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entitled 'Technology Development: New DOD Space Science and Technology 
Strategy Provides Basis for Optimizing Investments, but Future Versions 
Need to Be More Robust' which was released on January 28, 2005.

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Report to Congressional Committees:

United States Government Accountability Office:

GAO:

January 2005:

Technology Development:

New DOD Space Science and Technology Strategy Provides Basis for 
Optimizing Investments, but Future Versions Need to Be More Robust:

GAO-05-155:

GAO Highlights:

Highlights of GAO-05-155, a report to congressional committees: 

Why GAO Did This Study:

The Department of Defense (DOD) is depending heavily on new space-based 
technologies to support and transform future military operations. Yet 
there are concerns that efforts to develop technologies for space 
systems are not tied to strategic goals for space and are not well 
planned or coordinated. In the National Defense Authorization Act for 
2004, the Congress required DOD to develop a space science and 
technology (S&T) strategy that sets out goals and a process for 
achieving those goals. The Congress also required GAO to assess this 
strategy as well as the required coordination process. 

What GAO Found:

DODís new strategy for space S&T met four of the nine requirements set 
out by the Congress and plans are in place to meet the remaining 
requirements. These included requirements for setting short- and long-
term goals and a process for achieving those goals as well as 
requirements that focused on ensuring the strategy was developed with 
laboratories, research components, and other organizations involved in 
space S&T and ensuring the strategy would be reviewed by appropriate 
entities and revised periodically. In addition to meeting these 
requirements, GAO found that development of the strategy itself helped 
spur collaboration within the DOD space S&T community since it required 
diverse organizations to come together, share knowledge, and establish 
agreement on basic goals. 

Since the strategy has only recently been issued, it is too early to 
assess whether the direction and processes outlined in the strategy 
will be effective in supporting and guiding future space S&T efforts. 
Moreover, DOD officials are still working out the details of some 
implementation mechanisms. However, in order to better position DOD for 
successful implementation, GAO believes that the plan should contain 
stronger linkages to DODís requirements setting process, identify 
additional measures for assessing progress in achieving strategic 
goals, and explicitly cover all efforts related to space S&T.

Moreover, there are formidable barriers that stand in the way of 
optimizing DODís investment in space S&T. For example: 

* DOD does not have complete visibility over all spending related to 
space S&T, including spending occurring within some S&T organizations 
and acquisition programs. Without a means to see where funding is being 
targeted, DOD may not be able to assure all spending on technology 
development is focused on achieving its goals. 
* The S&T community itself may not have resources critical to achieving 
DODís goals. In recent years, funding and opportunities for testing for 
the space S&T community have decreased. And, concerns have grown about 
the adequacy of the space S&T workforce. 
* DOD acquisition programs continue to undertake technology development 
that should be occurring within an S&T environment, which is more 
forgiving and less costly than a delivery-oriented acquisition program 
environment. Until this is done, cost increases resulting from 
technology problems within acquisitions may keep resources away from 
the S&T community.
By using the strategy as a tool for assessing and addressing these 
challenges, DOD can better position itself for achieving its goals and 
also strengthen the S&T base supporting space.

What GAO Recommends:

GAO is making recommendations that focus on assuring DOD has the right 
tools and measures in place to meet its goals for space S&T and to take 
steps needed to begin addressing barriers to effectively implementing 
the new strategic plan. In commenting on the report, DOD agreed with 
the recommendations.

www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-05-155.

To view the full product, including the scope and methodology, click on 
the link above. For more information, contact Mike Sullivan at (937) 
258-9715 or sullivanm@gao.gov.

[End of section]

Contents:

Letter:

Results in Brief:

Background:

DOD's Space S&T Strategy Addresses the Act's Requirements:

Additional Criteria Are Not Included in the Act That May Enhance the 
Strategy:

Barriers May Hamper Strategy Implementation:

Conclusions:

Recommendations for Executive Action:

Agency Comments:

Appendix I: Budget Activity Descriptions:

Appendix II: Funding on Technology Development within Science and 
Technology and Acquisition Communities:

Appendix III: Technology Readiness Levels and Their Definitions:

Appendix IV: Organizations That Participated in Developing the Space 
Science and Technology Strategy:

Appendix V: Comments from the Department of Defense:

Tables:

Table 1: Requirements Met or Planned:

Table 2: Description of Department of Defense's Budget Activities:

Table 3: Funding by S&T Community:

Table 4: Advanced Component Development and Prototypes Funding for 
Space Acquisition Programs:

Figures:

Figure 1: DOD S&T Activities within the RDT&E Appropriations:

Figure 2: Funding for Space Test Program:

Figure 3: Number of Experiments Carried Out by Space Test Program:

Abbreviations:

BA: budget activity:

DARPA: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency:

DDR&E: Director of Defense Research and Engineering:

DOD: Department of Defense:

JCIDS: Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System:

MDA: Missile Defense Agency:

NASA: National Aeronautics and Space Administration:

NRO: National Reconnaissance Office:

RDT&E: research, development, test and evaluation:

S&T: science and technology:

TRL: technology readiness level:

[End of section]

United States Government Accountability Office:

Washington, DC 20548:

January 28, 2005:

The Honorable John W. Warner: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Carl Levin: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Committee on Armed Services: 
United States Senate:

The Honorable Duncan Hunter: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Ike Skelton: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Committee on Armed Services: 
House of Representatives:

The Department of Defense (DOD) is looking to its space systems to play 
an increasingly pivotal role in future military operations. As such, it 
is developing several families of new, expensive, and technically 
challenging space systems, eventually including constellations of 
satellites that will employ laser optics to transport information over 
long distances in much larger quantities than radio waves; a new 
generation of global positioning technology; and advanced infrared 
sensors, radar sensors, and environmental monitoring sensors. At the 
same time, DOD is seeking to improve technologies and materials that 
are critical to enhancing satellite performance, such as propulsion 
systems, cooling systems, onboard and ground processing systems, and 
materials used to protect technologies and spacecraft in the harsh 
space environment.

A broad array of entities is charged with responsibility for developing 
the science and technology (S&T) supporting space systems, including 
research laboratories and test facilities belonging to the military 
departments and DOD as well as industry and academic organizations that 
perform research and development for these organizations or for 
specific DOD space acquisition programs. From fiscal years 2004 through 
2009, DOD plans to spend about $3.8 billion on S&T efforts exclusive to 
space applications within its military laboratories and contracts 
through its laboratories. Considerably more money will be spent on 
projects that have space and terrestrial applications (for example, 
propulsion technologies and advanced materials) as well as on 
technology development that occur within acquisition programs. In 
addition, outside agencies, such as the National Aeronautics and Space 
Administration (NASA), also invest in S&T efforts that can support DOD 
space systems and may benefit from S&T efforts being carried out by 
DOD.

Though there are many diverse organizations carrying out S&T efforts 
related to space and a considerable amount being invested, DOD has not 
had an overarching strategy for space S&T in recent years that sets 
goals for these efforts, helps direct how investments should be spent, 
and tracks the overall progress of DOD's investment in space S&T. 
Moreover, there have been concerns that the level of collaboration and 
coordination among all DOD S&T organizations involved in space has not 
been adequate, leading to redundant or unnecessary investments in some 
areas or even too little investment in areas where it is critical for 
the United States to maintain a lead over other nations. There has also 
been concern that technologies have difficulty transitioning from the 
laboratories to DOD's acquisition programs. In addition, our previous 
reports have shown that weapon system acquisition programs have taken 
on technology development that should occur in an S&T environment. In 
doing so, acquisition programs have not been able to align customer 
expectations with resources, and therefore minimize problems that could 
hurt the program in its design and production phases. In fact, many of 
the space programs we have reviewed over the past several decades have 
incurred unanticipated cost and schedule increases because they began 
without knowing whether technologies could work as intended and 
invariably found themselves addressing technical problems in a more 
costly environment.

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 (the act) 
required DOD's Executive Agent for Space and its Director of Defense 
Research and Engineering (DDR&E) to develop and implement a space S&T 
strategy. The act required us to review and assess the S&T strategy and 
the effectiveness of the coordination process among DOD S&T elements 
and to report our findings by September 1, 2004. As discussed with 
committee staff, our objectives were to (1) assess whether the strategy 
meets the act's requirements, (2) identify additional criteria above 
and beyond the act that could enhance the usefulness of the strategy, 
and (3) identify barriers that may hamper DOD's ability to successfully 
enhance S&T efforts for space. We provided a briefing on our review to 
your committees on our findings on September 1, 2004. This report 
details our findings.

In conducting our work, we reviewed DOD and military department policy 
documents on S&T activities, as well as pertinent S&T reports and 
related material, to determine DOD's progress in achieving program 
mission objectives. We assessed the DOD space S&T strategy for 
compliance with the 2004 Defense Authorization Act. We developed 
additional criteria with which to assess the space S&T strategy and 
identified barriers that may influence DOD's ability to successfully 
implement S&T efforts for space. In doing so, we consulted with subject 
matter experts and reviewed our previous best practice reports. We 
reviewed documents from and conducted interviews with officials in DOD, 
the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Defense Advanced Research 
Projects Agency (DARPA), the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), NASA, and 
military department research laboratories. We also analyzed the fiscal 
year 2004 virtual Major Force Program for Space and unclassified DOD 
budget documents to identify the amount of space research, development, 
test and evaluation (RDT&E) funding for fiscal years 2003 to 2009 and 
confirmed with DOD officials responsible for maintaining this 
information that our analysis was correct. Our review was conducted 
from November 2003 to November 2004 in accordance with generally 
accepted government auditing standards.

Results in Brief:

The 2004 National Defense Authorization Act required DOD to develop a 
strategy for space S&T that identified short-and long-term space S&T 
goals; a process for achieving the goals, including an implementation 
plan; and a process for assessing progress made toward achieving the 
goals. The act also required DOD to coordinate its efforts with various 
organizations and agencies involved in space. The strategy met four of 
nine specific requirements in the act, and plans are in place to meet 
the remaining five requirements. We found that the strategy provides a 
foundation for enhancing coordination among space S&T efforts since it 
does specify overall goals and it establishes several mechanisms to 
help senior leaders gauge whether investments are focusing on those 
goals. Moreover, the development of the strategy itself helped spur 
collaboration within the DOD space S&T community since it required 
diverse organizations to come together, share knowledge, and establish 
agreement on basic goals.

However, the strategy lacks details in key areas needed to achieve its 
goals. For example, measures for gauging success have not been fully 
defined. In addition, the strategy does not specifically address how 
S&T efforts within space acquisition programs will be covered, even 
though considerable money is being spent by acquisition programs on 
technology development. Also, the strategy does not address how long-
standing barriers to optimizing DOD's investment in space S&T will be 
addressed, including incomplete visibility over funding for space-
related S&T as well as testing and workforce deficiencies. 
Concentrating on these issues would help ensure that DOD has the right 
tools and measures in place to meet its goals for space. As such, we 
are making recommendations focused on addressing these issues in future 
versions of the strategy. In addition, there are barriers outside of 
the space community that may hamper effective implementation of the 
space strategy, including a lack of a DOD-wide investment strategy. 
Such a strategy could be useful in guiding and directing S&T 
investments, funding, and organizational incentives, which have been 
encouraging technology development in acquisition programs rather than 
the S&T community. DOD has initiated actions to address these issues, 
but it is too early to assess their effectiveness.

Background:

Generally, DOD's S&T community (which includes DOD laboratories and 
testing facilities as well as contractors and academic institutions 
that support these facilities) conducts research and develops 
technologies to support military applications, such as satellites or 
weapon systems. Like the acquisition community in DOD, the S&T 
community uses RDT&E funds, but the S&T community's work precedes the 
acquisition cycle. Weapon system program managers, who receive most of 
DOD's RDT&E budget, apply generic technologies to specific systems. 
Figure 1 highlights activities the S&T community is involved in along 
with the RDT&E budget categories, or "activities," which are used to 
fund these efforts. More details on both are provided in appendixes I 
and II.

Figure 1: DOD S&T Activities within the RDT&E Appropriations:

[See PDF for image]

[End of figure]

The S&T community carries out its work within the first three 
categories of research and development listed above. DOD has specified 
that the work within the fourth category--testing and evaluation of 
prototypes of systems or subsystems in a high fidelity or realistic 
environment--involves efforts before an acquisition program starts 
product development. However, according to DOD officials, it is assumed 
that either the S&T community or an acquisition program may carry out 
this work, and traditionally, weapon system acquisition programs have 
taken on technology development within this stage. After this point, 
any additional development is to be completed as part of a formal 
acquisition or product development phase under the authority of the 
weapon system manager and apart from the S&T community.

The DOD DDR&E is responsible for the overall direction, quality, and 
content of the agency's S&T efforts. Each of the military departments-
-Army, Air Force, and Navy--has its own S&T programs, as do DOD 
organizations such as DARPA, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, MDA, and 
the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). The DOD Executive Agent for 
Space--who is also the space milestone decision authority for all space 
major defense acquisition programs, the Under Secretary of the Air 
Force, and the Director of the NRO--also influences S&T efforts for 
space since he decides whether significant investments in space systems 
are to move forward in the development process.

There are mechanisms within the space community and DOD designed to 
ensure S&T efforts are coordinated and are focused on achieving broader 
goals and that redundancy is minimized. Within the space community, a 
forum called the Space Technology Alliance was established in 1997 to 
coordinate the development of space technologies with an eye toward 
achieving the greatest return on investment. Its membership includes 
the Air Force, the Army, the Navy, MDA, DARPA, and NRO. At the DOD-wide 
level, there is a Defense Science and Technology Strategy, which lays 
out goals for DOD-wide S&T efforts based on goals set by higher-level 
documents, such as the Quadrennial Defense Review. This strategy is 
used, in turn, to develop a DOD-wide basic research plan, which 
reflects DOD's objectives and planned investments for basic research 
conducted by universities, industry, and laboratories and a DOD-wide 
technology area plan, which does the same for applied research and 
advanced technology development. There is also a Joint Warfighting S&T 
Plan, which ties S&T projects to priority future joint warfighting 
capabilities identified by higher-level documents. These overall plans, 
in turn, are used by DOD laboratories to direct investments in S&T. 
They are also used by the Office of the Secretary of Defense to provide 
guidance to the military departments and the defense agencies as they 
develop and vet their proposed budgets. In addition, DOD puts together 
teams of outside experts in 12 technology areas to assess whether 
particular investments across DOD's S&T community are redundant or 
unnecessary. These are known as Technology Area Reviews and 
Assessments. The teams make recommendations to a board comprised of 
senior DOD S&T officials and chaired by the DDR&E for action to 
terminate, adjust, and/or enhance investments to better align the S&T 
program to comply with the planning document guidance. The DDR&E, which 
reports to the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and 
Logistics), has oversight of the RDT&E budget activities used to 
research and develop new technologies, specifically, RDT&E budget 
activities 1 (basic research), 2 (applied research), and 3 (advanced 
technology development). Recently, the DDR&E was given oversight of 
RDT&E budget activity 4 (advanced component development and prototypes) 
in an effort to ensure this development had sufficient oversight from 
the S&T community.

DOD's Space S&T Strategy Addresses the Act's Requirements:

The act required DOD to develop a strategy for its space S&T efforts 
that identified short-and long-term space S&T goals; a process for 
achieving the goals, including an implementation plan; and a process 
for assessing progress made toward achieving the goals. The act also 
required DOD to coordinate its strategy development efforts.[Footnote 
1] The strategy, yet to be delivered to the Congress at the time of our 
review, met four of nine requirements, and plans are in place to meet 
the remaining five. We found that the strategy provides a foundation 
for enhancing coordination among space S&T efforts since it does 
specify overall goals and that it establishes several mechanisms to 
help senior leaders gauge whether investments are focusing on those 
goals. However, since the strategy has only recently been issued, it is 
too early to assess whether the direction and processes outlined in the 
strategy will be effective in supporting and guiding future space S&T 
efforts.

Table 1: Requirements Met or Planned:

Requirement: Identify short-and long-term goals; Requirement met? 
Yes.

Requirement: Address a process for achieving the goals, including an 
implementation plan; 
Requirement met? Yes.

Requirement: Address a process for assessing progress made toward 
achieving the goals; 
Requirement met? Yes.

Requirement: Strategy developed in consultation with DOD laboratories, 
research components, and other organizations; 
Requirement met? Yes.

Requirement: Strategy to be reviewed and, as appropriate, revised 
annually; 
Requirement met? Planned.

Requirement: Strategy to be made available for review by the 
congressional defense committees; 
Requirement met? Planned.

Requirement: Strategy to be included as part of the annual National 
Security Space Plan; 
Requirement met? Planned.

Requirement: Strategy to be provided to DOD components and DOD S&T 
entities to support DOD's planning, programming, and budgeting 
processes; 
Requirement met? Planned.

Requirement: In carrying out the space S&T strategy, DOD laboratories, 
research components, and other organizations shall each (1) identify 
research projects that contribute directly and uniquely to the 
development of space technology and (2) inform the DDR&E and the DOD 
Executive Agent for Space of the planned budget and schedule for those 
projects; 
Requirement met? Planned.

Source: GAO.

[End of table]

The strategy identified goals for space S&T along six main areas--
assured access to space, responsive space capability, assured space 
operations, spacecraft technology, information superiority, and S&T 
workforce. Except for the goal of enhancing the workforce, the strategy 
laid out short-term goals (within 5 years) and long-term goals (in the 
year 2020 or beyond). Under spacecraft technology, for example, the 
strategy identified a short-term goal of on-orbit assessment of 
satellite servicing and repair and long-term goals of on-orbit 
assembly, deployment, repair, and upgrades. Under assured space 
operations, the strategy identified a short-term goal of detecting, 
identifying, and characterizing natural and man-made objects in space 
and a long-term goal of complete space situational awareness. According 
to S&T community officials we spoke with, the mere identification of 
goals should be useful in helping DOD laboratories and other S&T 
facilities to direct their investment as this type of guidance had not 
been provided for space previously.

The strategy also establishes several mechanisms for implementation. 
Primarily, it calls for semiannual space S&T summit meetings to 
coordinate user expectations, highlight technologies, provide 
guidance, and establish priorities.[Footnote 2] DDR&E officials, agency 
S&T executives as well as Service Program Executive Officers for Space 
who will ultimately transition new capabilities, and major command 
leadership will attend these meetings. The strategy also implements an 
Industry Independent Research and Development coordination conference, 
where industry and government officials can come together to 
collaborate in their S&T planning activities. Details on both of these 
mechanisms are still being worked out, according to the developers of 
the strategy.

The strategy also identifies some tools and measures that will be used 
to track progress in meeting goals. These tools and measures include 
"technology roadmaps," which identify timelines, milestones, and 
transition dates for specific projects as well as interdependencies 
with other projects and "technology readiness level" (TRL), an 
analytical tool that assesses the maturity level of technology. Our 
prior work has found TRLs to be a valuable decision-making tool since 
it can presage the likely consequences of incorporating a technology at 
a given level of maturity into a product development. [Footnote 3] 
Appendix III details criteria for each TRL.

In addition, DOD has plans in place to ensure that the strategy is 
reviewed and revised, as necessary, annually and that it be made 
publicly available for review by congressional defense committees. 
Other DOD S&T entities will be provided the strategy to support the 
planning, programming, and budgeting processes. DOD also plans to 
include the strategy as an annex to the National Security Space Plan, 
even though the plan is thought to be a lower-level tactical document 
and not a strategic document.

The developers of the strategy worked with a wide range of 
organizations in establishing goals, measures, and implementation 
plans. These include military department laboratories, DARPA, 
intelligence agencies, MDA, the Air Force Space Command, NASA, the 
Space and Missile Systems Center, the U.S. Strategic Command, the 
National Security Space Office, and others.[Footnote 4] Officials 
within the space community we spoke with commented that it has 
historically been difficult to gain agreement from these organizations. 
Even though they all have ties to space, these organizations have 
different views as to what overall goals the space community should 
strive for and how they should be achieved. According to officials 
within the space community we spoke with, just getting these 
organizations to work together and to gain agreement was a significant 
benefit to the community at large since it helped foster more 
collaborative working relationships and greater knowledge sharing.

Additional Criteria Are Not Included in the Act That May Enhance the 
Strategy:

In addition to the requirements specified by the act, we found that 
optimizing space S&T efforts also depends on whether (1) the strategy 
is clearly linked to other strategies and plans; (2) all DOD space S&T 
efforts are covered by the strategy; and (3) the strategy identifies 
metrics beyond TRLs that focus on success. Linkage to other strategies 
and plans is important to providing clear guidance to S&T laboratories 
and other organizations making investments since there are a number of 
DOD-wide "strategies" for S&T as well as a number of space-related 
higher level strategic plans as well as tactical plans relating to S&T. 
Coverage of all space S&T efforts is important since S&T is carried out 
not only by DOD laboratories but also by large acquisition programs and 
other agencies that have a large stake or investment in space S&T. For 
example, NRO develops new satellites for the intelligence community and 
could potentially leverage its S&T efforts with DOD's. Lastly, having 
additional measures beyond TRLs is important to gauging the success of 
the implementation of the strategy as well as the relevancy and 
feasibility of specific progress toward achieving DOD's overall goals 
for space. We found that the strategy clearly identified linkages to 
some, but not all, key plans and strategies, and it did not provide 
coverage over all S&T efforts or establish additional measures.

Links to Other Strategies and Plans:

The space S&T strategy identifies links to higher-level documents, such 
as the National Security Space Strategy, which sets overall strategic 
goals for DOD space and identifies capabilities to be pursued, and the 
Defense S&T Strategy, which provides overall goals for DOD S&T based on 
higher-level strategic documents. The strategy also references lower-
level plans including the National Security Space Plan discussed 
earlier and DOD-wide S&T plans, such as the Basic Research Plan, the 
Defense Technology Area Plan, and the Joint Warfighting S&T Plan. 
However, the strategy did not provide links to other documents and 
assessments that impact the space S&T community. For example, it is 
unclear how the document will link to DOD's Space Technology Guide, 
which describes the current state of space and space-related technology 
activities underway, including key enabling technologies, that is, 
those that "must be done right" since they play a pivotal role in 
making revolutionary advancements in space applications. The guide is 
being revised and could serve as a useful implementation tool for the 
new space S&T strategy. It is also unclear how the strategy links to 
architectures in areas such as responsive space operations, protection 
for space mission assurance, and integrated intelligence, surveillance 
and reconnaissance being developed by the National Security Space 
Office. These architectures are to define the future desired state for 
DOD's space assets. It is important that DOD reflect these other 
documents in the new space S&T strategy so that the space community 
clearly understands where the strategy fits in relation to other plans 
and guides and can ensure decision making is consistent. Moreover, by 
establishing closer links with the Space Technology Guide and 
architectures under development, DOD may have more avenues to implement 
its short-and long-term goals.

In addition, the Joint Chiefs of Staff did not participate in the 
development of the strategy, including offices responsible for DOD's 
new Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS). 
JCIDS is replacing DOD's requirements generation process for major 
acquisitions in an effort to shift the focus to a more capabilities-
based approach for determining joint warfighting needs rather than a 
threat-based approach focused on individual systems and platforms. 
Under JCIDS, boards comprised of high-level DOD civilians and military 
officials are to identify future capabilities needed around key 
functional concepts and areas, such as command and control, force 
application, and battlespace awareness, and to make trade-offs among 
air, space, land, and sea platforms in doing so. Although the JCIDS 
officials were not required to participate in developing the strategy, 
it is important that they do so in the future since their work could 
have a significant impact on the direction of investments for space S&T 
projects.

Coverage of All S&T Efforts:

The space S&T strategy does not explicitly address technology 
development efforts within DOD acquisition programs. According to DOD 
officials, space acquisition programs are typically using RDT&E funds 
from budget activity 4 to mature technology and build the first two 
satellites. Our analysis showed that space acquisition programs plan to 
spend as much as $16 billion from fiscal years 2004 through 2009 on 
budget activity 4. Our annual assessments of space systems have shown 
that the portion of the $16 billion that is to be spent on maturing 
technology (which we could not readily separate from the portion spent 
building the first two satellites) is often being used to carry out 
activities that should be carried out in an S&T environment. For 
example, the Transformational Satellite program, which is focused on 
building advanced communication satellites, entered system development 
in early 2004 with only one of seven critical technologies matured to a 
point of being tested in a relevant environment. Most of the 
technologies were at a TRL 3, meaning analytical studies and some 
laboratory tests had been conducted, but components had not yet been 
demonstrated to work together. If DOD does not explicitly include 
acquisition programs in the space S&T strategy, it will not be able to 
ensure the S&T community has oversight over a considerable amount of 
ongoing technology development.

We were not provided access to NRO to discuss how it collaborated with 
the DDR&E and the Executive Agent for Space in developing the space S&T 
strategy and how they intended to work with the DDR&E and the Executive 
Agent for Space in implementing the strategy. However, DOD officials 
stated that NRO had participated in the development of the strategy and 
would participate in all S&T coordination activities identified by the 
space S&T strategy. Moreover, according to DOD officials, NRO and other 
intelligence agencies already participate in some DOD space S&T 
coordination and review efforts, such as the Space Technology Alliance. 
In addition, the DDR&E and the DOD Executive Agent for Space are 
continuing to work on increasing coordination between DOD and the 
intelligence community. DOD officials also noted that the current 
Executive Agent for Space also serves as the Director of NRO, which has 
helped to increase coordination between the intelligence community and 
DOD. While these efforts may be helping to increase coordination 
between DOD and the intelligence S&T communities, it is still important 
to specifically include the DOD intelligence agencies in the strategy 
itself and to identify protocols that can help foster greater knowledge 
sharing between both communities.

Success Measures:

While the strategy identifies TRLs as a measure for tracking progress, 
it does not prescribe metrics that focus on the value of S&T projects 
relative to specific goals or knowledge being gained from projects. 
Such metrics would help provide a foundation for assessing progress in 
achieving strategic goals. Strategy developers stated that technology 
development organizations are better suited to develop and use their 
own specific metrics to measure success because different technologies 
may require different types of metrics. The developers stated that by 
design, the strategy sets the direction but leaves it up to the 
laboratories and other S&T entities to establish their own metrics. 
However, they acknowledged that some of the organizations they worked 
with did not have adequate metrics. It is important that DOD attempt to 
identify and use metrics that help assess progress, since these will 
enable DOD to evaluate investments against its short-and long-term 
goals and make informed investment decisions.

Barriers May Hamper Strategy Implementation:

Though the new space S&T strategy takes important first steps toward 
optimizing investments, there are significant barriers that will make 
it difficult to make advancements in the way S&T efforts are planned, 
managed, and transitioned into acquisition programs. Some barriers 
relate specifically to the space community--principally, incomplete 
RDT&E funding visibility, inadequate testing resources, and workforce 
deficiencies. These can potentially be addressed through further study, 
resource shifts, increased management attention, and/or changes to how 
funding is captured. Other barriers are more systemic and require more 
difficult management and cultural changes to be made throughout DOD. 
Nevertheless, until barriers are largely removed, the impact of a new 
strategy for space S&T may be limited. The developers of the strategy 
agreed that the barriers we identified were important and needed to be 
addressed through efforts beyond the development of the strategy.

Visibility over S&T Spending on Space Is Incomplete:

The current budget process does not readily capture all RDT&E funding 
for space S&T efforts. In 2001, DOD established a "virtual" Major Force 
Program for space to increase the visibility of resources allocated for 
space activities. This is a programming mechanism that aggregates most 
space-unique[Footnote 5] funding by military department and function. 
However, the mechanism does not align funding with RDT&E budget 
activities, making it more difficult for DOD to assess the balance of 
funding among basic research, applied research, and advanced technology 
development.[Footnote 6] In working with DOD officials to categorize 
the virtual Major Force Program by RDT&E budget activity, we identified 
about $3.8 billion from fiscal years 2004 through 2009 for budget 
activities 2 (applied research) and 3 (advanced technology 
development). However, funding for budget activity 1 (basic research) 
cannot be specifically associated to either space or terrestrial 
platforms, and therefore does not appear in the virtual Major Force 
Program, which is focused on space-unique funding. Funding in RDT&E 
budget activities 2 and 3 that is not space unique is also not 
captured. In addition, some DOD agencies develop space assets but have 
primary missions that are not associated with space and are therefore, 
not included in the virtual Major Force Program. For example, MDA's 
space efforts are not included in the virtual Major Force Program for 
space even though MDA is developing a new generation of missile 
tracking satellite systems using advanced infrared sensors. MDA plans 
to spend about $4.12 billion on this system from fiscal years 2004-
2009, and a considerable portion of this funding is expected to be used 
to mature technologies for future satellites. Moreover, DARPA reports 
its space funding by project so space S&T efforts cannot be readily 
identified without additional knowledge of whether these projects are 
space related. Currently, DARPA has funded about $200 million annually 
on projects that are space unique and considerably more on projects 
that have both space and terrestrial applications. Until the virtual 
Major Force Program or some other tool can capture and categorize the 
total amount of RDT&E dollars supporting space-unique S&T projects at a 
minimum, DOD will be limited in guiding and directing all space 
investments.

Testing Resources Declining:

Testing resources for space technologies are on the decline. In 
particular, funding for testing has decreased, costs to launch 
experiments have increased, and opportunities have been reduced with 
the loss of the space shuttle, which had been partially used for DOD-
related technology experiments. DOD's Space Test Program, which is 
designed to help the S&T community find opportunities to test in space 
relatively cost-effectively, was funded at $62.3 million in fiscal year 
1990 but only $38.6 million in fiscal year 2004 (see fig. 2). And 
because the cost to launch experiments has increased, the program has 
only been able to launch an average of seven experiments annually in 
the past 4 years (see fig. 3). According to Space Test Program 
officials, demand for testing has not diminished. S&T officials cited 
dwindling testing resources as a barrier to their efforts. While the 
strategy states that appropriate resources need to be allocated for on-
orbit testing, it does not address how this can or will be done.

Figure 2: Funding for Space Test Program:

[See PDF for image]

[End of figure]

Figure 3: Number of Experiments Carried Out by Space Test Program:

[See PDF for image]

Note: This does not include funding for testing that occurs within 
acquisition programs. Chart is in FY 04 constant dollars.

[End of figure]

Space S&T Workforce Facing Shortages:

The workforce needed to carry out S&T for space is facing shortages. 
DOD officials cited staff shortages with science and engineering 
backgrounds and had more concerns about the future since their 
workforces were reaching retirement age. These concerns were echoed by 
DOD and industry studies. A 2002 study on the space research and 
development industrial base conducted by Booz Allen Hamilton, for 
example, found that over half of the current space R&D workforce is 
over 45 years old and that departure of key talent could be especially 
worrisome in 10 years, as scientists and engineers now in the 45-to 49-
year-old group begin to retire from the workforce and are replaced by a 
smaller pool of less experienced personnel.[Footnote 7] In its report, 
the Space Commission noted that both industry and the U.S. government 
face substantial shortages of scientists and engineers and that 
recruitment of new personnel is difficult since the space industry is 
one of many sectors competing for the limited number of trained 
scientists and engineers.[Footnote 8] Booz Allen noted that areas in 
which either recruitment efforts are difficult or a critical mass is 
lacking include systems engineering and software engineering. The 2004 
National Defense Authorization Act[Footnote 9] directed the Secretary 
of Defense to promote the development of space personnel career fields 
within each of the military departments. However, we recently reported 
that the military services vary in the extent to which they have 
identified and implemented initiatives to develop and manage their 
space cadres.[Footnote 10] Moreover, the space S&T strategy itself 
merely lays out goals for workforce without identifying actions or 
resources needed to achieve those goals.

In recognizing that more needs to be done to develop, attract, and 
retain staff with critical skills, the Defense Authorization Act for 
Fiscal Year 2005 Conference Report[Footnote 11] directed DOD to develop 
detailed implementation plans for enhancing the space cadre and to 
study the ability of academia, industry, and government to educate and 
train a community of space professionals and to address the definition 
and development of key competencies and skill levels in the areas of 
systems engineering, program management, financial management, 
operations, and tactics. We believe that S&T skill areas should also be 
included in the strategy given the importance of advancing space 
technologies and potential future workforce shortages.

Investment Strategy Needed to Support S&T Planning:

DOD does not yet have a departmentwide investment strategy that could 
provide a good foundation for space S&T planning. While desired 
capabilities are regularly identified by military commanders and are 
vetted through strategic reviews, such as the Quadrennial Defense 
Review, DOD has limited ability to make trades among space, air, land, 
and sea platforms in deciding how best to meet those capabilities, 
document those decisions, and follow through on those decisions. For 
example, DOD would like to achieve persistent surveillance to enhance 
military operations. But it has not been decided how much of the earth 
needs to be covered and the extent to which air-based assets, such as 
unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, can achieve this capability versus 
space-based assets, such as the planned space-based radar system. If 
DOD conducted thorough and independent analyses of alternatives 
weighing the pros and cons of using different combinations of both 
assets and made trade-off decisions that could be enforced across the 
military services, the S&T community could have a better basis for 
deciding how much S&T dollars should go toward space-based radar 
technologies versus technologies supporting air platforms.

The need for an investment strategy DOD-wide or for particular 
functional areas has been cited in a variety of recent studies, 
including a 1999 Defense Science Board study on tactical battlefield 
communications and a 2004 study by the Center for Strategic and 
International Studies. The recently established JCIDS process is 
designed to identify future capabilities by functional areas and to 
make trades between space and other platforms. However, it is unknown 
as to how this work will translate into an investment strategy that 
could be used to enhance S&T planning. And it is unknown how 
effectively decisions made through JCIDS will be enforced. DOD has also 
made changes to its Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and 
Execution[Footnote 12] process to provide higher-level guidance to the 
budgeting process. However, it is also unclear as to how effectively 
these changes will be implemented over time and whether they can serve 
as a foundation for directing science and technology investments.

Funding Process Encourages Technology Development to Occur within 
Acquisition Programs:

We have previously reported that an S&T environment is more forgiving 
and less costly than a delivery-oriented acquisition program 
environment. Events such as test "failures," new discoveries, and time 
spent in attaining knowledge are considered normal in this environment, 
while they are seen as a negative event in an acquisition program. 
Moreover, separating technology development and product development 
enables organizations to align customer expectations with resources, 
and therefore minimize problems that could hurt a program in its design 
and production phases. Budget realities within DOD, however, make it 
more advantageous to fund technology development in an acquisition 
program. Historically, S&T organizations receive about 20 percent of 
DOD's research and development budget, while weapon system programs 
receive about 80 percent. The money going toward S&T is spread over 
several thousand projects, while the money going toward weapons systems 
is spread out over considerably fewer projects. This "distribution of 
wealth" makes it easier to finance technology development within an 
acquisition program. In addition, even though more money is distributed 
to weapon systems, there is still considerable competition for funding. 
Such competition makes it advantageous for programs to include in their 
design immature technologies that offer significant performance gains. 
Within the space community, there is also a perception that the length 
of time it takes to develop space systems (which have only "one shot" 
at incorporating technologies) demands that DOD push for continual 
advancement of technologies, even after starting an acquisition 
program.

The impact of acquisition programs taking on technology development 
that should be done in an S&T environment is considerable. Our work 
over the past several decades has shown that this practice invariably 
leads to unanticipated cost and schedule increases for space and other 
weapon system programs since technical problems occurring within 
acquisition require more time and money to fix. For some large programs 
for space, cost increases have amounted to billions of dollars and 
delayed schedules by years. Aside from removing technology development 
from a more protective environment and from S&T oversight processes, 
problematic acquisitions may also rob the S&T community and other 
acquisition programs of investment dollars.

Some actions have been taken recently to address this dilemma. In 
particular, DOD issued a revised directive in November 2003 expanding 
the DDR&E's oversight authority to include efforts to develop advanced 
components and prototypes--RDT&E budget activity 4.[Footnote 13] 
According to DDR&E officials, this authority was intended to keep 
technology development out of the acquisition programs and within the 
S&T community, but it will take at least 2 years to determine its 
success. In addition, DOD's revised acquisition policy for weapon 
systems encourages programs not to commit to undertaking product 
development until technologies are matured, that is, at a minimum 
tested in a relevant environment (TRL 6) and preferably in an 
operational environment (TRL 7). However, in October 2003, DOD also 
issued a separate acquisition policy for space, which allows technology 
development to continue into product development up until a decision is 
made to build the first product. At the time of our review, DOD was 
revising the space acquisition policy and reexamining how long 
technology development should continue within an acquisition program.

Conclusions:

DOD has taken an initial positive step in optimizing investments in 
space S&T projects by establishing short-and long-term goals, which can 
be used to direct spending by S&T organizations, and by establishing a 
forum by which senior leaders can assess whether spending is going in 
the right direction. However, there will be significant challenges 
ahead for DOD in implementing the strategy. Namely, DOD must maintain 
momentum toward greater collaboration, which began under this effort. 
This will not be an easy task, given the varied and competing interests 
of organizations with a stake in DOD's space S&T investment and the 
fact that the strategy does not explicitly cover organizations that 
fall outside the realm of traditional DOD S&T oversight. Moreover, 
there are formidable barriers that stand in the way of achieving and 
measuring progress, including inadequate funding visibility, decreased 
testing resources, workforce deficiencies, and long-standing 
incentives that encourage technology development to take place within 
acquisition programs rather than the S&T community. By using the 
strategy as a tool for assessing and addressing these challenges, DOD 
can better position itself for achieving its goals and also strengthen 
the S&T base supporting space.

Recommendations for Executive Action:

We recommend that the Secretary of Defense direct the (1) Executive 
Agent for Space and (2) the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, 
Technology and Logistics) (to whom the DDR&E reports) to make the 
following improvements to space S&T strategic planning.

* Establish protocols and mechanisms for enhancing coordination and 
knowledge sharing between the DOD S&T community, acquisition programs 
involved in space, and DOD intelligence agencies.

* Ensure that the space S&T strategy fully reflects warfighter needs by 
establishing links between space S&T strategic planning and DOD's new 
JCIDS. In addition, establish links to architectural development 
processes to assure that S&T projects align with future technology 
requirements identified in space-related architectures.

* Continue to ensure that DOD has the right tools for measuring 
progress in achieving its goals for space by identifying metrics that 
could be used for assessing the value of S&T projects relative to 
strategic goals and knowledge being gained relative to goals.

* Develop plans for addressing barriers to achieving strategic goals 
for S&T, including deficiencies in RDT&E funding visibility, testing 
resources, and workforce. A first step would be to include skills 
critical to S&T in the workforce study identified in the Fiscal Year 
2005 Defense Authorization Act Conference Report.

Agency Comments:

In commenting on a draft of this report, DOD concurred with our 
recommendations and identified actions being taken to address them. 
(See app. V for DOD's comments.)

We are sending copies of this report to the Secretaries of Defense and 
the Air Force and interested congressional committees. We will also 
make copies available to others upon request. In addition, the report 
will be available at no charge on the GAO Web site at http://
www.gao.gov.

If you or your staff have any questions concerning this report, please 
contact me at (937) 258-7915. Key contributors to this report were 
Cristina Chaplain, Maricela Cherveny, Jean Harker, and Rich Horiuchi.

Signed by: 

Michael Sullivan: 
Acting Director, Acquisition and Sourcing Management:

[End of section]

Appendix I: Budget Activity Descriptions:

Table 2: Description of Department of Defense's Budget Activities:

Name: Basic research; 
Budget activity: 1; 
Description: Basic research is systematic study directed toward greater 
knowledge or understanding of the fundamental aspects of phenomena and 
of observable facts without specific applications towards processes or 
products in mind. It includes all scientific study and experimentation 
directed towards increasing fundamental knowledge and understanding in 
those fields of the physical, engineering, environmental, and life 
sciences related to long-term national security needs. It is farsighted 
high-payoff research that provides the basis for technological 
progress.

Name: Applied research; 
Budget activity: 2; 
Description: Applied research is systematic study to understand the 
means to meet a recognized and specific need. It is a systematic 
expansion and application of knowledge to develop useful materials, 
devices, and systems or methods. Applied research may translate 
promising basic research into solutions for broadly defined military 
needs, short of system development. Applied research precedes system-
specific technology investigations or development.

Name: Advanced technology development; 
Budget activity: 3; 
Description: Advanced technology development includes development of 
subsystems and components and efforts to integrate them into system 
prototypes for field experiments and/or tests in a simulated 
environment. The results of this type of effort are proof of 
technological feasibility and assessment of subsystem and component 
operability and producibility rather than the development of hardware 
for service use. Projects in this category have a direct relevance to 
identified military needs. Program elements in this category involve 
pre-acquisition efforts, such as system concept demonstration, joint 
and service-specific experiments, or technology demonstrations, and 
generally have technology readiness levels (TRLs) of 4, 5, or 6. 
Projects in this category do not necessarily lead to subsequent 
development or procurement phases, but should have the goal of moving 
out of space science and technology (S&T) and into the acquisition 
process within the future years defense program.

Name: Advanced component development and prototypes; 
Budget activity: 4; 
Description: Advanced component development and prototypes consists of 
efforts necessary to evaluate integrated technologies or prototype 
systems in a high fidelity and realistic operating environment. These 
activities include system-specific efforts that help expedite 
technology transition from the laboratory to operational use. Emphasis 
is on proving component and subsystem maturity prior to integration in 
major and complex systems and may involve risk reduction initiatives. 
Advanced component development and prototypes efforts are to occur 
before an acquisition program starts product development.

Name: System development and demonstration; 
Budget activity: 5; 
Description: System development and demonstration consists of newly 
initiated acquisition programs and includes engineering and 
manufacturing development tasks aimed at meeting validated requirements 
prior to full-rate production. Characteristics of this activity involve 
mature system development, integration, and demonstration to support a 
production decision.

Name: Research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) management 
support; 
Budget activity: 6; 
Description: RDT&E management support includes efforts to sustain and/
or modernize the installations or operations required for general 
RDT&E. Such efforts may relate to test ranges, military construction, 
maintenance support of laboratories, operation and maintenance of test 
aircraft and ships, and studies and analyses in support of the RDT&E 
program.

Name: Operational system development; 
Budget activity: 7; 
Description: Operational system development includes development 
efforts to upgrade systems that have been fielded or have received 
approval for full-rate production and anticipate production funding in 
the current or subsequent fiscal year.

Source: DOD Financial Management Regulation (DOD 7000.14-R, Volume 2B, 
Chapter 5, June 2004).

[End of table]

[End of section]

Appendix II: Funding on Technology Development within Science and 
Technology and Acquisition Communities:

Table 3: Funding by S&T Community:

Dollars in millions.

Multi-Disciplinary Space Technology[A]; 
BA: 2; 
Category: 6.2; 
Component: Air Force; 
FY03: $95.8; 
FY04: $101.4; 
FY05: $84.6; 
FY06: $81.1; 
FY07: $101.4; 
FY08: $123.2; 
FY09: $122.1.

Space Technology 1[A]; 
BA: 2; 
Category: 6.2; 
Component: Air Force; 
FY03: 74.9; 
FY04: 101.5; 
FY05: 88.9; 
FY06: 89.6; 
FY07: 97.6; 
FY08: 119.0; 
FY09: 126.7.

Advance Spacecraft Technology; 
BA: 3; 
Category: 6.3; 
Component: Air Force; 
FY03: 52.4; 
FY04: 96.9; 
FY05: 60.1; 
FY06: 65.9; 
FY07: 72.1; 
FY08: 88.2; 
FY09: 91.0.

Maui Space Surveillance System; 
BA: 3; 
Category: 6.3; 
Component: Air Force; 
FY03: 47.1; 
FY04: 51.6; 
FY05: 6.3; 
FY06: 6.3; 
FY07: 6.4; 
FY08: 6.5; 
FY09: 6.6.

Multi-Disciplinary Adv Dev Space Tech; 
BA: 3; 
Category: 6.3; 
Component: Air Force; 
FY03: 51.7; 
FY04: 62.1; 
FY05: 51.1; 
FY06: 59.6; 
FY07: 76.3; 
FY08: 81.8; 
FY09: 73.1.

Command, Control, Communications; 
BA: 3; 
Category: 6.3; 
Component: Army; 
FY03: 8.7; 
FY04: 11.3; 
FY05: 10.0; 
FY06: 14.4; 
FY07: 14.9; 
FY08: 11.2; 
FY09: 6.5.

Advance Aerospace Systems; 
BA: 3; 
Category: 6.3; 
Component: DARPA; 
FY03: 111.6; 
FY04: 201.6; 
FY05: 249.2; 
FY06: 233.6; 
FY07: 261.8; 
FY08: 296.9; 
FY09: 327.0.

Integrated Broadcast System; 
BA: 3; 
Category: 6.3; 
Component: Air Force; 
FY03: 0.0; 
FY04: 8.5; 
FY05: 2.3; 
FY06: 0.0; 
FY07: 0.0; 
FY08: 0.0; 
FY09: 0.0.

Total Space S&T funding; 
FY03: $442.2; 
FY04: $634.9; 
FY05: $552.5; 
FY06: $550.5; 
FY07: $630.5; 
FY08: $726.8; 
FY09: $753.0.

Source: GAO analysis.

Note: The above R&D categories include (6.2) Exploratory Development 
and (6.3) Advanced Development. R&D category (6.1) Basic Research is 
not included because these efforts are general in nature and not 
specific to space.

[A] Funding going toward a variety of projects and sources.

[End of table]

Table 4: Advanced Component Development and Prototypes Funding for 
Space Acquisition Programs:

Title: Army Missile Defense Systems Integration; 
BA: 4; 
Category: 6.3; 
Component: Army; 
FY03: $57.0; 
FY04: $35.5; 
FY05: $4.9; 
FY06: $8.3; 
FY07: $11.9; 
FY08: $11.7; 
FY09: $15.8.

Title: Navstar Global Positioning System III; 
BA: 4; 
Category: 6.3; 
Component: Air Force; 
FY03: 46.6; 
FY04: 0.0; 
FY05: 40.6; 
FY06: 180.0; 
FY07: 291.0; 
FY08: 779.5; 
FY09: 794.0.

Title: Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite system; 
BA: 4; 
Category: 6.3; 
Component: Air Force; 
FY03: 802.7; 
FY04: 802.3; 
FY05: 612.1; 
FY06: 410.0; 
FY07: 316.8; 
FY08: 189.5; 
FY09: 131.1.

Title: Polar Milsatcom; 
BA: 4; 
Category: 6.3; 
Component: Air Force; 
FY03: 22.4; 
FY04: 5.5; 
FY05: 1.0; 
FY06: 0.0; 
FY07: 0.0; 
FY08: 0.0; 
FY09: 0.0.

Title: National Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite 
System; 
BA: 4; 
Category: 6.3; 
Component: Air Force; 
FY03: 232.1; 
FY04: 264.7; 
FY05: 0.0; 
FY06: 0.0; 
FY07: 0.0; 
FY08: 0.0; 
FY09: 0.0.

Title: Space Control Technology; 
BA: 4; 
Category: 6.3; 
Component: Air Force; 
FY03: 12.8; 
FY04: 14.6; 
FY05: 15.1; 
FY06: 14.1; 
FY07: 23.0; 
FY08: 30.5; 
FY09: 40.3.

Title: International Space Cooperative R&D; 
BA: 4; 
Category: 6.3; 
Component: Air Force; 
FY03: 0.6; 
FY04: 0.5; 
FY05: 0.6; 
FY06: 0.6; 
FY07: 0.6; 
FY08: 0.6; 
FY09: 0.6.

Title: Transformational Satcom; 
BA: 4; 
Category: 6.3; 
Component: Air Force; 
FY03: 111.5; 
FY04: 335.4; 
FY05: 774.8; 
FY06: 1,192.4; 
FY07: 1,346.7; 
FY08: 1,830.1; 
FY09: 1,038.6.

Title: Integrated Broadcast System; 
BA: 4; 
Category: 6.3; 
Component: Air Force; 
FY03: 38.4; 
FY04: 16.2; 
FY05: 23.9; 
FY06: 20.2; 
FY07: 20.8; 
FY08: 21.3; 
FY09: 21.6.

Title: Wideband Gapfiller System; 
BA: 4; 
Category: 6.3; 
Component: Air Force; 
FY03: 13.8; 
FY04: 36.3; 
FY05: 73.5; 
FY06: 16.0; 
FY07: 9.3; 
FY08: 5.7; 
FY09: 6.4.

Title: Scamp Block II; 
BA: 4; 
Category: 6.3; 
Component: Army; 
FY03: 14.1; 
FY04: 27.7; 
FY05: 10.2; 
FY06: 92.5; 
FY07: 0.0; 
FY08: 0.0; 
FY09: 0.0.

Title: Air Force/Nat Prog Coop; 
BA: 4; 
Category: 6.3; 
Component: Air Force; 
FY03: 2.3; 
FY04: 0.0; 
FY05: 0.0; 
FY06: 0.0; 
FY07: 0.0; 
FY08: 0.0; 
FY09: 0.0.

Title: Space-Based Radar; 
BA: 4; 
Category: 6.3; 
Component: Air Force; 
FY03: 45.4; 
FY04: 172.6; 
FY05: 327.7; 
FY06: 466.2; 
FY07: 502.7; 
FY08: 1177.7; 
FY09: 1550.0.

Title: Total Space 6.3 funding in BA4; 
FY03: 1,399.7; 
FY04: 1,711.3; 
FY05: 1,884.4; 
FY06: 2,400.3; 
FY07: 2,522.8; 
FY08: 4,046.6; 
FY09: 3,598.4.

Source: GAO analysis.

Note: The above R&D category is Advanced Development (6.3).

[End of table]

[End of section]

Appendix III: Technology Readiness Levels and Their Definitions:

Technology readiness level: 1. Basic principles observed and reported; 
Description: Lowest level of technology readiness. Scientific research 
begins to be translated into applied research and development. Examples 
might include paper studies of a technology's basic properties.

Technology readiness level: 2. Technology concept and/or application 
formulated; 
Description: Invention begins. Once basic principles are observed, 
practical applications can be invented.

Technology readiness level: 3. Analytical and experimental critical 
function and/or characteristic proof of concept; 
Description: Active research and development is initiated. This 
includes analytical studies and laboratory studies to physically 
validate analytical predictions of separate elements of the technology. 
Examples include components that are not yet integrated or 
representative.

Technology readiness level: 4. Component and/or breadboard validation 
in laboratory environment; 
Description: Basic technological components are integrated to establish 
that the pieces will work together. This is relatively "low fidelity" 
compared to the eventual system. Examples include integration of "ad 
hoc" hardware in a laboratory.

Technology readiness level: 5. Component and/or breadboard validation 
in relevant environment; 
Description: Fidelity of breadboard technology increases significantly. 
The basic technological components are integrated with reasonably 
realistic supporting elements so that the technology can be tested in a 
simulated environment. Examples include "high fidelity" laboratory 
integration of components.

Technology readiness level: 6. System/subsystem model or prototype 
demonstration in a relevant environment; 
Description: Representative model or prototype system, which is well 
beyond the breadboard tested for TRL 5, is tested in a relevant 
environment. Represents a major step up in a technology's demonstrated 
readiness. Examples include testing a prototype in a high fidelity 
laboratory environment or in simulated operational environment.

Technology readiness level: 7. System prototype demonstration in an 
operational environment; 
Description: Prototype near or at planned operational system. 
Represents a major step up from TRL 6, requiring the demonstration of 
an actual system prototype in an operational environment, such as in an 
aircraft, vehicle, or space.

Technology readiness level: 8. Actual system completed and "flight 
qualified" through test and demonstration; 
Description: Technology has been proven to work in its final form and 
under expected conditions. In almost all cases, this TRL represents the 
end of true system development. Examples include developmental test and 
evaluation of the system in its intended weapon system to determine if 
it meets design specifications.

Technology readiness level: 9. Actual system "flight proven" through 
successful mission operations; 
Description: Actual application of the technology in its final form and 
under mission conditions, such as those encountered in operational test 
and evaluation. Examples include using the system under operational 
mission conditions. 

Source: GAO analysis based on NASA and DOD guidance.

[End of table]

[End of section]

Appendix IV: Organizations That Participated in Developing the Space 
Science and Technology Strategy:

Air Force Research Laboratory:

Air Force Space Command:

Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition:

Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and 
Technology:

Central Intelligence Agency:

Community Management Staff:

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency:

Defense Research and Engineering:

Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Science and Technology:

Missile Defense Agency:

National Aeronautics and Space Administration:

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency:

National Reconnaissance Office:

National Security Agency:

National Security Space Office:

Naval Operations Staff:

Naval Research Laboratory:

Office of Naval Research:

Space and Missile Defense Command:

Space and Missile Systems Center:

Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command:

U.S. Marine Corps:

U.S. Strategic Command:

[End of section]

Appendix V: Comments from the Department of Defense:

DIRECTOR OF DEFENSE RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING: 
3030 DEFENSE PENTAGON: 
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20301-3030:

JAN 21 2005:

Mr. Michael Sullivan:
Director, Acquisition and Sourcing Management: 
U.S. General Accounting Office:
Washington, D.C. 20548:

Dear Mr. Sullivan:

This is the Department of Defense (DoD) response to the GAO Draft 
Report, GAO 05-155, "TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT: New DOD Space Science and 
Technology Strategy Provides Basis for Optimizing Investments, But 
Future Versions Need to Be More Robust," dated December 16, 2004 (GAO 
Code 120384).

The draft report recommends that the Secretary of Defense direct the 
Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics) to 
direct the Director, Defense Research and Engineering to work with the 
Executive Agent for Space to make improvements to space S&T strategic 
planning. Four specific recommendations were made. The Department 
concurs with the recommendations and provides comments on these 
recommendations in the enclosure.

Sincerely,

Signed by: 

Ronald M. Sega:

Enclosure: As stated:

GAO DRAFT REPORT DATED DECEMBER 16, 2004 GAO-05-155 (GAO CODE 120384):

"TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT: New DOD Space Science and Technology Strategy 
Provides Basis for Optimizing Investments, But Future Versions Need to 
Be More Robust"

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE COMMENTS TO THE DRAFT GAO RECOMMENDATIONS:

RECOMMENDATION 1: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and 
Logistics) to direct the DDR&E to work with the Executive Agent for 
Space to establish protocols and mechanisms for enhancing coordination 
and knowledge sharing between DOD S&T community and organizations not 
explicitly included in the strategy-that is, acquisition programs 
involved in space as well as DOD intelligence agencies. (p. 16/GAO 
Draft Report):

DOD RESPONSE: CONCUR. DDR&E and the DoD Executive Agent for Space 
recognize the need for, and benefit from, continually enhancing 
coordination and knowledge sharing between the DoD Space S&T community 
and the larger National Security Space enterprise. DDR&E and the 
Executive Agent for Space have formally agreed, and documented in the 
Space S&T Strategy, to jointly hold semi-annual Summit reviews of Space 
S&T investments. Acquisition organizations, DoD, and Intelligence 
Community organizations are represented in these forums. This effort 
will continue to enhance the coordination of Space S&T development 
among the National Security Space community. To date, two Summits have 
been convened with the next planned for March 2005. In addition, the 
DDR&E and Executive Agent for Space have embarked on a detailed 
Independent Research and Development (IRAD) review of the Space related 
industry efforts.

RECOMMENDATION 2: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and 
Logistics) to direct the DDR&E to work with the Executive Agent for 
Space to ensure that the space S&T strategy fully reflects war fighter 
needs by establishing links between S&T strategic planning and DOD's 
new Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System. In addition, 
establish links to architectures being developed by the National 
Security Space Office to assure that S&T project align with future 
technology requirements identified in the architectures. (p.16/GAO 
Draft Report):

DOD RESPONSE: CONCUR. Activities are underway to ensure Space S&T 
investments, guided by strategic operational vectors, are synchronized 
with needs identified by both the Warfighter and Intelligence 
Community, and by the respective acquisition organizations. During 
formulation of the Space S&T Strategy, the Department specifically 
included Flag-level representatives from the Joint Staff, U.S. 
Strategic Command, and U.S. Air Force Space Command. These 
representatives provided warfighter perspective. DDR&E agrees the Joint 
Capabilities and Development System (JCIDS) is the appropriate 
mechanism to ensure space capability investments reflect warfighting 
needs. DDR&E has habitual relationships with the Joint Capability 
Working Groups which feed the JCIDS process, and will leverage these 
linkages to inject warfighter requirements through the appropriate 
Joint Capability Board (JCB). Applying the linkages from this 
recommendation with Recommendation One, above, will allow the National 
Security Space Office (NSSO) to align future technology requirements 
identified in the architectures.

RECOMMENDATION 3: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and 
Logistics) to direct the DDR&E to work with the Executive Agent for 
Space to ensure that DOD has the right tools for measuring progress in 
achieving its goals for space by identifying metrics that could be used 
for assessing the value of S&T projects relative to strategic goals and 
knowledge gained relative to goals. (p.16/GAO Draft Report):

DOD RESPONSE: CONCUR. Metrics will be established and used to monitor 
level of effort, progress, and Technology Readiness Level (TRL).

RECOMMENDATION 4: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and 
Logistics) to direct the DDR&E to work with the Executive Agent for 
Space to develop plans for addressing barriers to achieving strategic 
goals for S&T, including deficiencies in RDT&E funding visibility, 
testing resources, and workforce. (p. 16/GAO Draft Report):

DOD RESPONSE: CONCUR. Implementation of the Space S&T Strategy and 
recent internal initiatives address the identified barriers (funding 
visibility, testing resources, and workforce). The virtual Major Force 
Program (vMFP) program element assignment process, one method already 
in place, will provide improved funding visibility as the vMFP moves to 
a `steady state.' The Executive Agent for Space is also working with 
the S&T community on two initiatives (DT&E Facilities Database and S&T 
Space Flight Opportunities Survey) to help address the need for 
improved testing resources. Finally, the state of the Space S&T 
workforce is a top priority for both DDR&E and the Executive Agent for 
Space and, as such, is being worked in concert with larger DoD manpower 
efforts. 

[End of section]

FOOTNOTES

[1] The act's requirements for the strategy have been codified at 10 
U.S.C. ß 2272 (2004). 

[2] The DDR&E and the DOD Executive Agent for Space signed a Memorandum 
of Understanding to conduct organized reviews of the S&T enterprise as 
outlined in the space S&T strategy. 

[3] See Best Practices: Better Management of Technology Development Can 
Improve Weapon System Outcomes, GAO/NSIAD-99-162 (Washington, D.C.: 
July 30, 1999).

[4] Appendix IV lists the organizations that participated in developing 
the space S&T strategy. 

[5] Space unique means the virtual Major Force Program that was 
designed to include program elements that represent space activities 
only. In other words, land, sea, and air platforms with space 
components, and work on sensors or propulsion, are not included in the 
virtual Major Force Program for space. 

[6] Instead, funding is categorized by program element, the smallest 
aggregation of resources controlled by the Office of the Secretary of 
Defense. 

[7] Booz, Allen, Hamilton, Space Research and Development Industrial 
Base Study Phase One Final Report, McLean, Va., February 2002, and 
Phase Two Final Report in August 2002. 

[8] Report of the Commission to Assess United States National Security 
Space Management and Organization, Washington, D.C., January 11, 2001. 

[9] National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004, Public Law 
108-136.

[10] See Defense Space Activities: Additional Actions Needed to 
Implement Human Capital Strategy and Develop Space Personnel GAO-04-697 
(Washington, D.C.: Aug. 11, 2004).

[11] H.R. Conference Report Number 108-354, at 281 (2004). 

[12] The process was established in 2003 and evolved from the Planning, 
Programming, and Budgeting System. DOD uses the Planning, Programming, 
Budgeting and Execution process to determine priorities, allocate 
resources, and evaluate actual output against planned performance and 
adjust resources as necessary. 

[13] Department of Defense Directive, Number 5134.3, "Director of 
Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E)," November 3, 2003.

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