FY10 STUDY TORS

Approved for Public Release


USAF Scientific Advisory Board
FY 2010 Summer Study

The Future of Launch Vehicle Systems for the US Air Force

Terms of Reference
 
Background
Domestic launch capabilities are integral to ensuring that U.S. space assets are available and responsive to meet warfighter needs. Moreover, robust and reliable launch vehicles are critical to emerging Air Force missions such as Operationally Responsive Space and sub-orbital ISR platforms. However increased reliance on foreign launch technology, industry consolidation, a decline in launch system production quantities, and an aging workforce has put the U.S. rocket launch industry at risk. Future launch requirements with necessary responsiveness, reliability, availability, efficiencies and affordability will likely need to transcend the current Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) construct; this may include partially or fully reusable stages, air-breathing stages, or both. A new approach to space launch is needed to fully enable US operations and emerging missions in space.

Charter
This study will:
  • Assess the adequacy of current domestic launch systems and infrastructure to meet future military needs.
    o Focus on rapid satellite replenishment, responsive space capabilities, ballistic missiles, and sub-orbital ISR platforms.
    o Include capabilities, plans, and perspectives of civil and commercial providers.
    o Identify gaps and dependence on foreign technology.
  • Review and assess recent space launch reports, plans and roadmaps, including AFSPC's Spacelift Development Plan, to identify launch system gaps.
  • Explore alternative launch vehicle system concepts to enable US space operations and emerging missions.
    o Include EELV, expendable/reusable rocket systems, and expendable/reusable systems with air-breathing stages.
    o Identify realistic technologies for operations in the near-, mid-, and far-term.
    o Assess the potential for US-based development/production of these concepts.
  • Review the adequacy of the current and planned launch infrastructure to support the alternative launch concepts. Identify necessary changes and improvements.
  • Assess the adequacy of planned Science and Technology (S&T) programs. Identify technology investments needed to mature propulsion technologies for launch and ballistic missile systems in the near-, mid-, and far-term.
Study Products
Briefing to SAF/OS & AF/CC in July 2010. Publish report in December 2010.

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USAF Scientific Advisory Board
FY 2010 Summer Study

Operating Next-Generation Unmanned Aircraft Systems for Irregular Warfare
Terms of Reference
Background
The role of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) is rapidly evolving as their roles and missions expand. Today, most aircraft are operated separately, using human-intensive guidance and control, and rely on potentially vulnerable long haul communications; airspace management and deconfliction are also highly human-intensive and predominantly procedural with limited flexibility. Future UAS operations in Irregular Warfare (IW) are predicted to include multiple UAS simultaneously performing many different missions. UAS will need to operate in a dynamic and contested airspace, while minimizing collateral damage and fratricide. This is predicted to drive a need for greater multi-ship collaboration, netted operations, and increased automation. New UAS technologies, tactics, and architectures are needed to ensure successful Air Force operations in IW environments.

Charter
This study will:
  • Review and assess the state-of-the-art in UAS operations, focusing on operations and technologies associated with control and connectivity in an IW environment.
  • Identify weapons systems with low probability of collateral damage/fratricide and the associated UAS architectures and operational concepts for use in IW environments.
  • Identify enabling technologies for UAS IW operations, with an emphasis on
    o Human Systems Integration: Reduced manpower requirements, enhanced operatormachine interface, increased operator situational awareness, and the ability to perform multi-vehicle management.
    o Distributed System Operations: Enhanced multi-aircraft (manned and unmanned) control, airspace management and deconfliction, multi-vehicle collaboration, and netted operations, with implications for exploitation and dissemination of information.
    o Command and Control: Increased efficiency of bandwidth utilization and mission assurance in the presence of degraded or denied communications.
  • Recommend roadmaps for enabling technologies in the mid-to-far-term, with an emphasis on improving the flexibility and capability of UAS in an IW environment.
Study Products
Briefing to SAF/OS & AF/CC in July 2010. Publish report in December 2010.
Approved for Public Release