Overview of the Scientific Advisory Board

The U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) is a Federal Advisory Committee reporting directly to the Secretary of the Air Force and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force. The SAB provides independent advice on matters of science and technology relating to the Air Force mission. The SAB reports and other products are intended primarily for senior leadership of the Air Force and the Department of Defense.

Each year, the SAB studies topics deemed critical by the Secretary of the Air Force and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force. The SAB also provides a biannual independent review of the quality and relevance of Air Force science and technology programs at the Air Force Research Laboratory. Through these and other activities, the SAB recommends applications of technology to improve Air Force capabilities.

The SAB is composed of approximately 50 members from academia, industry, national labs, federally-funded research and development centers, and university-affiliated research centers who are distinguished in the science and technology communities. The membership is selected to span science and technology areas relevant to the Air Force. The SAB members are appointed by the Secretary of Defense and approved by the White House, and serve as Special Government Employees. A member's term of service is typically four years, although membership is renewed annually.

The SAB Chair and Vice Chair are selected from the membership to serve three year terms. An Executive Committee comprised of SAB Senior Fellows, the SAB Military Director, the Air Force Chief Scientist, and others as selected by the SAB Chair, provide guidance to the SAB leadership and members.

The SAB was originally established as the Army Air Forces Scientific Advisory Group in 1944 by General Henry Harley "Hap" Arnold and Dr. Theodore von Kármán and has been in continuous service since.