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Science and Technology for Army Homeland Security: Report 1 (2003)

Chapter: Appendix C: Criteria for Technology Readiness Levels

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Criteria for Technology Readiness Levels." National Research Council. 2003. Science and Technology for Army Homeland Security: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10655.
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Appendix C
Criteria for Technology Readiness Levels

TABLE C1 Criteria for Technology Readiness Levelsa

TRL

Task Accomplished

Description

1

Basic principals observed and reported

Lowest level of technology readiness. Scientific research begins to be translated into applied research and development. Examples might include paper studies of a technology’s basic properties.

2

Technology concept or application formulated

Invention begins. Once basic principles are observed, practical applications can be invented. The application is speculative and there is no proof or detailed analysis to support the assumption. Examples are still limited to paper studies.

3

Analytical and experimental critical function or characteristics proof of concept

Active research and development are initiated. These include analytical studies and laboratory studies to physically validate analytical predictions of separate elements of the technology. Examples include components that are not yet integrated or representative.

4

Component or breadboard validation in laboratory environment

Basic technology components are integrated to establish that the pieces will work together. This is relatively “low fidelity” compared with the eventual system. Examples include integration of ad hoc hardware in a laboratory.

aAdapted from Army Science and Technology Master Plan.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Criteria for Technology Readiness Levels." National Research Council. 2003. Science and Technology for Army Homeland Security: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10655.
×

TRL

Task Accomplished

Description

5

Component or breadboard validation in relevant environment

Fidelity of breadboard technology increases significantly. The basic technological components are integrated with reasonably realistic supporting elements so that the technology can be tested in a simulated environment. Examples include high-fidelity laboratory integration of components.

6

System/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment

Representative model or prototype system, which is well beyond the breadboard tested for TRL 5, is tested in a relevant environment. Represents a major step up in a technology’s demonstrated readiness. Examples include testing a prototype in a high-fidelity laboratory environment or in a simulated operational environment.

7

System prototype demonstration in an operational environment

Prototype near or at planned operational system. Represents a major step up from TRL 6, requiring the demonstration of an actual system prototype in an operational environment, such as in an aircraft, vehicle, or space. Examples include testing the prototype in a testbed aircraft.

8

Actual system completed and flight qualified through test and demonstration

Technology has been proven to work in its final form and under expected conditions. In almost all cases, this TR represents the end of true system development. Examples include developmental test and evaluation of the system in its intended weapon system to determine if it meets design specifications.

9

Actual system flight proven through successful mission operations

Actual application of the technology in its final form and under mission conditions, such as those encountered in operational test and evaluation. In almost all cases, this is the end of the last bug-fixing aspects of true system development. Examples include using the system under operational mission conditions.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Criteria for Technology Readiness Levels." National Research Council. 2003. Science and Technology for Army Homeland Security: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10655.
×
Page 155
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Criteria for Technology Readiness Levels." National Research Council. 2003. Science and Technology for Army Homeland Security: Report 1. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10655.
×
Page 156
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The confluence of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack and the U.S. Army's historic role to support civil authorities has resulted in substantial new challenges for the Army. To help meet these challenges, the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research and Technology requested the National Research Council (NRC) carry out a series of studies on how science and technology could assist the Army prepare for its role in homeland security (HLS). The NRC's Board on Army Science and Technology formed the Committee on Army Science and Technology for Homeland Security to accomplish that assignment. The Committee was asked to review relevant literature and activities, determine areas of emphasis for Army S&T in support of counter terrorism and anti-terrorism, and recommend high-payoff technologies to help the Army fulfill its mission.

The Department of Defense Counter-Terrorism Technology Task Force identified four operational areas in reviewing technical proposals for HLS operations: indications and warning; denial and survivability; recovery and consequence management; and attribution and retaliation. The study sponsor asked the Committee to use these four areas as the basis for its assessment of the science and technology (S&T) that will be important for the Army's HLS role.

Overall, the Committee found that:

  • There is potential for substantial synergy between S&T work carried out by the Army for its HLS responsibilities and the development of the next generation Army, the Objective Force.
  • The Army National Guard (ARNG) is critical to the success of the Army's HLS efforts.
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