USAF Scientific Advisory Board
FY 2018 Study Maintaining Technology Superiority for the USAF
Terms of Reference
The USAF has always been critically dependent on developing, fielding, and maintaining superior
warfighting capabilities derived from science and technology (S&T) advances, including basic
research, applied research, and advanced technology development. However today, federal budget
pressures, rapidly evolving global technological capabilities and threats, and our adversaries'
less fettered processes for developing technologies into warfighting capabilities make it difficult
for the current Air Force S&T and acquisition enterprise to maintain technological superiority.
Even parity is at risk in some key areas. In part, this calls for a clear identification of S&T
effo,ts that can support critical capabilities for the 2030+ warfighting environment, highlighting
those that can potentially provide lasting advantages for the USAF. But in addition, there can be
obstacles in the acquisition process itself that impede timely development and transition of
technology-enabled capabilities to meet changing warfighter needs. The Air Force will benefit from
a study that not only provides an independent, external, expett perspective on critical technology
development efforts needed for the 2030+ environment, but that also proposes mechanisms to enable
more rapid, affordable, and effective transitions from the S&T enterprise to help maintain
technological superiority for our warfighters.
The study will:
• Assess critical air, space, and cyber/information warfighting capabilities needed in the near, mid,
and far-term, including their resilience to adversary CONOPS and countermeasures; include inputs
from appropriate MAJCOMs and the intelligence community.
• Identify and prioritize the key underlying concepts and suppotting technologies needed to enable these
critical capabilities, including perspectives from across the Air Force, DoD, intelligence
community, DoE, FFRDCs and relevant commercial technology organizations.
• Assess the resilience of identified concepts and technologies to counter threats and proliferation.
Identify those that are likely to result in asymmetric and/or lasting advantages for the USAF
against potential foes.
• Determine the impact of alternative acquisition and funding approaches on the speed and cost of
effective development of technologies and their transition to provide superior warfighting
capabilities; leverage insights from existing acquisition-policy related research.
• Recommend changes to internal policies and processes in the Air Force S&T and acquisition
enterprise that would enhance rapid innovation and speed associated technology transition.
• For the identified critical technologies, propose roadmaps employing these recommended changes in
the S&T and acquisition enterprise to rapidly mature and transition them; include needed MS&A,
experiments, and demonstrations to validate utility and CONOPS, funding strategies and rapid
Briefing to SAF/OS and AF/CC in July 2018. Publish report in December 2018.
USAF Scientific Advisory Board
FY 2018 Study Technologies for Enabling Resilient Command and Control
Terms of Reference
The Air Force's Future Operating Concept identifies resilient connnand and control (C2) as one of
five future Air Force core missions. It envisions resilient Operations Centers that provide Air
Force component commanders with abilities to plan, direct, and assess the activities of air, space
and cyberspace forces in an integrated cross-domain manner. An on-going Enterprise Capability
Collaboration Team (ECCT) is considering how this can be achieved. Key attributes of resilient C2
identified in past SAB studies include (1) integrated multi-domain planning and execution, trained
in the full range of air, space, and cyberspace capabilities, effects, and limitations, (2) dynamic
sourcing, direction, and execution that operates inside adversary decision cycles, (3) ability to
gather and create information to enable global situational awareness through use of automated
decision support tools and tailorable user defined operating pictures, (4) flexibility to employ
across varying conflicts under dynamic conditions, differing levels of delegated authority, between
supported or supporting roles, and between centralized control and distributed coordination, and
(5) reduced forward-deployed footprints with an ability to be quickly repositioned, reconfigured, and
augmented. However, there are many technical and non-technical challenges to realizing resilient
C2. In implementing the ECCT results, the Air Force will benefit from an assessment of viable
architectures and technologies that enable resilient operations centers, including technical
maturity and integration readiness of existing and emergent technologies that can support resilient
The study will:
• Review existing Joint and Air Force C2 CONOPS, architectures, procedures and technologies,
determine their capabilities and limitations in providing multi-domain planning, direction, and
assessment, and determine key characteristics that can enhance Air Force C2 effectiveness.
• Engage with the ECCT to identify alternative future Air Force C2 architectures and assess their
ability to meet desired needs across Joint and coalition operations that stress varying levels of
conflict, differing levels of delegated authority, and suppmied or suppmiing roles.
• Assess technologies that can enhance C2 effectiveness including multi-domain integration,
planning responsiveness, assessment, situational awareness, flexibility, re-configurability,
communications and network resiliency, survivability, multi-level security and information
assurance; assess technology readiness, timelines, and investments needed to reach maturity.
• Consider potentially relevant commercial-world approaches, such as in augmented reality and
gaming, to address analytics, decision aids, visualization tools and human-machine interfaces.
• Recommend key areas for science and technology investments to evolve cu11'ent C2-relevant
technologies and their integration into a future resilient Air Force C2 system.
• Provide a roadmap outlining essential new and emerging technologies (e.g., machine learning) and
maturation timelines to suppoti development/fielding ofresilient C2 capabilities.
Briefing to SAF/OS and AF/CC in July 2018. Publish repmi in December 2018.