September 22, 2017

Air Force Scientific Advisory Board announces 2018 studies

The Air Force Scientific Advisory Board revealed its 2018 major studies during their Fall meeting Sept. 21, 2017, in Arlington, Va.

The new study areas focus on topics deemed critical by the secretary of the Air Force and chief of staff of the Air Force.

Maintaining technology superiority is the larger of the two studies and designed to align with Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson’s focus on improving the science and technology enterprise.

“We will listen broadly and engage those who are on the cutting edge of science so that we can focus our research efforts on the pathways that are vital to our future as a service,” said Wilson. “The United States will develop technologies to secure air dominance. We will underwrite our nation’s military supremacy. We will remain sentry and avenger for our nation.”

The study, designed to complement the Air Force Research Laboratory-led science and technology review, will provide an independent, expert perspective on the critical air, space and cyber technology development needed in the 2030 and beyond environment, and propose policies, processes and mechanism that enable more rapid, affordable and effective transitions of capability that provides distinctive advantage into the hands of the warfighter.

The AFSAB is an Air Force sponsored advisory board composed of leading experts in science, technology and engineering across national laboratories, universities, federally funded research and development centers and industry.

“We present the most challenging technology issues the service faces to the best and brightest in specific science fields,” said Dr. Werner Dahm, Scientific Advisory Board chairman. “Throughout the board’s more than 70-year history, many of the recommendations it has made have had major impacts on the Air Force.”

The other study the board will conduct in 2018, technologies for enabling resilient command and control, will examine the current capabilities and limitations in command and control and how to improve those systems. It will also assess technologies that can enhance effectiveness and resilience of Air Force command and control.

In 2017, the board conducted three studies: penetrating counter-air technology; adapting Air Force test and evaluation to emerging systems and nuclear surety and certification for emerging systems.

The NCE study panel provided six recommendations on not only technological improvements, but ones to ensure that certification tasks are properly resourced with the right skills and priority. For example, they recommended introducing additional system engineering processes at key points in nuclear weapons system certification.

The Air Force test and evaluation to emerging systems study panel provided recommendations that focused on a robust process to recognize and quickly mitigate deficiencies that arise at any point in testing due to hardware, software or the environment. These mitigations will be done in a timely and cost effective manner.

There is no releasable information of findings and recommendations for the study on penetrating counter air.

More information can be found at

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