FY06 STUDY TORS

Approved for Public Release


USAF Scientific Advisory Board
Quick Look Study
FY 2006

Technology Options for Improved Air Vehicle Fuel Efficiency

Terms of Reference
 
Background
Recent increases in aircraft fuel costs, as well as volatility in the worldwide fossil fuel market, negatively impacts U.S. Air Force capabilities and missions. Over 80% of the total USAF energy consumption is associated with aviation fuel. For a number of years, the Air Force Research Laboratory, in partnership with industry and other government entities, has pursued advanced research and development programs which in part have sought to improve aircraft engine efficiency and reduce vehicle drag. Our Air Force mission requires range and persistence in our aircraft. To do this we must reduce our fuel costs and explore technological solutions to increase fuel efficiency.

Charter
The "quick look" study will explore potential improvements in fuel efficiency by providing the following:
  • An overview of the relevant trades among air vehicle efficiency, performance, emissions, and noise.
  • A brief assessment of the accomplishments and potential future benefits of recent AFRL, industry, and other government programs relevant to improved fuel efficiency and reduced aircraft fuel costs. Examples could include the Integrated High Performance Turbine Engine Technology (IHPTET) program, the Versatile Affordable Advanced Turbine Engines (VAATE) program, and various vehicle management and advanced materials programs.
  • An assessment of potential technologies that could be used for reducing fuel consumption and lifecycle costs by the current Air Force fleet.
  • An assessment of potential technologies that could be used for improved fuel consumption by air vehicles, especially in the near term, but in the mid term and far term as well. Near and mid term technologies may include and emphasize retrofit and/or alternative fuels, while far term technologies may require new R&D for yet-to-be-defined propulsion/air vehicle systems.
  • Provide topics for follow-on studies in support of an Air Force Energy Strategy.
Study Products
Briefing to SAF/OS & AF/CC in January 2006. Publish report in March 2006.

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USAF Scientific Advisory Board
Summer Study
FY 2006

Air Defense Against Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)
Terms of Reference

Background
Recent conflicts have illustrated that U.S. joint and coalition forces are increasing their utilization of UAVs. Additionally, the total number of UAVs, including those that have the potential to be used against U.S interests, is proliferating exponentially on an international basis. These UAVs range from "micro-sized" (e.g. with wing spans from a few cm to tens of cm), capable of carrying conventional explosives or biological/radiological payloads, to very large (with wing spans of tens of meters), capable of carrying sensors or weapons of various types. It will be very difficult to defend against small, slow moving, or stealthy UAVs.

The Air Force needs to understand the challenges and impacts of global UAV proliferation, define methods of detecting and identifying U.S., coalition, and adversary uninhabited systems, and define defenses against emerging UAV threats.

Charter
This study will leverage and build upon prior Scientific Advisory Board studies as well as studies by other organizations. The study will assess the current shortfalls, and recommend associated solutions, for defending against adversary UAVs without degrading effective operation of friendly UAVs.

Specifically, the study will:
  • Identify the spectrum of existing and potential adversary UAV systems and prioritize the threat they induce based on potential mission, payload, operating characteristics, etc.
  • Identify gaps in current and projected methods, and recommend technical solutions, for detecting and positively identifying a broad spectrum of UAVs.
  • Identify gaps and recommend approaches for engaging and neutralizing high priority threat UAVs without inhibiting operation of friendly UAVs.
The primary focus will be on OCONUS military scenarios, but recommended approaches will be examined for potential domestic/homeland defense relevance.

Study Products
Briefing to SAF/OS & AF/CC in June 2006. Publish report in November 2006.

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USAF Scientific Advisory Board
Small Summer Study
FY 2006

Space Survivability
Terms of Reference

Background
The USAF is vitally dependent on capabilities delivered or enabled by military, intelligence community and some commercially available space assets. In addition, the Air Force may be tasked to defend high value space assets in the event of hostilities. Ground stations, orbiting assets and the links between them are vulnerable to conventional and non-conventional countermeasures. Vulnerabilities include, for example, attacks on ground stations and links, and the effects of laser weapons, jamming, nuclear detonations and kinetic kill by microsats and other space-based systems. These vulnerabilities could be critical in that both ground stations and satellites are difficult and expensive to replace rapidly. In addition, the corrosive effects of the space environment may degrade system capabilities in ways not immediately distinguishable from intentional acts.
Currently the Air Force is investing in and maintaining many critical space systems and their infrastructures. The Air Force is also investing in several programs on space situational awareness (SSA), offensive counter-space (OCS), and defensive counter-space (DCS). These programs are apparently not well integrated in either their planning, execution or staffing. The liability of this is to leave some important capabilities unmet, potentially inducing critical vulnerabilities. Taken together, these Air Force programs must comprise an integrated and comprehensive set of options for gaining and maintaining survivability of the components of US national security space systems, and for the planned graceful degradation or substitution if necessary.

Charter
  • Develop a comprehensive system understanding of the spectrum of reliance on space systems, threats, vulnerabilities and responses options needed
  • Review and assess previous studies, current programs and R&D activities by government and contractor organizations
  • Determine how well these efforts are addressing the integration of all ground and space elements for rapid detection, assessment of and response to potential attack.
  • Make recommendations on technological and operational options, including an assessment of the existing portfolio of SSA, OCS, and DCS programs for mitigating current and future US space vulnerabilities.
Study Products
Briefing to SAF/OS and AF/CC in June 2006. Publish report in October 2006.

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USAF Scientific Advisory Board
Quick Look Study
FY 2006

System-Level Experimentation in Air Force S&T Programs
Terms of Reference

Background
An approach to experimentation in today's rapidly changing threat environment is needed to concurrently support the discovery and creation of new operational and system concepts and the technology needed to support those concepts. Such an approach would encourage creative exploration of the interplay among technology, system, and operational concepts and help establish a deep understanding of a future environment. While the focus would be on evolving S&T, the approach must include frequent technologist-operator interaction, accommodate the "fog and friction of war" (e.g., an adversarial component, system integration issues), involve higher risk than typically allowed in demonstration-based exercises (e.g., JEFX), and be implementable within technology transition processes.

Charter
The "quick look" study will propose an approach to system-level experimentation in Air Force S&T programs by providing the following:
  • An overview of current Air Force "state of practice" and published approaches for exploratory experiments involving technologists and operators.
  • An overview of approaches practiced by others (e.g., other Services, national laboratories, commercial industry, adversaries).
  • A description of an approach by which system-level experiments could be used to 'stress test technology,' focus high payoff/high risk research, and envision and understand new operational and system concepts.
  • A description of three system-level experiments in the domain of Air Force special operations.
  • Recommendations for a potential follow-on study to address the scale-up of the approach and enhancements to technology transition processes to fully realize the benefits.
Study Products
Briefing to SAF/OS & AF/CC in June 2006. Publish report in August 2006.

Approved for Public Release