National Academies Press: OpenBook

NASA Aeronautics Research: An Assessment (2008)

Chapter: Front Matter

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2008. NASA Aeronautics Research: An Assessment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12182.
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NASA Aeronautics Research— An assessment Committee for the Assessment of NASA’s Aeronautics Research Program Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences The National Academies Press Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

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. NASW-03009 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 author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organiza- tions or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13:  978-0-309-11913-9 International Standard Book Number-10:  0-309-11913-8 Available in limited supply from the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Wash- ington, DC 20001, (202) 334-2858. 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, www.nap.edu. Copyright 2008 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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 advis- ing 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

COMMITTEE FOR THE ASSESSMENT OF NASA’S AERONAUTICS RESEARCH PROGRAM CARL J. MEADE, Co-chair, Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems, Santa Clarita, California DONALD W. RICHARDSON, Co-chair, Donrich Research, Inc., West Palm Beach, Florida RICHARD ABBOTT, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Palmdale, California MEYER J. (MIKE) BENZAKEIN (NAE), Ohio State University, Columbus JOHN T. (TOM) BEST, Arnold Engineering Development Center, Arnold Air Force Base, Tennessee IAIN D. BOYD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor AMY L. BUHRIG, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Renton, Washington DAVID E. (ED) CROW (NAE), University of Connecticut, Glastonbury FRANK L. FRISBIE, Apptis, Inc., Washington, D.C. EPHRAHIM GARCIA, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York PRABHAT HAJELA, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York JOHN B. HAYHURST, The Boeing Company (retired), Kirkland, Washington NANCY G. LEVESON (NAE),1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge ELI RESHOTKO (NAE), Case Western Reserve University (emeritus), Denver, Colorado RAYMOND (RAY) VALEIKA, Delta Airlines (retired), Powder Springs, Georgia Staff ALAN ANGLEMAN, Study Director SARAH CAPOTE, Program Associate 1Dr. Leveson resigned from the committee in May 2007. 

AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ENGINEERING BOARD RAYMOND S. COLLADAY, Chair, Lockheed Martin Astronautics (retired), Golden, Colorado CHARLES F. BOLDEN, JR., Jack and Panther, LLC, Houston, Texas ANTHONY J. BRODERICK, Aviation Safety Consultant, Catlett, Virginia AMY L. BUHRIG, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Renton, Washington PIERRE CHAO, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, D.C. INDERJIT CHOPRA, University of Maryland, College Park ROBERT L. CRIPPEN, Thiokol Propulsion (retired), Palm Beach Gardens, Florida DAVID GOLDSTON, Princeton University, Arlington, Virginia JOHN HANSMAN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge PRESTON HENNE (NAE), Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, Savannah, Georgia JOHN M. KLINEBERG, Space Systems/Loral (retired), Redwood City, California RICHARD KOHRS, Independent Consultant, Dickinson, Texas ILAN KROO (NAE), Stanford University, Stanford, California IVETT LEYVA, Air Force Research Laboratory, Edwards Air Force Base, California EDMOND SOLIDAY, United Airlines (retired), Valparaiso, Indiana Staff MARCIA SMITH, Director vi

Preface The U.S. air transportation system is vital to the economic well-being and security of the United States. To support continued U.S. leadership in aviation, Congress and NASA requested that the National Research Council undertake a decadal survey of civil aeronautics research and technology (R&T) priori- ties that would help NASA fulfill its responsibility to preserve U.S. leadership in aeronautics technology. In 2006, the National Research Council published the Decadal Survey of Civil Aeronautics.1 That report presented a set of six strategic objectives for the next decade of aeronautics R&T, and it described 51 high-priority R&T challenges—characterized by five common themes—for both NASA and non-NASA researchers. The National Research Council produced the present report, which assesses NASA’s Aeronautics Research Program, in response to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2005 (Public Law 109-155). This report focuses on three sets of questions: 1. How well does NASA’s research portfolio implement appropriate recommendations and address relevant high-priority research and technology challenges identified in the Decadal Survey of Civil Aeronautics? If gaps are found, what steps should be taken by the federal government to eliminate them? 2. How well does NASA’s aeronautics research portfolio address the aeronautics research requirements of NASA, particularly for robotic and human space exploration? How well does NASA’s aeronautics research portfolio address other federal government department/agency non-civil aeronautics research needs? If gaps are found, what steps should be taken by NASA and/or other parts of the federal government to eliminate them? 3. Will the nation have a skilled research workforce and research facilities commensurate with the require- ments in (1) and (2) above? What critical improvements in workforce expertise and research facilities, if any, should NASA and the nation make to achieve the goals of NASA’s research program? 1National Research Council. 2006. Decadal Survey of Civil Aeronautics: Foundation for the Future. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press. Available online at <http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11664>. vii

viii PREFACE This report continues the good work begun by the Decadal Survey of Civil Aeronautics, and it expands that work to consider in more depth NASA aeronautics research issues related to the space program, non-civil applications, workforce, and facilities. Carl Meade and Donald Richardson, Co-chairs Committee for the Assessment of NASA’s Aeronautics Research Program

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 Report Review Committee of the National Research Council (NRC). 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: Graham Candler, University of Minnesota Eric Feron, Georgia Institute of Technology Awatef Hamed, University of Cincinnati Pres Henne (NAE), Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Ilan Kroo (NAE), Stanford University Andrew Lacher, MITRE Corporation Lourdes Maurice, Federal Aviation Administration Edmond Soliday, United Airlines (retired) Dianne Wiley, The Boeing Company 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 Martha Haynes, Cornell University, and Raymond S. Colladay, Lockheed Martin Astronautics (retired). Appointed by the NRC, they were 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

Contents SUMMARY 1 1 INTRODUCTION 9 Overview of the Decadal Survey of Civil Aeronautics, 10 Organization of NASA’s Aeronautics Research, 15 Resource Considerations, 17 Report Overview, 17 References, 18 2 CHALLENGES AND REQUIREMENTS FOR NASA AERONAUTICS RESEARCH 20 Aerodynamics and Aeroacoustics, 24 Propulsion and Power, 31 Materials and Structures, 37 Dynamics, Navigation, and Control, and Avionics, 45 Intelligent and Autonomous Systems, Operations and Decision Making, Human Integrated Systems, and Networking and Communications, 53 Space and Non-Civil Aeronautics Research, 59 Assessment of NASA’s Response to Recommendations in the Decadal Survey of Civil Aeronautics, 61 References, 64 3 WORKFORCE AND FACILITIES 65 Aeronautics Workforce Issues, 65 Aeronautics Facility Issues, 73 References, 80 xi

xii CONTENTS 4 BRIDGING THE GAPS 82 Gap Between Research Results and Application, 83 Gap Between Research Scope and Resources, 85 Gap Between Project Reference Documents and Project Structure, 87 Looking Forward, 90 References, 90 APPENDIXES A Statement of Task 93 B Biographies of Committee Members 95 C Validating the Ranking of the Research and Technology Challenges from the Decadal Survey 101 D Acronyms 106

Tables, Figures, and Box TABLES S-1 Comparison of the Strategic Objectives from the Decadal Survey of Civil Aeronautics with the Principles from the National Aeronautics Research and Development Policy and the National Plan for Aeronautics Research and Development and Related Infrastructure, 2 S-2 Summary of How Well NASA’s Aeronautics Research Supports the 51 Highest-Priority Research and Technology (R&T) Challenges from the Decadal Survey of Civil Aeronautics, 5 1-1 Fifty-One Highest-Priority Research and Technology (R&T) Challenges for NASA Aeronautics, Prioritized by R&T Area, 12 1-2 Comparison of the Strategic Objectives from the Decadal Survey of Civil Aeronautics with the Principles from the National Aeronautics Research and Development Policy and the National Plan for Aeronautics Research and Development and Related Infrastructure, 14 2-1 Summary of How Well NASA’s Aeronautics Research Supports the 51 Highest-Priority Research and Technology (R&T) Challenges from the Decadal Survey of Civil Aeronautics, 21 2-2 Grade Summary for the 51 Highest-Priority R&T Challenges in the Decadal Survey of Civil Aeronautics, by Area, 22 3-1a Changes in Engineering Employment Between 1996 and 2004, 66 3-1b Changes in Engineering Employment Between 2002 and 2004, 66 3-2a Changes in Annual Average of Employment Numbers and Weekly Earnings Between 2004 and 2005, 67 3-2b Changes in Annual Average of Employment Numbers and Weekly Earnings Between 2005 and 2006, 67 xiii

xiv TABLES, FIGURES, AND BOX 4-1 Associate Principal Investigator (API) Areas of Responsibility for Level 2 Research Areas for the Subsonic Fixed Wing Project, 88 4-2 Associate Principal Investigator (API) Areas of Responsibility for Level 2 Research Areas for the Supersonics Project, 89 C-1 Comparison of the Strategic Objectives from the Decadal Survey of Civil Aeronautics with the Principles from the National Aeronautics Research and Development Policy and the National Plan for Aeronautics Research and Development and Related Infrastructure, 102 FIGURES 4-1 Subsonic Fixed Wing Project Level 1 to Level 4 integration diagram, 88 4-2 Supersonics Project Level 1 to Level 4 integration diagram, 89 BOX 1-1 Recommendations to Achieve Strategic Objectives for Civil Aeronautics Research and Technology, from the Decadal Survey of Civil Aeronautics, 13

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In 2006, the NRC published a Decadal Survey of Civil Aeronautics: Foundation for the Future, which set out six strategic objectives for the next decade of civil aeronautics research and technology. To determine how NASA is implementing the decadal survey, Congress mandated in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Act of 2005 that the NRC carry out a review of those efforts. Among other things, this report presents an assessment of how well NASA's research portfolio is addressing the recommendations and high priority R&T challenges identified in the Decadal Survey; how well NASA's aeronautic research portfolio is addressing the aeronautics research requirements; and whether the nation will have the skilled workforce and research facilities to meet the first two items.

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