome if an adequate theory of representation creation can be developed and action-based semantics can be applied to the Army's battlefield information requirements. The in formation transmission bottleneck on the electronic battlefield calls for data compression techniques; semantics-based information compression would address this problem by assessing the value of information relative to the cost of transmitting or storing it. Trend 2: Computer-Based Simulation and Visualization Computer simulation of objects and processes, with graphical display of the computer-generated results, gives researchers a potent addition to the more traditional techniques of theory development and experimental evaluation. While computer simulation clearly depends on progress in computer hardware and mathematical algorithms, its growth also depends on understanding the basic principles governing the phenomena to be modeled. Long-term progress in integrating computation with science and engineering may require a broad-spectrum physical modeling language, rather than special-purpose simulation environments. Computer studies have already played a major role in modeling the behavior of nonlinear dynamic systems. This area of applied mathematics presents both limitations and opportunities for computer modeling of processes important for Army technology. For example, computer modeling will make possible detailed studies of how physical signals, such as light, radar, or sound, propagate in inhomogeneous media, such as the lower atmosphere or through forest canopies. In chemical research, the potential energy surface that characterizes a chemical reaction is a multidimensional mathematical function, which can be modeled and visualized for the researcher. But better methods are needed to approximate the relevant properties of complex molecular systems, and models are needed for reactions of
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century particular interest to the Army, such as combustion or detonation reactions at the surface of an explosive. Trend 3: Control of Nanoscale Processes As the features of microelectronic devices shrink to sizes measured in nanometers, new phenomena appear that alter how these devices behave. The particle-wave duality of this quantum world affects both physical and chemical behavior. For example, electron transport, which is essential to all electronic devices, becomes quantized at this scale. Structures no longer behave independently of neighboring structures; quantum mechanical phenomena such as quantum interference, tunneling, and ballistic transport occur. These changes set limits to the miniaturization of conventional semiconductor devices, but they also open opportunities for entirely new devices, such as atom clusters. Natural biomolecules such as enzymes, or variations bioengineered from them, are likely to provide the first generation of molecular recognition devices. Such a device will detect a single molecule of a particular chemical species or with any of a class of molecules with specified structural similarities. Nanoscale chemistry will also control surface reactions, including surface catalysis, through the design and production of layers having an exact placement of component atoms, ions, and molecules. These new ''nanoelectronic'' devices will operate at very low voltages and low currents; only a few electrons will suffice to differentiate between the 1 and 0 states of a binary digit. As the technology for quantum-based devices becomes available, subsequent steps will be to integrate them into "molecular" integrated circuits, then into monolithic integrated circuits (wafer-scale integration), which could conceivably have a trillion "devices" on a chip the size of a dime. Trend 4: Chemical Synthesis by Design This trend joins with trends 6 and 9 in an even more general trend: in the future, new materials will be designed at the molecular level for specific purposes, by designer-engineers using fundamental scientific relations between a structure and its functional capabilities. The realm of engineered chemicals will include both surface catalysts and enzyme-like catalytic molecules, whose specificity depends on their three-dimensional conformation. To support research into these structure-function relations, chemists will need to determine, by experiment and by derivation from quantum chemical theory, the three-dimensional
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century structure of complex molecules, including biomolecules. These structure determinations must be both rapid (on the order of hours or days) and at high resolution (on the order of angstroms). Trend 5: Design Technology for Complex Heterogeneous Systems If a system has many components and subsystems that vary markedly in physical and operational characteristics but must act as a functionally coherent whole, it can be considered a complex heterogeneous system. Modern combat vehicles, unmanned air vehicles carrying multiple smart sensors, and a theater air/missile defense system are all examples. At present, the design of such systems is largely a process of muddling through to an adequate result rather than a rational procedure derived from a testable theory. The mathematics of optimization theory can be improved but probably needs to be supplemented, or even supplanted, by other approaches. New approaches are needed for designing systems with robustness with respect to variation while taking into account the costs and benefits of marginal design information. Statistical approaches that seek "least-sensitive" solutions for a complex design problem hold some promise. But, they currently lack a clear theoretical foundation and may not apply if the system's behavior is nonlinear over its operating range. A radical departure would be to model the design process itself, rather than attempting to model the system to be designed. Another area worth exploring is the use of nonlinear modes of control for systems whose functional dynamic range includes areas of nonlinear response. Trend 6: Materials Design Through Computational Physics and Chemistry This trend combines, within the field of materials science, two other trends: the growth of computer simulation (trend 2) and the design of useful products by application of fundamental relations between structure and function (trend 4). For materials design, these structure-function relations include interatomic forces, phase stability relations, and the reaction kinetics that determine how complex processes evolve. Possibilities of interest to the Army include light-weight (half the density of steel) ductile intermetallics, new energetic materials superior to current explosives and propellants in energy density and safety, materials harder than diamond, and tough polymers with working ranges extending to 500°C.
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century Trend 7: Use of Hybrid Materials Also called composite materials, hybrid materials are especially attractive for Army applications because they can be designed for unique and special requirements. For example, the component phases of a hybrid can be altered, or the formation process can be modified, to improve performance in two or more dissimilar functions. The area of greatest technical novelty is that of smart structures. A network of sensors embedded in the structural phase of the composite acts like the sensory nerves of an animal's nervous system. A network of actuators allows properties of the structure to be altered, under the control of a microprocessor that reacts to the sensor signals, analogous to an animal brain. Trend 8: Advanced Manufacturing and Processing The above trends in designing materials, particularly hybrid materials, will be paralleled by trends in manufacturing fine-scale materials (at the scale of individual atoms) and thin-layer structures. Chemical synthesis methods such as sol-gel processing will be used, as will methods for controlling process energy precisely, such as laser processing. As nanoscale devices (trend 3) become available for sensors and actuators in hybrid materials, smart materials will be synthesized at a molecular level through application of principles such as self-assembly and molecular recognition. These principles were first studied in biological systems. Trend 9: Exploiting Relations Between Biomolecular Structure and Function The principles that relate the functions of biomolecules and tissue structural components to their molecular structure are now well enough understood to be used in designing materials. Among the potential applications are new battle gear for the soldier made from lighter and stronger fabrics, broad-spectrum vaccines and prophylactic medicines, sensors and diagnostic devices based on molecular recognition properties, and miniature motors and power supplies based on biological energy transduction mechanisms. Trend 10: Applying Principles of Biological Information Processing Biological systems receive, store, duplicate, respond to, and transmit information. The knowledge we have gained about the mecha-
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century nisms through which this information processing occurs will find practical applications. In the design of information systems, capabilities such as pattern recognition and selective abstraction of relevant data may use principles discovered from biological systems. Biological structures, natural or bioengineered, may be biocoupled with electromechanical and optoelectronic components (Figure 3-1). At even higher levels of information processing, a growing understanding of the biological basis for learning and memory may provide new models and techniques to improve training and performance for information-intensive tasks. Trend 11: Environmental Protection The Army will be affected by the general societal trend toward greater concern over environmental effects of toxic materials or disruptions of ecological balances. In the future, the Army will have increased responsibilities for ameliorating past environmental damage and minimizing new environmental contamination or degradation from its operations. Assessing the full impact of hazardous wastes, for example, will require development and verification of accurate models for the transport and fate of the target compounds in soil, air, water, and biota. Better methods to monitor and treat waste materials will be required. Discipline-Specific Trends In electronics, optics, and photonics, the directions for advanced sensor technology include conformal sensors and multispectral sensors, with onboard processors for data fusion and for mission-specific processing such as automatic target recognition. Future Army systems will use an integrated mixture of electronic, photonic, and acoustic devices to process both analog and digital output from a range of sensors gathering electromagnetic, acoustic, and magnetic signals (Figure 3-2). Active cancellation techniques will be used to reduce interfering background "noise" and unmask sources of interest. Extensive communications networking will require communication links with very wide bandwidths. Allied with the major trend in fine-structure manufacturing (see trend 8) will be advances in micropackaging and minifabrication of components, subassemblies, and entire nanoelectronic systems (trend 3). Methods for control of optical phenomena will provide faster, smaller, and more powerful architectures for digital data processing as optoelectronic technology expands. In aeromechanics, computer simulations on new supercomputer
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century FIGURE 3-1 Events in biodetection: biorecognition and biocoupling. (a) The biologically derived "detector" molecule is capable of a highly specific "recognition" interaction with a target molecule. (b) In the device's configuration, detector molecules are typically immobilized so recognition events can be monitored. (c) When a detector molecule combines with a target molecule, a unique physical /chemical change occurs in the detector-target complex. (d) This recognitionspecific change is measured by an appropriate technique, whose output is fed to the signal-amplification portion of the device. Biocoupling comprises the measurement of the physical/chemical change and the subsequent signal amplification.
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century architectures will allow modeling of rotorcraft vehicles in their operating environment. This greater computing power, combined with advances in computational fluid dynamics, composite structural dynamics, and aeroelasticity will contribute to the goal of complete aerostructural simulation (another example of trend 2). Propulsion and control technologies will make hypervelocity projectiles and missiles possible. More knowledge will be needed of phenomena associated with hypersonic passage through the lower atmosphere, electromagnetic radiative characteristics of hypersonic vehicles, and the impact and penetration by hypervelocity projectiles against anticipated targets. If unmanned air vehicles become important means for transporting sensors and as brilliant weapons, the Army will require theoretical and experimental data on aerodynamics at low Reynolds numbers. In molecular genetics, information deciphered from both human and nonhuman genes will have major implications of interest to the Army. The genetic blueprint information from nonhuman cells will be used in bioproduction of artificial products that mimic natural FIGURE 3-2 This microcircuit for an infrared detector that requires no special cooling makes possible night-vision equipment for infantry. Future infrared focal plane arrays will combine even more sophisticated image processing in a miniature sensor device. (Courtesy Texas Instruments Incorporated. Copyright © 1991 Texas Instruments Incorporated.)
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century materials and in the design and production of organisms with new or modified properties. Information about the human genome will yield new methods for preventing and treating diseases or the effects of CTBW agents. Artificial blood, skin, and bone, and perhaps even complex organs such as the liver or kidneys may be replaced by culturing an individual's own cells. In clinical medicine, new instruments and sensors will be used in diagnostic and therapeutic equipment. The miniaturization of sensors (see major trend 3) and sensor data fusion will allow physicians to measure chemical and physiological events at the cellular and subcellular levels as they happen. Army applications include detection of CTBW agents in the field, monitoring of soldiers' physiological condition, and improved diagnosis and resuscitation of the wounded and sick while they are in transport. In atmospheric sciences, high-resolution remote sensing of meteorological conditions will provide the data to initialize and validate computer models of the atmosphere on small spatial and temporal scales, for which the Army has special need. The validated computer model can then be used to improve sensor placement. By repeating this cycle, the sensor data-gathering and computer modeling activities will complement one another. The result should be increased understanding of small-scale weather conditions, including fog and cloud physics and more accurate representations of turbulence. In terrain sciences, sensor technology and information processing are again important, for both automated extraction of information from multiple imaging and three-dimensional representation of terrain data. A key addition to existing terrain data capabilities will be a near-real-time system to analyze and map changes in terrain surface conditions and trafficability. Such a system would use sensor data on rainfall, soil moisture monitors, and computer modeling of soil properties based on hydrologic and atmospheric conditions. COMPUTER SCIENCE, ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, AND ROBOTICS TFA Scope The Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics Technology Group assessed the following technologies: Integrated system development includes system development environments, design languages and compilers, problem-solving
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century strategies, simulation and optimization (in development), and the mathematics for representing and managing variation. Knowledge representation and languages includes mathematical representations of information and special-purpose languages, such as battle control languages. Network management concerns the management of multiple processors that pass digital data or other information (such as voice messages) to one another through interfaces. Distributed processing is the execution of a computation (a program or a number of computationally independent programs) on two or more processors. Usually the processors are part of a network. Human-machine interfaces include graphic displays, keyboards, control consoles, pointing devices, printers, audio outputs, and other means by which a computer or peripheral communicates to the human user or the user communicates to the machine. Robotics includes stationary and mobile systems, airborne or ground-based, that are controlled by onboard computer programs. They may be (1) autonomous, (2) supervised by an operator but operating autonomously for routine operations, or (3) under continual operator control (tele-operated). Their mission may require sensors and communication capabilities only, or they may have advanced processing and even weapons capabilities. Technologies to monitor are areas in which the Technology Group thought that nonmilitary R&D would lead the way and the Army could profitably use the results without funding research itself. These areas include machine learning and neural nets, data base management systems, ultra-high-performance serial and parallel computing, planning, manipulator design and control, knowledge-based systems, and natural language and speech. Technology Findings General Findings The battlefield of 2020 will use millions of computer systems and components. These systems, ranging from tiny microprocessors embedded in weapons to mobile command-and-control centers, will be ubiquitous, critical, and essential. They will be interlinked by a wide range of communications media. The effectiveness of individual soldiers in the future will be enhanced by computational tools that give them constant access to command-and-control centers, help them navigate, monitor their
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century trically energized guns as the technologies having the most potential to augment gun capability for the future Army. Liquid propellants are an evolutionary approach to gun propulsion technology. In the ongoing Army program, state-of-the-art gun barrel and recoil mechanisms can be used; only the breech must be redesigned. Liquid guns with 25-, 30-, and 105-mm rounds have been successfully demonstrated. Liquid propellants are relatively insensitive to shock, are stable in long-term storage, and offer a number of performance benefits. Further evolutionary improvements to the current technology are possible. Two new types of guns will use electrical energy, in whole or in part. In the electrothermal chemical (ETC) gun, as in a gun using conventional propellants, the projectile is accelerated by the high-pressure gases created in the gun tube. In an ETC gun these gases are created by the combustion of normally inert materials at the very high temperature of a plasma, which is created by a pulse of electrical power supplied to the gun breech. Provided the pressures can be tolerated, the ETC gun can achieve projectile velocities that are perhaps 30 to 40 percent higher than can be efficiently achieved with conventional propellants. This is certainly as high as is needed for field artillery systems. In the electromagnetic (EM) gun, the projectile is accelerated by electromagnetic pressure instead of gas pressure. EM guns have been demonstrated with very small projectiles at velocities of 7 km/s. With projectiles of the mass needed for air defense and antiarmor roles, velocities well over 2 km/s have been achieved. Currently, the pulse power conditioning unit for the EM gun is too bulky for compact ground vehicles, but it is expected to be reduced substantially in the next few years. On current evidence, both ETC and EM guns may have a place in the set of future Army armaments. Battle Zone Electric Power The future Army will require electrical power in the battle zone at levels from tens of watts for surveillance and communication to hundreds of megawatts for directed energy weapons. Mobility will be essential. For mobile continuous-power generation, the key to substantial weight reduction is to increase the generating and distribution frequency from the current standard of 60 Hz to 400 Hz or higher. Internal combustion turboshaft (gas turbine) engines, which are already in use for mobile electric power, offer more potential for the future than the alternatives (internal or external combustion piston
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century engines and fuel cells) for mobile continuous-power generation. A turbine running at 24,000 rpm can drive a 400-Hz alternator directly, without the heavy gearing now needed to drive 60-Hz alternators. Continued Army support for the IHPTET program (recommended above for aircraft propulsion technology) can realize the potential of this technology, when coupled with an aggressive effort to advance the technology for high-frequency, lightweight alternators, power conditioners, and distribution system. This effort could raise the power-to-weight ratio for mobile electric power units from the range of 0.05 kWe/kg (kilowatts electric per kilogram) for current 60-Hz gas turbine units to more than 3 kWe/kg. In power generation and distribution, the use of high voltages can also decrease weight; the conductor weight required for a given wattage decreases as the square of the voltage. Improvements in high-voltage semiconductor devices would allow an increase from the current limit of about 1 kV to levels at which a power-to-weight ratio of 5 kWe/kg would be possible for a mobile electric unit. As a primary power source, fuel cells would become practical only if a breakthrough occurs that would allow liquid hydrocarbons and air to fuel them. Directed energy devices and other electrically energized high-power systems of the future Army will require generators for pulsed and short-duration power whose average power for the duration of output ranges to hundreds of megawatts. In both the mass and bulk (volume), generators in this class are half prime power unit and half power conditioning unit. For the prime power unit, the technologies with the most promise for the Army were judged to be gas turbine engines (for energy production) and flywheels (for energy storage). For power conditioning, new, molecularly tailored solid state devices and improved methods of heat removal should make possible an order-of-magnitude reduction in weight. For power conditioning in pulsed or short-term generators, the Technology Group sees the development of high-temperature, high-power electronics as a crucial area. In particular, continued evolution along present lines must be pursued for capacitors, inverters, switches, and transformers. For each of these component types, the combination of high voltage, high frequency, and high power requires technology that is beyond the current state of the art but not out of reach. Energy Storage and Recovery Reducing the observable signature of power generation units in the battle zone will become increasingly important. Technologies that allow storage of power in low-signature devices, such as secondary
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century batteries or flywheels, will become critical for the short but intense conflicts on future battlefields. For example, mobile systems may move into position using internal combustion engines for locomotion; under battle conditions they would switch to their onboard energy storage devices. Of the storage device technologies reviewed by the Technology Group, rechargeable batteries and mobile (vehicular) flywheels were selected for their broad applicability to Army needs in 2020. Rechargeable (secondary) batteries capable of a large number of discharge/recharge cycles probably will play a far greater role in the future Army than they have in the past. The current state-of-the-art lead-acid battery needs to be replaced with an innovative technology. The Technology Group forecasts an increase in energy density by a factor of four or five and of power density by two or three for a new battery technology relative to current lead-acid batteries. It projected future (2020 time frame) performance parameters for five battery technologies now in the research stage. The anticipated advances in flywheel technology will come primarily from new composite materials with high ratios of tensile strength to weight (Figure 3-26). These materials will increase energy density FIGURE 3-26 Storage capacity of flywheels of different composition (tensile strength in parentheses) compared with lead-acid storage batteries. (SOURCE: Richard F. Post and Stephen F. Post, 1973, Flywheels. Sci. Am. 229:17–23.)
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century by an order of magnitude over flywheels made with high-strength steels. The cost of fabrication for composite flywheels should also decline dramatically over the next 30 years.5 ADVANCED MANUFACTURING TFA Scope The Technology Group for Advanced Manufacturing focused on the systems aspects of manufacturing rather than individual process technologies. Specifically, the Group reviewed the following topics: Key technologies include intelligent processing equipment, microfabrication and nanofabrication, flexible computer-integrated manufacturing, and systems management. Applications important to the Army include distributed and forward production facilities, rapid reaction to operational requirements, and parts copying. Issues in manufacturing technology include sources of supply, availability of materials and components, military versus civilian R&D industrial preparedness, capital investment and facilities, flexible production schedules, design for manufacturability, and environmental and legal issues. Technology Findings General Findings The focus for technological advances in the next generation of manufacturing will be on the inclusion of information systems with the energy systems and material management systems introduced by previous generations of technology. Instead of having only persons and machines involved in a manufacturing process, automated machinery now includes some form of computer control based on feedback from sensors. Adding information systems to manufacturing results in major improvements in accuracy, reliability, and quality. For example, auto- 5 The Mobility Systems Panel expressed reservations concerning the prospects for flywheel technology as forecast by the Propulsion and Power Technology Group. Technical difficulties may arise with the energy input and output mechanisms rather than with the flywheel itself.
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century mated machinery can (1) reduce the cost for increased functionality; (2) enable civilian specifications and quality standards high enough that separate military specifications are not necessary (which implies that civilian production facilities can be used for military production); and (3) significantly decrease the time from concept to deployed system. Because production lines can be tailored quickly, order quantities no longer must be large to be economical. Variations in products will neither add cost nor reduce reliability. Therefore, it becomes possible to customize weapons and support gear to fit a specific intended use in a specific environment, rather than requiring an item to fit a broad category of conditions for a design lifetime of 10 to 15 years. By changing response times for resupply from years to weeks, with the ability to customize for current needs, the inventory that must be maintained is sharply reduced. Technological advances in material transformation processes combine new scientific understanding of the underlying transformations with automated control systems to monitor and control the process. These changes in processing technology will accelerate three trends: (1) the ability to specify the attributes of a material ("designer materials") will broaden to include the ability to design and fabricate "designer parts"; (2) the information subsystems component of larger systems will increase; and (3) the reproducibility of processes and control information will increase the ability to model variations in process variables and predict system performance. Key Technologies Intelligent processing equipment can sense (i.e., monitor with appropriate sensors) important properties of the material that are altered by the process, and it has the intelligence to control changes in these properties. Although industrial robots are the most visible component of this technology, to perform they must be coupled with sensor systems and intelligent control systems. Microfabrication and nanofabrication involve manipulating and fabricating materials at the microscopic or atomic level, respectively. The next generation of integrated circuit chips will require these techniques (see TFA on Electronics and Sensors, above, and Basic Sciences, below). Microscopically applied films and surface treatments are used not only in microelectronics fabrication but also in metallurgy for low-friction bearings and other special characteristics. The potential for low cost and high sensitivity in new devices with microscopic dimensions will make possible microsensors for measur-
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century ing flow, pressure, chemical concentrations, and other parameters in mechanical, medical, and environmental applications. Flexible computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM) applies information systems technology to the levels of manufacturing integration above the level of intelligent processing equipment, which applies information control to a single process or workstation. A group of workstations, constituting a factory cell, can be organized around a set of related tasks or functions. Cells are combined into factory centers, which manage subassembly and system assembly operations. At each level, information systems coordinate the manufacturing elements. The CIM system as a whole oversees all the factory's operations, from workstations to cells to centers. To implement flexible CIM, the factory control systems are supplemented with associated tools and technologies, including simulation models, computer-aided design, computer-aided engineering, group technology, computer-aided process planning, and factory scheduling tools. Systems management applies information systems at the enterprise level (within or between enterprises) rather than at the level of controlling a specific manufacturing operation (as in CIM). Product data exchange allows business units to exchange computer information generated from their different computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing systems. Data-driven management information systems contain the kinds of design, inventory/order, and machine capability information needed to design and manage flexible CIM operations. Applications Important to the Army Distributed and forward production facilities consist of manufacturing modules stored together with product subassemblies, raw material, and the electronic knowledge of how to complete the manufacture of finished products to order. The "facilities" are put in place before they are needed. The approach can be applied to simple products, such as clothing, food, and equipment, that can be produced to specific sizes or packaging preference as needed. It is also applicable to larger weapon systems, which can be stored as modules. Upgrades can be made by replacing modules before assembly rather than by retrofitting. Rapid reaction to operational requirements uses advanced design and manufacturing technology to shorten the cycle from specification to product delivery. For the Army, this application could support specifications sent directly from the field to the manufacturer.
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century Parts copying uses three-dimensional sensor technology to provide measurements of an existing part, coupled with technologies to etch or sinter raw material to the specified dimensions. Among the potential benefits are storing just one part as a master for copying, making parts without an engineering description, replicating a replacement from pieces of a damaged part, and scaling up or down from one existing size. While this capability is crude and limited at present, it should be applicable to a broad spectrum of parts by 2020. Issues in Manufacturing Technology The Advanced Manufacturing Technology Group raised eight issues related to manufacturing for the Army: Sources of Supply. The current practice of requiring multiple sources of major components or dual-source manufacturing may needlessly increase the cost of defense system acquisition. Material and Component Availability. U.S. manufacturers are becoming increasingly dependent on foreign sources of basic materials, processes, and components. A number of actions can be taken to ensure that critical materials, skills, and equipment are available if needed by defense forces. Actions may also be needed to limit loss of control over the cost of critical defense materials or systems. Military versus Civilian R&D. Many of the manufacturing technologies to produce military items will be developed for civilian production first. However, some differences in standards will continue, and some areas of manufacturing will remain unique to the military. Industrial Preparedness. The ability of the U.S. industrial base to respond to a major mobilization is severely limited. Flexible advanced manufacturing facilities that are capable of rapid conversion from commercial to defense production appear to be the best solution.6 Capital Investment and Facilities. Flexible manufacturing systems can help to reduce the investment risk that current procurement practices have placed on industry. Some special contracting arrangements will also be needed. Otherwise, inadequate investment in cost- 6 With respect to conversion from commercial to defense production, international ownership of U.S. manufacturing plants or participation of U.S. facilities in international agreements may complicate the use of these facilities in a wartime emergency. The STAR Committee suggests that long-term agreements be sought to ensure the availability for emergency military use of production facilities in the United States that are foreign owned or controlled.
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century effective production facilities will only drive up the eventual cost of defense systems. Flexible Production Schedules. Where the same facilities can serve for both civilian and military production, the Army should consider arrangements for extended delivery schedules to allow military production during off-peak demand for civilian goods. Design for Manufacturability. Manufacturability should be included as a design evaluation criterion from the outset of requirement formulation. The cost and availability of products will ultimately be driven by the ease and flexibility of production. Environmental and Legal Issues. Environmental concerns and court decisions about them will continue to affect production facilities of interest to the military. Court decisions like those affecting Department of Energy nuclear material plants will force managers in the government and the private sector to take actions that will affect the cost and availability of defense materials and systems. ENVIRONMENTAL AND ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES TFA Scope The Technology Group for Environmental and Atmospheric Sciences assessed the following areas of current and projected technology: Terrain-related technologies include digital topography, terrain imaging sensors, and terrain surface dynamics. Weather-related technologies include atmospheric sensing, weather modeling and forecasting, modeling of atmospheric transport and diffusion phenomena, and weather modification. Technology Findings General Findings Military operations depend on information about terrain and weather at both large and small scales. As combat operations place increasing emphasis on force mobility and high-technology sensor-dependent systems, the Army will increasingly require a comprehensive information base adequate to: characterize operationally significant environmental features (vegetation, soil condition, roads, bodies of water, etc.) of all the land masses of the globe;
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century determine how these environmental features are affected by global and local weather patterns; and identify variability in ''local'' weather as a function of locale. The Army will also need to provide its deployed forces with the capability to sense and interpret the current local conditions of the atmosphere and terrain. Terrain-Related Technologies Army units in the field require three categories of information about terrain: topography; environmental features less permanent than topography (roads, amount and type of vegetation, habitation, soil condition); and the capability to anticipate changes in soil condition that may result from weather or enemy action. Topographic data on relatively permanent features can be gathered well in advance of operations and maintained in digital data bases. Advances in digital imagery and in the methods of extracting and storing data from digital images have overcome many of the limitations of two-dimensional maps. The critical need is for a global, three-dimensional terrain data base. Querying and data retrieval must be easy and fast. Yet quick updating of information must also be supported. Techniques are needed to give field commanders dynamic interrogation and viewing of local terrain, plus the ability to generate hard-copy maps for later reference. The enabling technology includes high-capacity optoelectronic storage media, a data base structure for storing three-dimensional data, software and hardware for rapid processing of large data sets, high-speed broadband communications links, multicolor map production from digitized data, microprocessor workstations as the local nodes in this terrain information network, and artificial intelligence to automate reasoning about the interaction of terrain features and other environmental factors, including the weather.7 In terrain sensing technology, a major breakthrough would be the direct recording of three-dimensional terrain data. An interim evolution is platform-based processing of raw sensor data. Neural network technology can be applied to automated feature extraction. Emerging 7 Near-term efforts in terrain data base development and an advanced concept for a terrain data base system were also considered by the Support Systems Panel. See Volume 3, Part 8.
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century technology for the identification of features by their wide-spectrum signature (hyperspectral imagery) will also be applicable. Technology for real-time terrain analysis will use computer modeling for which input data from the terrain data base are supplemented with current data from weather and soil sensors. Technological advances will be required in high-resolution terrain sensors, direct observation, and the processing of raw sensor data. Hyperspectral imagery can provide information on subsurface conditions as well as surface characteristics. Weather-Related Technologies Weather prediction for operational areas requires atmospheric sensors in the area and the processing capability to synthesize the data into a timely and accurate picture of current conditions, as well as conditions 12 hours to 2 days ahead. The spatial scale for battlefield weather reporting can range from 20 to 200 km. In the future, atmospheric sensors will be flown into forward battlefield areas with UAVs, where they may remain airborne or be dropped to the ground. To provide information on the lowest level of the atmosphere, terrain-following UAVs will be needed. It may also be possible to extract useful weather data from smart weapons. R&D is needed for passive sensing techniques, because the active methods now in use for atmospheric sensing provide targets for the enemy. For remote sensing, satellite LIDAR and radar systems will gather images in wavelengths from the ultraviolet to the microwave region. With respect to weather data communications and processing technology, the multispectral data of the future will require broadband, high-capacity communications links. Data may be relayed to the processing center from local sensors via satellites. To lessen the data transmission load, signal preprocessing in the sensor platform will be applicable. Position location technology will be important in pinpointing the location of sensors transmitting data. Improvements in civilian-oriented weather modeling and forecasting will continue, and the Army will draw upon this technology. In addition, meteorological models are under development for regional use. These have a smaller scale of resolution and rely on sensor data collected on a grid at the same scale. High-speed computers are needed for modeling future conditions from current data and for controlling interpretive displays of both current and predicted conditions. The meteorological community will continue to explore applications of artificial intelligence to weather forecasting. The Army will need to incorporate advances and improve on them
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century for its particular concerns with battlefield scale, effects of combat on local conditions, and weather effects on tactics and equipment performance. The Army's interest in atmospheric transport and diffusion modeling stems from concern with the spread and dilution of CTBW threats, airborne nuclear radiation hazards, pollutants, and battlefield obscurants. Breakthroughs in methods for solving nonlinear stochastic and probability equations for physical, chemical, and meteorological phenomena will allow more realistic modeling of transport and diffusion processes. The projected increase in computing power will also make such modeling more readily available to field commanders. Even a modest capability to modify weather on a local scale, such as lifting fog or initiating precipitation, could have important military consequences. The Technology Group found no particular progress in this area. It concluded that the status of research on weather modification does not merit Army investment at this time, although the Army should continue to monitor this field in case a breakthrough occurs.
Representative terms from entire chapter: