Accession Number:

ADA528879

Title:

Improving the Army's Next Effort in Technology Forecasting

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

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

Report Date:

2010-09-01

Pagination or Media Count:

40.0

Abstract:

An important challenge for the Department of Defense 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, resulting in new military requirements, some of which can be met by technology. Proper shaping of the ST portfolio requires predicting and matching these two factors well into the future. Some examples of technologies which have radically affected the battlefield include the Global Positioning System coupled with inexpensive hand held receivers, the microprocessor revolution which has placed the power of the Internet and satellite communications into the hands of soldiers in the field, new sensing capabilities such as night vision, the use of unmanned vehicles, and composite materials for armor and armaments. Some of these new 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. Since World War II, predictions of ST for enabling military capabilities have occurred periodically. A study chartered by the Army Air Force1 in 1947 predicted a broad range of developments in aeronautics and air power, and the study process has been a model for such forecasts ever since. Projections in ST have been issued for many years by the National Research Council NRC of the National Academies, and the NRC occasionally publishes decadal studies for specific disciplines. NRC committee reports for astronomy and astrophysics, for example, go back every 10 years to at least 1964.

Subject Categories:

  • Administration and Management
  • Information Science

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE