There are key elements of infrastructure that will be essential to the creation of a center for NSTE. Current and ongoing NSTE activities in the Army provide a firm basis for the infrastructure requirements that would be needed to establish an NSTEC. The key elements of the required infrastructure are listed in Table 4-1.
Options for physical realization of an NSTEC range from the extremes of a centralized facility in a single location to fully distributed facilities using networked connectivity. There are advantages to both; but regardless of which is selected, there will be important needs for contributions from academia and industry, which will require interconnections to many locations.
Conclusion 3a: The extensive infrastructure needed to support Army NSTE requirements will be developed initially from the facilities of existing organizations and will require a special planning effort to synchronize with BRAC relocations already in progress.
Conclusion 3b: The magnitude and diversity of the required infrastructure suggest a phased implementation approach to establish an Army NSTEC. A plan to develop NSTE capabilities and infrastructure could be phased over multiple years, beginning with the reorganization of existing and relocated facilities and ending with the establishment of a world-class center for network science, technology, and experimentation. An adequate plan will involve leadership with the appropriate talent and vision for all phases, especially as the content of the NSTE R&D portfolio matures.
Conclusion 3c: Based on Army needs, the NSTEC should be a hybrid operation consisting of two or three centralized facilities having interconnectivity to a variety of distributed supporting elements.
Recommendation 3: The Army should plan and fund for NSTE infrastructure resources that provide for (1) flexible configurations of network experiments and integration, both internally and externally; (2) facility designs that enhance and encourage academic and industry partnerships; and (3) an environment with world-class experimental capabilities and a campus-like atmosphere to attract truly talented people.