Capabilities for the Future

An Assessment of NASA Laboratories for Basic Research

Committee on the Assessment of NASA Laboratory Capabilities

Laboratory Assessments Board

Space Studies Board

Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu



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Capabilities for the Future An Assessment of NASA Laboratories for Basic Research Committee on the Assessment of NASA Laboratory Capabilities Laboratory Assessments Board Space Studies Board Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by Contract No. NNH06CE15B between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the agency that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-15351-5 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-15351-4 Copies of this report are available from: Laboratory Assessments Board or Space Studies Board National Research Council 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2010 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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COMMITTEE ON THE ASSESSMENT OF NASA LABORATORY CAPABILITIES JOHN T. BEST, U.S. Air Force Arnold Engineering Development Center, Co-Chair JOSEPH B. REAGAN, Lockheed Martin Corporation (retired), Co-Chair WILLIAM F. BALLHAUS, JR., The Aerospace Corporation (retired) PETER M. BANKS, Astrolabe Ventures RAMON L. CHASE, Booz Allen Hamilton RAVI B. DEO, EMBR Technical Services NEIL A. DUFFIE, University of Wisconsin, Madison MICHAEL G. DUNN, Ohio State University BLAIR B. GLOSS, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (retired) MARVINE PAULA HAMNER, LeaTech, LLC, George Washington University, Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute WESLEY L. HARRIS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology BASIL HASSAN, Sandia National Laboratories JOAN HOOPES, Orbital Technologies Corporation WILLIAM E. McCLINTOCK, University of Colorado EDWARD D. McCULLOUGH, The Boeing Company (retired) TODD J. MOSHER, Sierra Nevada Corporation ELI RESHOTKO, Case Western Reserve University JAMES M. TIEN, University of Miami CANDACE E. WARK, Illinois Institute of Technology Staff JOHN F. WENDT, Senior Program Officer, Study Director JAMES P. McGEE, Board Director ARUL MOZHI, Senior Program Officer LIZA R. HAMILTON, Administrative Coordinator EVA LABRE, Program Associate v

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LABORATORY ASSESSMENTS BOARD JOHN W. LYONS, National Defense University, Chair CLAUDE R. CANIZARES, Massachusetts Institute of Technology ROSS B. COROTIS, University of Colorado, Boulder JOSEPH S. FRANCISCO, Purdue University C. WILLIAM GEAR, NEC Research Institute, Inc. (retired) HENRY J. HATCH, U.S. Army (retired) LOUIS J. LANZEROTTI, New Jersey Institute of Technology ELSA REICHMANIS, Georgia Institute of Technology LYLE H. SCHWARTZ, Air Force Office of Scientific Research (retired) CHARLES V. SHANK, Howard Hughes Medical Institute DWIGHT C. STREIT, Northrop Grumman Space Technology JAMES P. McGEE, Director CYRUS BUTNER, Senior Program Officer ARUL MOZHI, Senior Program Officer LIZA R. HAMILTON, Administrative Coordinator EVA LABRE, Program Associate vi

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SPACE STUDIES BOARD CHARLES F. KENNEL, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, Chair A. THOMAS YOUNG, Lockheed Martin Corporation (retired), Vice Chair DANIEL N. BAKER, University of Colorado STEVEN J. BATTEL, Battel Engineering CHARLES L. BENNETT, Johns Hopkins University YVONNE C. BRILL, Aerospace Consultant ELIZABETH R. CANTWELL, Oak Ridge National Laboratory ANDREW B. CHRISTENSEN, Dixie State College and Aerospace Corporation ALAN DRESSLER, The Observatories of the Carnegie Institution JACK D. FELLOWS, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research FIONA A. HARRISON, California Institute of Technology JOAN JOHNSON-FREESE, Naval War College KLAUS KEIL, University of Hawaii MOLLY K. MACAULEY, Resources for the Future BERRIEN MOORE III, University of New Hampshire ROBERT T. PAPPALARDO, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology JAMES PAWELCZYK, Pennsylvania State University SOROOSH SOROOSHIAN, University of California, Irvine JOAN VERNIKOS, Thirdage LLC JOSEPH F. VEVERKA, Cornell University WARREN M. WASHINGTON, National Center for Atmospheric Research CHARLES E. WOODWARD, University of Minnesota ELLEN G. ZWEIBEL, University of Wisconsin MICHAEL MOLONEY, Director (from April 1, 2010) RICHARD E. ROWBERG, Interim Director (from March 2, 2009-March 31, 2010) vii

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AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ENGINEERING BOARD RAYMOND S. COLLADAY, Lockheed Martin Astronautics (retired), Chair KYLE T. ALFRIEND, Texas A&M University AMY L. BUHRIG, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group INDERJIT CHOPRA, University of Maryland, College Park JOHN-PAUL B. CLARKE, Georgia Institute of Technology RAVI B. DEO, Northrop Grumman Corporation (retired) MICA R. ENDSLEY, SA Technologies DAVID GOLDSTON, Harvard University R. JOHN HANSMAN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology JOHN B. HAYHURST, Boeing Company (retired) PRESTON HENNE, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation RICHARD KOHRS, Independent Consultant IVETT LEYVA, Air Force Research Laboratory ELAINE S. ORAN, Naval Research Laboratory ELI RESHOTKO, Case Western Reserve University EDMOND SOLIDAY, United Airlines (retired) MICHAEL MOLONEY, Director (from April 1, 2010) RICHARD E. ROWBERG, Interim Director (March 2, 2009-March 31, 2010) viii

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Acknowledgment of Reviewers This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Paul M. Bevilaqua, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Thomas C. Corke, University of Notre Dame, David E. Crow, University of Connecticut, John B. Hayhurst, The Boeing Company, Louis J. Lanzerotti, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Neil E. Paton, Liquidmetal Technologies, Richard H. Petersen, NASA Langley Research Center, and David M. Van Wie, Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Raymond S. Colladay, Lockheed Martin Astronautics. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. ix

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Contents SUMMARY 1 1 INTRODUCTION 5 2 ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY 6 Fundamental Science and Engineering Research, 6 Study Process and Limitations, 7 Preparations for Center Visits, 8 3 SUPPORT FOR FUNDAMENTAL RESEARCH AT NASA 10 Budget Trends for Research, Facilities, and Equipment, 10 Assessment of Facilities, Equipment, and Maintenance, 16 4 AERONAUTICS RESEARCH 20 Introduction, 20 Glenn Research Center, 21 Langley Research Center, 27 Ames Research Center, 33 Dryden Flight Research Center, 38 5 SPACE AND EARTH SCIENCE RESEARCH 39 Introduction, 39 Goddard Space Flight Center, 41 Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 50 Ames Research Center, 55 Marshall Space Flight Center, 61 Glenn Research Center, 64 6 FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 67 General Findings, 67 Specific Findings and Recommendations, 75 APPENDIXES A Statement of Task 79 B Technology Readiness Level Descriptions 81 C Subcommittee Members 82 D Laboratories and Facilities Visited by the Committee 83 E Biographies of the Committee Members 90 F Acronyms 97 G List of Questions Sent to NASA Centers 98 xi

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