FY17 STUDY TORS

USAF Scientific Advisory Board

Technology Viability to Support Penetrating Counterair Capability

Terms of Reference

Background

The recent Air Force “Air Superiority 2030” (AS 2030) Enterprise Capability Collaboration Team (ECCT) initiative identified a penetrating counterair (PCA) capability as a key need in a hybrid approach to enable air superiority and other missions for anti-access/area-denial environments in the 2030 time frame. Such operating environments will be characterized by increasingly sophisticated integrated air defense systems and substantial adversary counterair capabilities. The AS 2030 ECCT envisions PCA in this systems-of-systems approach to include targeting and engaging via stand-in application of kinetic and non-kinetic effects, and serving as a network node providing data from its penetrating sensors to enable employment of stand-off or stand-in weapons. PCA development must address tradeoffs in range, payload, survivability, lethality, affordability and supportability. The Air Force has therefore initiated a formal analysis of alternatives (AoA) to refine attributes of such a PCA capability. Ongoing developmental planning activity for PCA, including the AoA, will benefit from an assessment of the viability of technology options for achieving the desired survivability, lethality, affordability and mission effectiveness, and an assessment of the technical maturity, manufacturing readiness, and integration readiness of existing and emergent technologies to support the PCA mission.

 

Charter

The study will:

  • Review unclassified and classified documents form the AS 2030 ECCT and other sources to understand the PCA role; identify and prioritize the key operational characteristic that enhance the mission effectiveness of a PCA capability in 2030 A2/AD environments.
  • Examine attributes of likely adversary A2/AD environments in the 2030 time frame that would challenge the effectiveness of a PCA capability for supporting air superiority.
  •  Identify technologies that can enhance attributes of PCA effectiveness, such as speed, range, maneuverability, signature, sensors, countermeasures, weapons type and number; determine current technology readiness and the timelines and investments needed to reach maturity.
  • Review and assess the key technologies that can support manufacturability, affordability, and supportability of a 2030 PCA capability; assess manufacturing readiness and integration readiness of systems and components needed to enable and sustain such a PCA capability.
  • Provide a technology roadmap outlining essential technologies and maturation timelines to support development and fielding of an initial 2030 PCA capability, taking into account corresponding technology freeze dates.
  • Recommend key areas for science and technology investments to advance technology, manufacturing, and integration readiness that can support future block upgrades.

Study Products

Briefing to SAF/OS & AF/CC in July 2017. Publish report in December 2017.

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USAF Scientific Advisory Board

Nuclear Surety and Certification for Emerging Systems

Terms of Reference

Background

Air Force nuclear systems were fielded decades ago and major recapitalization programs are proposed to update or replace them. These must meet nuclear system surety standards based on positive measures to ensure safety, security, and reliability of nuclear weapons, including measures to prevent deliberate pre-arming, arming, launching, or releasing of nuclear weapons except upon execution of emergency war orders, and to prevent such inadvertent actions in normal and credible abnormal environments. Certification of these systems incorporates policies, technical and operational procedures, and equipment in a layered approach of physical security, information assurance, personnel actions, procedures, and weapon design features for each nuclear weapon system. While nuclear certification is conducted routinely on systems in sustainment, the Air Force has not had to exercise certification of new nuclear systems for many years. Planned recapitalization programs include new digital interfaces and safety themes that are not addressed in current policy and guidance. Today’s dependences on cyber systems were not prevalent when legacy nuclear systems were fielded, nor were today’s cyber threats, including supply chain concerns. The Air Force will benefit from a clearer understanding of how nuclear weapon system surety can be achieved in today’s environment, and how nuclear certification can be accomplished as these recapitalization programs move through requirements and acquisition milestones.

 

 

 Charter

 The study will:

  • Identify aspects of planned nuclear recapitalization programs, including the Airborne Launch Control System replacement, B-21, Long Range Standoff curise missile, and Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent, that introduce nuclear surety and certification challenges. 
  • Examine current guidance for nuclear certification, including cyber resilience, and assess if the process is clearly defined and understood by the program offices and all stakeholders.
  • Investigate what best practices regarding nuclear surety and certification may be available from relevant DoD and DOE activities, especially with regard to cyber concerns, and the extent to which these can apply to Air Force systems.
  • Assess current DoD and DOE test facilities and modeling/simulation capabilities for nuclear certification, including cyber considerations, and whether these are adequate to support the certification process.
  • Recommend technical approached and methods, operational procedures, standards, and policies that can support nuclear surety and certification in today's environment.
  • Determine if requirements, timelines, expertise, training, and personnel are available to conduct the certification process for multiple concurrent programs of record, and if funding projections and margins are adequate to account for nuclear certification of these systems.
Study Products
Briefing to SAF/OS & AF/CC in July 2017. Publish report in December 2017.

 

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USAF Scientific Advisory Board

Adapting Air Force Test and Evaluation to Emerging Systems Needs

Terms of Reference

Background

The Air Force owns and operates an extensive network of facilities for developmental and operational test and evaluation (DT&E/OT&E). The advent of software-intensive systems began a shift to substantially different T&E methodologies, and projected further increases in emphasis on software-driven, cyber-enabled, networked, collaborative, and autonomous systems will likely require fundamentally different T&E concepts, approaches, methods, and infrastructure. Additionally, many modern weapon systems have performance requirements that exceed present facilities’ test or measurement capabilities. Some systems, such as electronic warfare systems, cannot be tested using traditional range infrastructure. At the same time, significant growth in the space and cyber domains has not been matched with supporting T&E capabilities. Modeling and simulation may provide virtual and constructive elements (LVC) to support T&E, but fidelity, latency, and other factors can limit the impact of such methods. The Air Force needs a clearer understanding of how the DT&E/OT&E needs for its current and future systems can be met in a cost-effective manner through the use of innovative concepts, approaches, methods, and facilities that are suited to the characteristics and demands of these types of systems.

 

 

Charter

 The study will:

  • Assess the current capabilities and identify specific capability gaps of Air Force T&E facilities and those available in the DoD and industry to determine the extent to which they can meet the needs of emerging systems.
  • Assess the state of software test and evaluation facilities, including current methodologies, in support of software verification and validation and evaluation of mission effectiveness and availability.
  • Identify new concepts, approaches, and methods that can support cost-effective testing, evaluation, and certification of software-driven, networked, autonomous, and other types of emerging Air Force systems.
  • Determine approaches that can overcome current limitations on testing of advanced electronic warfare systems, including test methodologies and facility networking.
  • Determine ways in which modeling and simulation can be used to enable more efficient or effective test and evaluation, including integration of virtual and constructive elements with physical testing; also assess current and foreseeable limitations of such approaches.
  • Recommend a roadmap for adapting Air Force T&E to address emerging systems, including changes to current approaches for verification, validation, and certification.
Study Products
Briefing to SAF/OS & AF/CC in July 2017. Publish report in December 2017.