1
Introduction

CONTEXT

The Office of Naval Research’s (ONR) Aircraft Technology Program (ATP) resides within the Strike Technology Division (Code 351) of the Naval Expeditionary Warfare Science and Technology Department (Code 35). In 2001 the ATP is funded at $55.0 million, which is approximately 60 percent of the Strike Technology Division budget. The ATP science and technology (S&T) 2001 budget is further divided into the following categories: (1) 6.1 basic research at $4.3 million, (2) 6.2 exploratory development at $18.1 million, and (3) 6.3 advanced development, including technology demonstrations, at $32.5 million. The ATP program office provided current and projected budget figures through FY02 for each of these areas (Table 1.1). This information was provided at the end of the study, by which time all of the 6.3 and some of the specific 6.2 ATP topics reviewed would have been moved to FNCs. Referring to Table 1.1, it should be noted that (1) condition-based maintenance (CBM), which is reviewed in the study as part of the air vehicle technology thrust, is now a separate category and (2) an explicit provision appears for as-yet-undefined new starts in FY02.

The stated goal of the ATP is to enhance the mission effectiveness and affordability of naval aviation systems by conducting basic and applied research and advanced technology demonstrations (ATDs) in preparation for transitioning of high-priority/high-payoff technology options in six thrust areas: (1) integrated avionics, (2) propulsion and power, (3) air vehicle technology, (4) unmanned aerial vehicles/unmanned combat air vehicles (UAVs/UCAVs), (5) survivability, and (6) special aviation projects.

The stated S&T investment strategy is as follows:

  • Develop a high-quality naval aircraft technology core program;

  • Leverage common aircraft technology programs with the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), industry, and other countries;

  • Influence other S&T sponsors and performers to support naval aviation goals; and

  • Position the program to take advantage of future opportunities.



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2001 Assessment of the Office of Naval Research’s Aircraft Technology Program 1 Introduction CONTEXT The Office of Naval Research’s (ONR) Aircraft Technology Program (ATP) resides within the Strike Technology Division (Code 351) of the Naval Expeditionary Warfare Science and Technology Department (Code 35). In 2001 the ATP is funded at $55.0 million, which is approximately 60 percent of the Strike Technology Division budget. The ATP science and technology (S&T) 2001 budget is further divided into the following categories: (1) 6.1 basic research at $4.3 million, (2) 6.2 exploratory development at $18.1 million, and (3) 6.3 advanced development, including technology demonstrations, at $32.5 million. The ATP program office provided current and projected budget figures through FY02 for each of these areas (Table 1.1). This information was provided at the end of the study, by which time all of the 6.3 and some of the specific 6.2 ATP topics reviewed would have been moved to FNCs. Referring to Table 1.1, it should be noted that (1) condition-based maintenance (CBM), which is reviewed in the study as part of the air vehicle technology thrust, is now a separate category and (2) an explicit provision appears for as-yet-undefined new starts in FY02. The stated goal of the ATP is to enhance the mission effectiveness and affordability of naval aviation systems by conducting basic and applied research and advanced technology demonstrations (ATDs) in preparation for transitioning of high-priority/high-payoff technology options in six thrust areas: (1) integrated avionics, (2) propulsion and power, (3) air vehicle technology, (4) unmanned aerial vehicles/unmanned combat air vehicles (UAVs/UCAVs), (5) survivability, and (6) special aviation projects. The stated S&T investment strategy is as follows: Develop a high-quality naval aircraft technology core program; Leverage common aircraft technology programs with the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), industry, and other countries; Influence other S&T sponsors and performers to support naval aviation goals; and Position the program to take advantage of future opportunities.

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2001 Assessment of the Office of Naval Research’s Aircraft Technology Program TABLE 1.1 ONR 351 Aircraft Technology Program Budget Through FY02 (millions of dollars) Area FY99 FY00 FY01 FY02 Avionics 6.3 Processing (ACEMs, AAS, smart skins) 8.3 3.6 3.2 0.0 6.2 Processing (ACEMs, real-time high-definition image processing) 6.0 0.4 0.0 0.0 6.2 Displays 2.0 1.0 0.8 0.9 6.2 Cockpit 0.5 0.0 0.0 0.0   Subtotal 16.7 4.9 4.0 0.9 Propulsion and power 6.2 Propulsion 4.0 4.9 4.6 0.0 6.2 UAV Propulsion (AO FNC) 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.4 6.2 Turbine improvement/IHPTET (TOCR FNC) 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 6.3 IHPTET 6.9 7.2 7.8 0.0 6.3 UAV propulsion (AO FNC) 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.5 6.3 Turbine improvement/IHPTET (TOCR FNC) 0.0 0.0 0.0 9.6 6.2 Thermal management 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 6.2 Power 0.5 0.5 0.1 0.1 6.2 AC power (TOCR FNC) 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 6.3 AC power (TOCR FNC) 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.9   Subtotal 11.6 12.6 12.4 13.5 Air vehicle technology 6.2 Structures 0.7 0.8 0.8 1.6 6.2 AC corrosion (TOCR FNC) 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.8 6.1 Aerodynamics 0.5 0.5 0.3 0.2 6.2 Aerodynamics 1.4 0.8 0.6 0.2 6.2 FC&D 0.7 0.8 0.6 0.6 6.2 TWV 0.1 0.2 1.1 0.1 6.2 Concepts 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 6.3 Reconfigurable rotor blade (TOCR FNC) 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.0   Subtotal 3.3 3.0 3.3 6.4 UAV/UCAV-N 6.1 UAV research 2.4 4.3 4.0 4.0 6.2 UAV research (including CRW) 2.3 3.5 3.9 0.0 6.2 UAV autonomy (AOC FNC) 0.0 0.0 0.0 7.0 6.3 UAV autonomy 0.0 0.0 0.0 3.0 6.3 UCAV-N (TCS FNC) 0.0 0.0 0.0 15.0   Subtotal 4.6 7.8 7.9 29.0 Condition-based maintenance 6.2 CBM 1.8 2.0 1.4 0.0 6.3 CBM (TOCR FNC) 0.0 0.0 0.0 8.6   Subtotal 1.8 2.0 1.4 8.6 Survivability 6.2 LO 3.6 3.6 4.4 4.1   Subtotal 3.6 3.6 4.4 4.1

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2001 Assessment of the Office of Naval Research’s Aircraft Technology Program Area FY99 FY00 FY01 FY02 Special aviation projects 6.3 Special projects 8.1 20.0 21.5 5.1 6.2 Special projects 4.9 0.0 0.0 0.0   Subtotal 13.0 20.0 21.5 5.1 New start funds 6.2 New start 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.1 D&I and FNC total 54.7 53.9 55.0 68.6 6.1 Total 2.8 4.7 4.3 4.2 6.2 Total 28.5 18.5 18.1 18.8 6.3 Total 23.3 30.7 32.5 45.7   Total 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3 54.7 53.9 55.0 68.6 Note: See Appendix C for definitions of acronyms used. The committee was charged with evaluating the ATP as represented by some 28 individual efforts that were presented over 2 days, May 15 and May 16, 2001. The committee selected the following evaluation criteria in its deliberations on May 17, 2001: Scientific and technical quality of the program and performing personnel; Appropriateness as an S&T program; Impact on and relevance to Navy and Marine Corps needs; Effectiveness of interaction with other Navy/Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, DARPA, and other external programs; Appropriateness of the investment and investment level; and Balance of the funding between basic research, exploratory development, and advanced development. The committee was also asked to recommend new technology topics that should be considered for inclusion in future ATP activities. ORGANIZATION OF THIS REPORT In Chapter 2, the committee provides some general observations on the future of naval aviation and on the ATP. Each of the six chapters (Chapters 3 through 8) that follow pertains to one of the six ONR ATP thrusts—namely, integrated avionics, propulsion and power, air vehicle technology, unmanned aerial vehicles/unmanned combat air vehicles, survivability, and special aviation projects. Each begins with an overview of the thrust and then presents the committee’s findings and recommendations for each of the projects described to it at its May 2001 meeting. In Chapters 4, 5, and 6, the committee recommends new S&T topics for consideration for the future ATP and that are relevant to some of the FNC thrusts.