Accession Number:

ADA522872

Title:

Forecasting Science and Technology for the Department of Defense

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC CENTER FOR TECHNOLOGY AND NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY

Report Date:

2009-12-01

Pagination or Media Count:

20.0

Abstract:

Since World War II, predictions of science and technology for military applications have occurred periodically. A study chartered by the Army Air Force predicted in 1947 a broad range of developments in aeronautics and air power and has been a model for such forecasts ever since. Projections in science and technology have been issued for many years by the National Research Council NRC of the National Academies, which publishes decadal studies for specific disciplines. Such studies for astronomy and astrophysics, for example, go back to at least 1964. An important task of DOD science and technology ST programs is to avoid technological surprise resulting from the exponential increase in the pace of discovery and change in ST worldwide. The nature of the military threat is also changing, with the result being new military requirements, some of which can be met by technology. Shaping the ST portfolio requires predicting and matching these two factors well into the future. Some examples of technologies that have radically affected the battlefield include the Global Positioning System coupled with inexpensive, handheld receivers the microprocessor revolution, which has placed the power of the Internet and satellite communications in the hands of soldiers in the field new sensing capabilities such as night vision and composite materials for armor and armaments. Some of these technologies came from military ST, some from commercial developments, and still others from a synthesis of the two sectors, but all were based on advances in the underlying sciences. Clearly, leaders and planners in military ST must keep abreast of such developments and look ahead as best they can.

Subject Categories:

  • Administration and Management
  • Defense Systems

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE