Appendix A
Comparison of Technology Lists

Several lists of defense-related technologies are currently in circulation. Naturally enough, these lists will be compared with one another by the defense community, industry, the academic R&D community, and many others interested in government policy and support for science and technology. To make such comparisons meaningful, two points must be borne in mind:

  • There is no standard taxonomy for classifying technologies. Nor is there a recognized and uniform distinction drawn between a technology and an application or systems concept that uses technology.

  • The selection criteria for these lists may differ. Indeed, differences should be expected if the purposes of the lists differ.

To compare lists in a meaningful way, it is therefore necessary to go beyond the listed items to the accompanying narrative to determine what each listed item signifies. This appendix will discuss three technology lists, not to draw any conclusions about their merit relative to the STAR list but rather to illustrate the importance of these two points. The following three lists will be considered:

  • the list of 13 key emerging technologies from the second edition (November 1990) of the Army Technology Base Master Plan;

  • the list of 21 Defense Critical Technologies from The Department of Defense Critical Technologies Plan, prepared by the Department of Defense for the Committees on Armed Services of the U.S. Congress; and



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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century Appendix A Comparison of Technology Lists Several lists of defense-related technologies are currently in circulation. Naturally enough, these lists will be compared with one another by the defense community, industry, the academic R&D community, and many others interested in government policy and support for science and technology. To make such comparisons meaningful, two points must be borne in mind: There is no standard taxonomy for classifying technologies. Nor is there a recognized and uniform distinction drawn between a technology and an application or systems concept that uses technology. The selection criteria for these lists may differ. Indeed, differences should be expected if the purposes of the lists differ. To compare lists in a meaningful way, it is therefore necessary to go beyond the listed items to the accompanying narrative to determine what each listed item signifies. This appendix will discuss three technology lists, not to draw any conclusions about their merit relative to the STAR list but rather to illustrate the importance of these two points. The following three lists will be considered: the list of 13 key emerging technologies from the second edition (November 1990) of the Army Technology Base Master Plan; the list of 21 Defense Critical Technologies from The Department of Defense Critical Technologies Plan, prepared by the Department of Defense for the Committees on Armed Services of the U.S. Congress; and

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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century the list of 22 National Critical Technologies included in the March 1991 Report of the National Critical Technologies Panel. STAR TECHNOLOGY AND SYSTEMS LISTS A summary of the selection criteria and the classification approach used in the STAR study is a useful starting point for these comparisons. The STAR Science and Technology Subcommittee divided all Army-related technologies into the eight area-specific technology groups. Each Technology Group used its own classification of technologies it considered to be within its scope. Over a hundred of these ''technology species" were identified as having importance to ground warfare in the twenty-first century, which was the key objective specified for the STAR study. In Chapter 3 this full set of technologies is represented by "genus-and-species" short descriptions in the TFA Scope section for each report. In response to an Army request for a short list of the highest-payoff technologies, representatives of the technology groups were asked to nominate, from each group's scope, one or two technologies that would have the highest technological and operational potential for Army applications. The candidate technologies were then reviewed by the Subcommittee as a whole. The resulting list of nine high-payoff technologies (listed in Table A-1) is relatively exclusive, in that many "species" covered by each group were necessarily omitted. In addition to the list of nine high-payoff technologies, the STAR Committee has also proposed five high-payoff systems concepts and seven technology-related focal values that pertain to many systems. Depending on the system, a number of technologies—often from different TFA areas—contribute to a particular focal value. Consider, for example, the range of technologies relevant to affordability, to stealth and counterstealth capabilities, or to casualty reduction. ARMY TECHNOLOGY BASE: KEY EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES The first column of Table A-2 lists the 13 key emerging technologies in the Army Technology Base Master Plan (November 1990 edition). The Army described them as "those technologies whose development is considered most essential to ensure the long-term qualitative superiority of Army weapon systems" (U.S. Army, 1990). The technologies share the following characteristics with respect to their value to the Army, mode of selection, and anticipated advances:

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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century TABLE A-1 STAR Technology-Relevant Lists STAR Technology Groups 1. Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics 2. Electronics and Sensors 3. Optics, Photonics, and Directed Energy 4. Biotechnology and Biochemistry 5. Advanced Materials 6. Propulsion and Power 7. Advanced Manufacturing 8. Environmental and Atmospheric Sciences 9. Basic Sciences (became Long-Term Forecast of Research) High-Payoff Technologies 1. technology for multidomain smart sensors 2. terahertz device electronics 3. secure, wide-band communications technology 4. battle management software technology 5. solid state lasers and/or coherent diode laser arrays 6. genetically engineered and developed materials and molecules 7. electric drive technology 8. material formulation techniques for "designer" materials 9. methods and technology for integrated systems design High-Payoff Systems 1. robot vehicles (air or ground) for C3I/RISTA 2. electronic systems architecture 3. brilliant munitions for attacking ground targets 4. lightweight indirect-fire weapons 5. integrated theater air/missile defense 6. simulation systems for R&D, analysis, and training Cross-Cutting Focal Values 1. affordability 2. reliability 3. deployability 4. joint operability 5. reduced vulnerability of U.S. combat and support systems (stealth and counterstealth capability) 6. casualty reduction 7. support system cost reduction.

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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century TABLE A-2. Army Technology Base Key Emerging Technologies Key Emerging Technology Technology Areas (Selected) Relevant STAR TFA or Section STAR High-Payoff Technologies 1. Advanced Materials and Materials Processing Composite armor: structural composites; high-temperature engine components; soldier body armor Advanced Materials material formulation techniques for "designer materials 2. Microelectronics, Photonics, and Acoustics VHSIC silicon devices; MMICs; compound semiconductors; photonic devices; fiber-optic sensors; multispectral sensors; focal plane arrays; infrared sensors Electronics and Sensors; Optics, Photonics, and Directed Energy multidomain smart sensors: terahertz-device electronics; secure, wideband communications technology 3. Advanced Signal Processing and Computing Software producibility & life cycle; data base management systems; parallel systems; algorithms; automated systems (voice recognition) Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics; methods & techniques for integrated systems design; battle management software technology 4. Artificial Intelligence High-speed computation; knowledge acquisition & learning; neural nets; multisensor data fusion; adaptive control & robotics; AI for logistics, planning, simulation, maintenance, language training. Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics; Electronics and Sensors; Optics, Photonics, Directed Energy terahertz-device electronics; battle management software technology 5. Robotics sensors; unmanned ground vehicles; data rate reduction: environmental perception; robot manipulators; various robotics applications Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics; Electronics and Sensors  

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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century Key Emerging Technology Technology Areas (Selected) Relevant STAR TFA or Section STAR High-Payoff Technologies 6. Advanced Propulsion Technology small turbine IHPTET engine cores; VTOL aircraft; ground vehicle transmissions; weapon chemical propulsion Propulsion and Power electric-drive technology 7. Power Generation, Storage, and Conditioning energy storage for pulse power; electric drive power conditioning; fuel cells Propulsion and Power   8. Directed Energy laser efficiency; high energy-density capacitors; switches; high-power microwave Propulsion and Power solid state lasers pumped by diode lasers 9. Biotechnology biosensors and enzyme decontamination for CTBW; vaccines; artificial tissues; multivalent assays for disease; bioremediation; food preservation and packing Biotechnology and Biochemistry genetically engineered and developed materials and molecules 10. Space Technology communications (man-portable, LIGHTSAT); RISTA; terrain & weather; position & navigation; computation for space systems; fire support Electronics and Sensors; Environmental & Atmospheric Sciences; Optics, Photonics, and Directed Energy methods & techniques for integrated systems design; 11. Low-Observable Technology radar: absorbing materials and cross-section reduction; infrared: special coatings, vehicle cooling techniques; visual: coatings to suppress or vary reflectance; noise suppression Electronics and Sensors Advanced Materials terahertz-device electronics; material formulation techniques for "designer" materials; methods & techniques for integrated systems design;

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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century Key Emerging Technology Technology Areas (Selected) Relevant STAR TFA or Section STAR High-Payoff Technologies 12. Protection/Lethality armor; soldier eye protection; kinetic energy projectiles; explosives; mine detection; CTBW detection, protection, decontamination Advanced Materials; Propulsion and Power; Biotechnology material formulation techniques for "designer" materials; genetically engineered and developed materials and molecules 13. Neuroscience Technology sleep studies; physiological response to adverse environments; sensory-motor integration applications to advanced weapons systems, robotics See Systems Panel Reports on Health and Medicine; Personnel; Special Technologies  

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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century All hold great promise for solving important deficiencies or significantly increasing U.S. capabilities on the modern battlefield. All were reviewed by Army technical managers, scientists, and engineers in terms of future needs, then presented to users and developers and finally approved by the Army leadership. Each technology is promising but still immature. Knowledge gaps must be filled for each before technical decisions can be made about its use in Army applications. Except for the mode of selection (item 2), these characteristics seem reasonably similar to those used by the STAR study to select the high-payoff technologies. However, these key emerging technologies represent a far broader classification than the STAR high-payoff technologies. Indeed, the first nine correspond quite closely with entire STAR TFAs or with major sections from several TFAs. (Compare columns 1 and 3 in Table A-2.) The level of technology classification in the Army Technology Base Master Plan that corresponds better to the STAR technologies consists of the technology areas. These are listed in milestone tables for each key emerging technology (See U.S Army, 1990, Volume I, Chapter III). A representative sample of these technology areas is shown in column 2 of Table A-2. There are more than 70 technology areas for the 13 key emerging technologies. This is the same order of magnitude as the hundred-odd technologies identified by the STAR Science and Technology Subcommittee. A comparison of the technology areas with the STAR technology species summarized in Chapter 3 shows them to be at a roughly equivalent level of detail. (Close comparison is sometimes difficult because some technology areas are application-oriented, which makes them closer to what STAR calls advanced systems concepts. The relation to similar STAR technology species is often clearer from the milestone descriptions that accompany each technology area.) Of the four remaining key emerging technologies, three represent classifications by application: space technology, low-observable technology, and protection/lethality. Space technology and protection/lethality were addressed by STAR through its systems concepts. (See Space-Based Systems and the sections on lethal systems in Chapter 2; see also the recommendations for these system areas in Chapter 5.) Low-observable technology is represented by the STAR focal value of stealth and counterstealth capabilities; it is cited as an important feature of many STAR systems concepts and as a value to which many of the STAR-forecast technology advances could contribute.

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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century The last of the key emerging technologies, neurosciences, comprises technology areas that correspond to several systems concepts described by STAR for Integrated Soldier Support (see Chapter 2), as well as technology species assessed by the Biotechnology and Biochemistry Group (biocoupling and bionics) and by the Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics Group (sensor-motor integration in advanced robot systems). In summary, a meaningful comparison of the STAR study with the Army Technology Base technologies should compare nine of the key emerging technologies with the full range of six of the STAR TFAs, not just the nine high-payoff technologies. Three of the key emerging technologies are best compared with systems concepts developed by the STAR systems panels. The key emerging technologies are in fact an inclusive classification rather than a highly specific and exclusive selection like the STAR high-payoff technologies. The fourth column of Table A-2 shows where the STAR high-payoff technologies and systems fall with respect to this ''key emerging technologies" classification. The point is not that one or the other list is better but rather that they are not directly comparable. In fact, if this set of Army Technology Base key emerging technologies seems particularly well suited to the Army's needs, perhaps it should be used as the starting point for the general technology classification to be used in future studies analogous to that of STAR. On the other hand, the key emerging technologies are so encompassing that, as a list, they do not provide specific input for focusing Army R&D efforts. An action-oriented list would need to he at the level of technology areas rather than key emerging technologies. DEFENSE CRITICAL TECHNOLOGIES Table A-3 lists the 21 Defense Critical Technologies and, in the second column, their principal component fields as specified in the original report (DOD, 1991). For a number of these technologies, the extent of their component fields shows that they are close in scope to an entire STAR TFA or to major sections of several TFAs. Compare, for example, the component fields of Semiconductor Materials and Microelectronic Circuits with the TFA scope of Electronics and Sensors or the fields for Composite Materials with the TFA scope for Advanced Materials. Some of the Defense Critical Technologies do correspond to just a few closely related STAR technology species. Two examples are Pulsed Power (compare with the technologies for pulsed and short-

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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century TABLE A-3. Defense Critical Technologies Compared with STAR Defense Critical Technologies Principal Component Fields (Selected) Related STAR TFAs (and Systems Panels) STAR High-Payoff Technologies and Systems 1. Semiconductor Materials & Microelectronic Circuits VLSICs; CAD for complex circuits; high-resolution lithography; A/D converters; MMICs; T/R modules; signal control components; radiation-hard isolation Electronics and Sensors   2. Software Engineering system engineering process & environment; fault-tolerant software; software for parallel & heterogeneous stems; Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics methods & techniques for integrated systems design; electronic systems architecture 3. High Performance Computing Advanced software technology & algorithms; networking; computer sci. research personnel; high-density packaging; Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics   4. Machine Intelligence & Robotics image understanding; autonomous planning; navigation; speech & text processing; machine learning; knowledge representation and acquisition; adaptive manipulation & control Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics battle management software technology; robot vehicles (air or ground) for C3I/RISTA 5. Simulation & Modeling high-speed graphics; solutions for nonlinear equations; simulation verification and validation Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics simulation systems for R&D, analysis, and training

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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century Defense Critical Technologies Principal Component Fields (Selected) Related STAR TFAs (and Systems Panels) STAR High-Payoff Technologies and Systems 6. Photonics laser devices; fiber optics; optical signal processing; integrated optics Optics, Photonics, and Directed Energy solid state lasers pumped by laser diodes; secure wideband communications; multidomain smart sensors 7. Sensitive Radar Advanced monostatic radar; multistatic radar; radars for target recognition; laser radar; electronic counter countermeasures Electronics and Sensors; Optics, Photonics, and Directed Energy; see also Electronics Systems terahertz electronic devices; integrated theater air/missile defense 8. Passive Sensors thermal imagers; IR focal plane arrays; IR search and track; diffractive optics; sensor integration; passive antennas; passive RF and acoustic surveillance; fiber-optic sensors for environmental and systems monitoring; superconducting sensors Optics, Photonics, and Directed Energy; Electronics and Sensors; Advanced Materials; see also Electronics Systems; multidomain smart sensors; solid state lasers pumped by diode lasers; secure wideband communications; material formulation techniques for "designer" materials; methods & techniques for integrated systems design; 9. Signal and Image Processing algorithm development; hybrid optical-digital techniques; phased array control; neural networks Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics; Optics, Photonics, and Directed Energy; Electronics Systems electronic systems architecture; methods & techniques for integrated systems design

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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century Defense Critical Technologies Principal Component Fields (Selected) Related STAR TFAs (and Systems Panels) STAR High-Payoff Technologies and Systems 10. Signature Control radar cross-section reduction: IR, visual, UV, magnetic signature reduction/management; acoustic quieting; LPI radar, communications, and navigation; Advanced Materials; Electronics and Sensors; Optics, Photonics, and Directed Energy; Electronics Systems; Airborne Systems secure wideband communications; material formulation techniques for "designer" materials; (see also stealth-counterstealth focal value) 11. Weapon System Environment Environment characterization and prediction; target environment analysis and simulators Environmental and Atmospheric Sciences; Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics simulation systems for R&D, analysis, and training; methods & techniques for integrated systems design 12. Data Fusion theory; algorithms and models; data base and knowledge base for fusion; reasoning systems Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics; Electronics and Sensors; Optics, Photonics and Directed Energy multidomain smart sensors; terahertz device electronics; secure wideband communications; battle management software technology 13. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Unsteady aerodynamic regimes; turbulence modeling; internal flows Propulsion and Power; see also Airborne Systems Panel Report   14. Air-Breathing Propulsion high pressure ratio, lightweight compression systems; high-temperature, improved-life combustion systems; high efficiency turbines; reduced-signature multifunctional nozzles; adaptive, survivable, high-speed integrated control systems; scramjet technology; Propulsion and Power; see also Airborne Systems Panel Report methods and technology for integrated systems design

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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century Defense Critical Technologies Principal Component Fields (Selected) Related STAR TFAs (and Systems Panels) STAR High-Payoff Technologies and Systems 15. Pulsed Power Energy storage; power switching and conditioning; high-power microwave Propulsion and Power; Optics, Photonics and Directed Energy solid state lasers and/or coherent diode-laser arrays 16. Hypervelocity Projectiles and Propulsion projectile design; propulsion; projectile-target interaction Propulsion and Power; see also Lethality Systems integrated theater air/missile defense 17. High Energy-Density Materials explosives; propellants; warheads; nuclear isomers Propulsion and Power; Advanced Materials lightweight indirect-fire weapons 18. Composite Materials organic matrix composites; metal matrix composites; ceramic matrix composites, hybrid composites Advanced Materials material formulation technologies for ''designer" materials 19. Superconductivity low-temperature and high-temperature superconductors for magnets, sensors, electronics Electronics and Sensors   20. Biotechnology   Biotechnology and Biochemistry genetically engineered and developed materials and molecules 21. Flexible Manufacturing computer-aided design, engineering, manufacturing, production; data bases; communications and networking; intelligent software interfaces Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics; Advanced Manufacturing methods & techniques for integrated systems design

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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century duration power and power conditioning under Battle Zone Electric Power in the Propulsion and Power section of Chapter 3) and High Energy Density Materials (see Energetic Materials in the Advanced Materials section). Still other technologies on this list correspond more closely to STAR advanced systems concepts than to STAR technology classifications. Examples are Sensitive Radar, Passive Sensors, or Weapon System Environment. Again, the point of this comparison is not to determine which classification is better but to show that the Defense Critical Technologies in fact cover a broad area roughly coextensive with the entire set of STAR TFAs, plus some of the technology applications (systems concepts) covered by the STAR systems panels. NATIONAL CRITICAL TECHNOLOGIES The National Critical Technologies (NCT) Panel was charged with identifying up to 30 national critical technologies in its biennial report to the President and Congress. A national critical technology is defined as an area of technological development that is essential for the long-term national security and economic prosperity of the United States (National Critical Technologies Panel, 1991). Unlike the STAR study or the other two list-producing activities discussed above, the NCT Panel is responsible for technology that is nonmilitary but nonetheless essential to economic prosperity. Thus, its list can be expected to have a wider compass than the defense-related classifications. Table A-4 lists the 22 NCTs in column 2, with the NCT class headings shown in the first column. Although this table does not summarize the description of each technology from the NCT report, the technology titles show that this list, too, represents a broader level of technology aggregation than most of the STAR high-payoff technologies. The correlation to STAR TFAs or major sections of TFAs is quite high (column 3 of Table A-4), especially in light of the broader ambit of the NCT Panel's mission CONCLUSIONS Each of the three technology lists is more meaningfully compared with the combined scopes of the STAR TFAs than with the STAR high-payoff technologies. The latter were intended to be a fairly exclusive handful of specific rapidly advancing technologies whose pursuit seems most likely to produce major technology payoffs for the Army.

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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century TABLE A-4. National Critical Technologies and STAR Technologies NCT Category National Critical Technologies Related STAR TFAs STAR High-Payoff Technologies and Systems Materials Materials synthesis and processing Advanced Materials material formulation techniques for "designer" materials   Electronic and photonic materials Electronics and Sensors; Optics, Photonics and Directed Energy terahertz-device electronics   Ceramics Advanced Materials     Composites Advanced Materials     High-performance metals and alloys Advanced Materials   Manufacturing Flexible computer-integrated manufacturing Advanced Manufacturing; Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics methods and technology for integrated system design   Intelligent processing equipment Advanced Manufacturing; Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics     Microfabrication, nanofabrication Advanced Manufacturing; Electronics and Sensors     Systems management technologies Advanced Manufacturing; Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics  

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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century NCT Category National Critical Technologies Related STAR TFAs STAR High-Payoff Technologies and Systems Information and Communications Software Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics methods and technology for integrated system design; battle management software technology   Microelectronics and optoelectronics Electronics and Sensors; Optics, Photonics, and Directed Energy terahertz-device electronics   High-performance computing and networking Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics electronic systems architecture   High-definition imaging and displays Electronics and Sensors; Optics, Photonics, and Directed Energy     Sensors and signal processing Electronics and Sensors; Optics, Photonics, and Directed Energy multidomain smart sensors; terahertz-device electronics; secure wideband communications   Data storage and peripherals (not specifically addressed in STAR TEAs) electronic systems architecture   Computer simulation and modeling Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics simulation systems for R&D, analysis, and training Biotechnology and Life Sciences Applied molecular biology Biotechnology and Biochemistry     Medical technology (Health and Medical Systems Panel)  

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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century NCT Category National Critical Technologies Related STAR TFAs STAR High-Payoff Technologies and Systems Aeronautics and Surface Transportation Aeronautics Propulsion and Power; Airborne Systems Panel robot vehicles (air or ground) for C3/RISTA   Surface transportation technologies Propulsion and Power electric drive technology Energy and Environment Energy technologies Propulsion and Power; Advanced Materials material formulation techniques for "designer" materials   Pollution minimization, remediation, and waste management Biotechnology and Biochemistry; (see also Health and Medical Systems Panel)  

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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century On the other hand, when the items on these lists are understood in terms of the scopes specified for them by the lists' authors, there is surprisingly wide agreement among them and with the full set of important technologies represented in the STAR TFAs and reports of the Systems Panels. REFERENCES DOD. 1991. The Department of Defense Critical Technologies Plan for the Committees on Armed Services, United State Congress. Department of Defense Report AD-A234 900. Washington, D.C. May 1. National Critical Technologies Panel. 1991. Report of the National Critical Technologies Panel. Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office. Washington, D.C. March. U.S. Army. 1990. Army Technology Base: Volume 1. Headquarters, Department of the Army, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology (SARD-ZT). Washington, D.C. November.

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