This section of the RD&T Annual Funding Report presents additional information on RD&T funding in each of the Department's research-performing administrations, including 3-year funding trends and support for DOT strategic goals. Detailed funding tables are in Appendix A and Appendix B.
The FAA's mission is to provide the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world. Key elements are the regulation of civil aviation and commercial space transportation activities to promote safety and the safe, efficient, environmentally sound use of airports and airspace by civil and military users. This broad mission requires an extensive RD&T program carried out in cooperation with industry, academia, other Federal agencies, and international partners. Program components include research in space and air traffic system technology, aviation weather products, airport technology, aircraft safety, commercial space transportation safety, human factors, and environment and energy.
Figure 4 shows FAA RD&T funding for the 3-year period covered by this report. Funding details are in Appendix A. (For FY 2009 Air Traffic Organization includes Facilities and Equipment and some expenses related to Operations from the FY 2008 request.) The figure reflects the structure of FAA's RD&T budget and includes the program components described above.
As shown, FAA's FY 2009 RD&T request is up $108 million (41 percent) compared to actual FY 2007 funding and up $69 million (23 percent) from FY 2008. Air Traffic Organization (formerly Facilities and Equipment) RD&T funding is up $47 million (41 percent) compared to FY 2008, in large part reflecting the inclusion of funding for NextGen system development, demonstrations, and infrastructure development. Funding for Research, Engineering and Development (RE&D) is up $24 million (16 percent) compared to FY 2008, also reflecting the inclusion of funding to support the NextGen program. Airport RD&T is also up $5.6 million (20 percent).
Figure 5 shows how FAA's FY 2009 RD&T request will support DOT strategic goals. As shown in the figure, 42 percent of FAA RD&T will support improved safety; another 42 percent, reduced congestion; 10 percent, environmental stewardship; and 6 percent, organizational excellence. Details for FAA RD&T programs are in Appendix B.
FAA RD&T Accomplishments and Highlights
FY 2007 Accomplishments
Fast, Flexible, Efficient. Completed delivery of new Advisory Circular 150/5320-6E "Airport Pavement Design and Evaluation" and developed a new pavement design program, the FAA Rigid and Flexible Iterative Elastic Layer Design 1.0.
Clean and Quiet. Completed demonstration of a comprehensive suite of environmental software tools; demonstrated a methodology to consider alternative-fuels lifecycle emissions.
Human Factors, Human-Centered Design, and Human Protection. Completed human factors design of new en route controller workstations; developed performance standards for air traffic controller occupations; and completed assembly and baseline fire testing of a New Large Aircraft fire test mock-up at Tyndall Air Force Base.
Safe Aerospace Vehicles. Initiated new program on four unmanned aircraft system technical areas.
Situational Awareness. Completed research on Light Emitting Diode (LED) versus incandescent light source brightness perception to ensure visibility.
System Knowledge. Completed series of simulation studies employing different techniques to validate the "Big Airspace" concept.
FY 2009 Highlights
Aviation Safety. $115 million for research, including the development of improved fire safety test criteria; a focus on damage tolerance and fatigue issues of composite airframes; and the use of Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing to analyze aircraft hazards.
Airport Technology. $34 million to support completion of a demonstration of an information-based cockpit display for the engine lubrication system and to continue FAA/NASA/industry-sponsored quality control program for modeling aircraft problems; includes $15 million for the Airport Cooperative Research Program, which carries out applied research on problems shared by airport operating agencies.
Wake Turbulence. $10 million to support the incorporation of wake transport/decay and aircraft navigation performance analysis results into FAA wake encounter and collision risk models and to complete two airport-specific procedure modifications to enable dependent instrument landing system approaches to closely-spaced parallel runways; the program has additional funding from NextGen.
Environment and Energy. $15 million to conduct research and to develop, verify, and validate analytical tools to better understand the relationship between noise and emissions, and different types of emissions, to provide cost-benefit analyses; deliver Version 3.0 of models; develop new standards and methodologies to quantify noise, emissions, and alternative-fuels impacts; and assess impacts of new technologies and operations.
NextGen. A total of $97.9 million, including $16 million to complete a detailed feasibility study for "drop-in" gas turbine engine fuels; initiate efforts to explore the potential for renewable gas turbine fuels for commercial applications; develop a detailed plan to achieve NextGen environmental goals; and establish a consortium for Continuous Low Energy Emissions and Noise Technologies (CLEEN).1
The FHWA's mission is to improve mobility on our Nation's highways through national leadership, innovation, and program delivery. One of the agency's key roles is to be an innovator for a better future. Toward this end, FHWA provides leadership, expertise, and resources to continually improve the quality of the highway system and its intermodal connections. Cooperating with States and other partners, the agency coordinates Federal highway programs and conducts supporting research in highway safety, pavement and structures, congestion relief, planning, and the environment. Among the agency's major highway programs are the Federal-Aid Highway Program, which provides financial assistance to States to construct and improve the National Highway System, urban and rural roads, and bridges, and the Federal Lands Highway Program, which provides access to and within national forests, national parks, Indian reservations, and other public lands.
Figure 6 shows FHWA RD&T funding for the 3-year period covered by this report. Funding details are in Appendix A.
The FHWA's FY 2009 request is up 4 percent compared to actual FY 2007 funding, from $554 to $577 million, reflecting the funding levels authorized in SAFETEA-LU. The FY 2009 request is up $32 million (6 percent) from enacted FY 2008 funding of $545 million. Of the total request for FY 2009, just $241.5 million (42 percent) is under FHWA stewardship: $196.4 million for Surface Transportation Research, Development, and Deployment (STRDD); $26.7 million for Training and Education; and $18.4 million for Administrative Expenses. RITA administers the ITS Program ($110 million) and the University Transportation Centers ($69.7 million), which together account for 31 percent of FHWA's FY 2009 RD&T request. Another $156.2 million, or 27 percent, reflects the share of State Planning and Research apportionments that States must allocate for RD&T.
Figure 7 shows how FHWA's FY 2009 RD&T request will support DOT goals. The request will support all goals, with an emphasis on reduced congestion (75 percent) and safety (13 percent). Other supported goals include environmental stewardship (6 percent); organizational excellence (5 percent); and global connectivity (1 percent). Less than 1 percent of the RD&T budget will address security, preparedness, and response. Additional details are in Appendix B.
FHWA RD&T Accomplishments and Highlights
FY 2007 Accomplishments
Infrastructure. Incorporated requirements for the Long-Term Bridge Performance (LTBP) program into the LTBP strategic plan and tactical roadmap; led the establishment of an Executive Committee to guide a collaborative approach to concrete pavement research; and initiatedresearch to achieve a performance-based concrete pavement mix design system.
Planning, Environment, and Realty. Developed initiative to conduct applied research to field test an ecosystem approach to developing infrastructure projects; completed research on congestion management process improvements and the Mobile Sources Air Toxics Near Roadway Dissemination protocol.
Operations. Completed four field tests for a reduced-scale version of the Adaptive Control System (ACS), ACS "Lite," and facilitated the commercial introduction of ACS Lite products for deployment; published a new edition of the Traffic Detector Handbook.
Highway Safety. Completed research supporting the final rule for Maintaining Traffic Sign Retroreflectivity; released two new intersection analysis software tools; and completed and released finite element models for three vehicles and two materials (wood and concrete).
Exploratory Advanced Research. Awarded eight projects through a competitive broad area announcement, which resulted in 384 proposals.
FY 2009 Highlights
Structures Research. $25.6 million to address the development and application of advanced materials and accelerated construction technologies and improve the resilience of the built highway infrastructure.
Pavement Research. $40.8 million for research to advance the national pavement technology agendas in the areas of concrete, hot mix asphalt, and pavement preservation and for the Long-Term Pavement Performance program.
Planning, Environment, and Realty. $19.5 million for the Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program, TRansportation ANalysis SIMulation System, Center for Environmental Excellence, and other research initiatives authorized in SAFETEA-LU.
Operations. $7.8 million to improve mobility through the development and testing of tools for integrated corridor operations and congestion-relief solutions.
Highway Safety. $13.6 million for safety research, development, and technology deployment, including ongoing field evaluations of non-traditional intersections/ interchanges; public release of SafetyAnalyst software to identify system-wide safety improvements; ongoing development of pedestrian detection system; and completion of Phase IV oflow-cost safety improvements.
Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) 2. $44.7 million to fund continuing SHRP 2 research through the National Academy of Sciences.
Exploratory Advanced Research. $12.2 million for longer term, higher risk research with the potential for dramatic breakthroughs in surface transportation.
The FMCSA's mission is to reduce the number and severity of commercial motor vehicle crashes. The agency's research and technology program supports this mission through the discovery, application, and dissemination of new knowledge, and the assessment, development, and promotion of new technologies. The program addresses the safety performance of drivers, carriers, and vehicles and also includes crosscutting projects relating to crash problem assessment and program support.
Figure 8 shows FMCSA RD&T funding for the 3-year period covered by this report. Funding details are in Appendix A.
The FMCSA's RD&T request is down $2.3 million (19 percent) compared to actual FY 2007 funding and $1.4 million (13 percent) compared to FY 2008. Compared to FY 2008, funding is down $0.6 million (41 percent) for improved safety of commercial vehicles, while funding for safer carriers is more than twice that of FY 2008, marking a shift of emphasis to RD&T activities aimed at the safety of motor carriers.
Figure 9 shows how FMCSA's FY 2009 RD&T request will support the Department's strategic goals. Eighty-three percent of the agency's RD&T funding will address improved safety. Other supported goals include organizational excellence (7 percent); reduced congestion (6 percent); and security, preparedness, and response (4 percent). Details for FMCSA RD&T programs are in Appendix B.
FMCSA RD&T Accomplishments and Highlights
FY 2007 Accomplishments
Produce Safer Drivers. Completed the first phase of an Onboard Monitoring System for Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs); partnered with the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health to survey driver working conditions, injuries, and diseases.
Improve the Safety of CMVs. Completed a study that provided alternative strategies for reducing rollovers crashes; completed a study to improve safety belt use; and completed a study that gathered and analyzed information on the causes, frequency, and severity of bus fires.
Advance Safety through IT Initiatives. Continued the Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks (CVISN) Deployment Grant Program providing technical and program management support to States; awarded $25 million in grants to 26 States; certified 4 additional States as completing core CVISN deployment (total of 18 States); completed a pilot test of software intended for detecting and deterring fraud perpetrated by third-party and State motor vehicle examiners.
Enable and Motivate Internal Excellence. Completed a study that highlighted important trends affecting the motor carrier industry and DOT.
FY 2009 Highlights
Produce Safer Drivers. A request of $3.6 million to identify driver risk factors in crashes with a large-scale case control study;analyze Large Truck Crash Causation and naturalistic driving data to gain a better understanding of the precursors to different crash types and their prevention; complete a prototype system that can detect and warn drowsy drivers; compare the effectiveness of applying alternative instructional technologies in behavioral training programs to prevent hazmat cargo tank rollovers; develop a low-cost, easily-installed device to increase safety belt use; examine implementation of the Employer Notification Service; report the safety benefits of a wireless inspection network; and accelerate the identification and demonstration of new roadside safety technologies and operational concepts to provide real-time parking information.
Improve Safety of Commercial Motor Vehicles. $828K to increase deployment and use of systems and technologies that address safety and security needs; use technology solutions as a means to monitor and evaluate carrier performance; and test and evaluate an all-weather indirect viewing system with 360-degree vision capability.
Produce Safer Carriers. $1.3 million to provide continued research support for rulemaking activities; determine the root causes of bus fires; and generate specific recommendations for preventing incident recurrences.
The FRA's mission is to promulgate and enforce railroad safety regulations; administer financial assistance programs to railroads, including Amtrak; conduct research in support of improved railroad safety, operational efficiency, asset utilization, and capacity; foster the development of high-speed-rail passenger service; and consolidate government support of rail transportation activities. The FRA's RD&T covers railroad system issues (safety, security, environment); human factors; rolling stock and components; track and structures; track/train interaction; train control; grade crossings; hazardous materials; train occupant protection; and R&D facilities and equipment.
Figure 10 shows FRA RD&T funding for the 3-year period covered by this report. Funding details are in Appendix A.
For FY 2009, FRA's total RD&T request of $36.7 million is down $0.6 million (1.5 percent) compared to FY 2007 and $1.8 million (5 percent) from FY 2008. In large part, the reduction in RD&T funding is due to a decrease in research for train occupant protection and the completion of several congressionally designated projects. Funding is up for rolling stock and components, track and structures, and train control, with the largest increase for rolling stock and components research ($6.3 million, or 22 percent).
Figure 11 shows how FRA's FY 2009 RD&T request will support DOT strategic goals. As shown, FRA will direct 92 percent of RD&T funding to railroad safety but will also support reduced congestion (5 percent); environmental stewardship (2 percent); and security, preparedness, and response (1 percent). Details for FRA RD&T programs are in Appendix B.
FRA RD&T Accomplishments and Highlights
FY 2007 Accomplishments
Railroad System Issues. Unveiled a "Rollover Rig" that simulates passenger train derailments and began development of a passenger egress model.
Human Factors. Completed validation of the Fatigue Avoidance Scheduling Tool and initiated a pilot test site for the Confidential Close Call Reporting System.
Rolling Stock and Components. Installed Onboard Condition Monitoring System equipment and other advanced components for the Advanced Concept Train.
Track and Structures. In cooperation with the railroad industry, conducted several experiments to improve the safety of rails, ties, switches, fasteners, and bridges.
R&D Facilities & Equipment. Completed facility enhancements to permit testing and qualification of new passenger rail equipment.
Track and Train Interaction. Developed a model that simulates railroad vehicle–track dynamics to study various derailment scenarios and conditions.
Train Control. Began development of a software-defined High Accuracy Nationwide Differential Global Positioning System receiver for use in Positive Train Control (PTC).
Grade Crossings. Awarded several grants for the closure and upgrading of crossings.
Hazardous Materials Transportation. Supported development of new safety rules for the construction of tank cars carrying hazardous materials.
Train Occupant Protection/Locomotive Crashworthiness. Supported industry in the development of Crash Energy Management standards.
FY 2009 Highlights
Railroad System Issues. $3.2 million to address railroad system safety, tank car
protection, emergency equipment, energy efficiency, and environmental impacts.
Rolling Stock and Components. $3.5 million to continue support of the Advanced Concept Train, which showcases technology to enhance safety and efficiency in train operations.
Track and Structures. $4.5 million for further studies on rail and bridge structural integrity, rail defect detection, and track inspection and monitoring.
Track and Train Interaction. $3.1 million for R&D on derailment dynamics and modeling.
Train Control. $6.7 million for continued advancement of PTC, including the development of a low-cost collision avoidance system.
Grade Crossings. $1.9 million to make further grade crossing safety improvements.
Hazardous Materials Transportation. $1.6 million for critical research on tank car structural integrity and security.
Train Occupant Protection and Locomotive Crashworthiness. $3.6 million to continue work in locomotive crashworthiness and the crashworthiness of passenger equipment.
The FTA's mission is to ensure personal mobility and community vitality by supporting high-quality public transportation. The agency accomplishes its mission through leadership, financial resources, and technical assistance. Research is focused on analyzing potential solutions to transit challenges, evaluating and testing best practices and technologies, and working with the transit industry to implement research solutions that are found to have significant return on investment. Conducted in partnership with the broader transit community, FTA research focuses on increasing transit ridership, improving safety and emergency preparedness, improving capital and operating efficiency, and protecting the environment and promoting energy independence.
Figure 12 shows FTA RD&T funding for the 3-year period covered by this report. Funding details are in Appendix A.
As the figure shows, there is little change between request FTA's FY 2009 request and the FY 2007 actual level (a drop of 1 percent). Funding is down $5.3 million (8 percent) compared to the enacted level FY 2008. In particular, overall funding for the National Research Program is down 13 percent compared to FY 2008. Within this program, funding is down for efforts aimed at increasing transit ridership and improving capital and operating efficiency, and is up for programs to improve safety and emergency preparedness and to promote transit research leadership. Funding has been stable for FTA's other major RD&T programs—the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) and the National Transit Institute.
Figure 13 shows how FTA's FY 2009 RD&T request will support DOT strategic goals. RD&T will support all goals, with an emphasis on reducing surface transportation congestion (75 percent). Thirteen percent will address safety; 9 percent, environmental stewardship; and 1 percent each, global connectivity, organizational excellence, and security, preparedness, and response. Additional details are in Appendix B.
FTA RD&T Accomplishments and Highlights
FY 2007 Accomplishments
New Program Implementation. Initiated projects awarded to the Center for Transportation and the Environment (Atlanta, Georgia), the Northeast Advanced Vehicle Consortium (Boston, Massachusetts), and Westart/CALSTART (Pasadena, California) under the National Fuel Cell Bus Program; awarded a total of more than $2.7 million to eight sites for the design and development of coordinated human services transportation systems that use ITS capabilities as part of the Mobility Services for All Americans initiative.
Delivering Products, Innovations, and Techniques. Among other activities, completed an analysis of the business case for integrated collision avoidance systems on transit buses, a construction project management handbook, and an examination of the useful life of transit buses and vans.
Protecting the Environment and Promoting Energy Independence. Completed three major studies of alternative fuels and transit, including Alternative Fuels Study: A Report to Congress on Policy Options for Increasing the Use of Alternative Fuels in Transit Vehicles; Environmental Benefits of Alternative Fuels and Advanced Technology in Transit; and Transit Bus Life Cycle Cost and Year 2007 Emissions Estimation.
FY 2009 Highlights
Increasing Transit Ridership. A request of $8.3 million to develop transportation solutions for aging and specialized populations and to improve mobility and reduce surface transportation congestion through improved transit services.
Improving Capital and Operating Efficiency. $14.1 million for RD&T to improve transit operational efficiency; control capital and operating costs; improve planning and management of capital investments; enhance workforce capacity; improve bus and rail operations, including Bus Rapid Transit; and develop voluntary design, safety, and performance standards.
Improving Safety and Emergency Preparedness. $8.4 million for research to improve fire safety on transit vehicles; prepare transit systems, emergency service agencies, and local, county, and regional governments for emergency situations; provide greater oversight in responding to emergency requests; and identify solutions to reduce the number of transit-related deaths and injuries.
Protecting the Environment and Promoting Energy Independence. $5.3 million for data collection and outreach to reduce barriers to deploying electric, hybrid, hydrogen, and fuel cell buses; research on technologies to reduce the energy consumption of rail systems; development of environmental streamlining guidance and best practices; and DOT's Center for Climate Change.
The NHTSA's mission is to save lives, prevent injuries, and reduce economic costs due to road traffic crashes through education, research, safety standards, and enforcement activities. In the behavioral area, NHTSA focuses on the delivery of data-driven programs and countermeasures aimed at increasing use of occupant protection, reducing alcohol-related fatalities, reducing motorcycle fatalities, promoting effective speed management, prolonging older driver mobility as long as medically practicable, and maintaining the integrity of driver licensing processes. With respect to vehicle safety, NHTSA's research supports rulemaking, enforcement, and safety defect investigations and assesses the lifesaving benefits of emerging technologies as they enter the vehicle fleet.
Figure 14 shows NHTSA RD&T funding for the 3-year period covered by this report. Funding details are in Appendix A.
For FY 2009 NHTSA's RD&T request is up $3.2 million (3 percent) compared to FY 2007 and down $6.1 million (5 percent) from FY 2008. The Research and Analysis program, which conducts vehicle-safety-related research, is down $6 million (5 percent) in FY 2009 compared to the FY 2008 enacted level. This decrease is in large part due to the elimination of funding for the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey and a reduction in funding for hydrogen research.
In keeping with NHTSA's mission, all FY 2009 RD&T funding will support the Department's safety strategic goal. (See Appendix B.)
NHTSA RD&T Accomplishments and Highlights
FY 2007 Accomplishments
Vehicle Safety Systems. Initiated safety studies for crash imminent braking and advanced frontal restraint systems; evaluated test procedures for rollover safety and rollover restraint performance.
Biomechanics. Developed new chest injury evaluation methods based on crash dummy measurements; enhanced knowledge of brain-injury mechanisms using new research and analysis tools; and fully implemented biomechanical-based methodology to assign injury mechanisms in crash injury field investigations.
Heavy Vehicles. Completed initial performance testing of heavy vehicle stability control systems, performance specifications for electronic vision enhancement technology, and field operational testing of a collision warning/advanced braking system.
FY 2009 Highlights
Vehicle Safety Systems. $6.8 million to complete ejection mitigation fleet benefits testing and initiate test development for evaluating advanced frontal restraint systems and crash-imminent braking.
Biomechanics. $11 million for multidisciplinary research programs on human impact and injury responses of major body regions; to finalize design and injury criteria for child side impact dummy; to implement enhancements to advanced adult frontal impact dummy; and to evaluate human modeling programs for assessment of injury.
Heavy Vehicles. $2.1 million to complete truck tractor stability control research, continue single unit truck and motorcoach research, and continue a field test of an advanced vision enhancement system to reduce truck blind spots and resulting collisions.
The OST's mission is to formulate national transportation policies that affect various modes and help ensure achievement of DOT goals. Research in OST supports the development, evaluation, and improvement of these policies and comprises work in economic and strategic analysis; safety, energy, and environment; freight and logistics; navigation and spectrum policy; aviation and international policy; and security. Key priorities include improving the economic efficiency of the transportation system; encouraging diffusion of best practices in transportation safety; improving the sustainability of transportation through market-based solutions and new technologies; developing financial strategies to accelerate economic investment in freight capacity; and encouraging the development of civilian positioning, navigation, and timing applications.
Figure 15 shows OST RD&T funding for the 3-year period covered by this report. Funding details are in Appendix A.
As the figure shows, requested FY 2009 funding for OST's Transportation Planning, Research, and Development (TPR&D) program is lower than both the actual level in FY 2007, with a difference of $4.8 million (32 percent), and the enacted level in FY 2008, with a reduction of $3.8 million (27 percent).
Figure 16 shows how OST's FY 2009 RD&T request will support DOT strategic goals. In keeping with the office's broad responsibilities, RD&T will address the following: global connectivity (31 percent); reduced congestion (26 percent); safety (21 percent); environmental stewardship (19 percent); and security, preparedness, and response (3 percent). Additional details are in Appendix B.
OST RD&T Accomplishments and Highlights
FY 2007 Accomplishments
Fuel Economy and Congestion Pricing. Conducted research aimed at understanding the fuel consumption and the impact of emissions from congestion in order to define the energy and environmental effects of congestion and congestion mitigation programs.
Economic Benefits of Tolled or Priced Roads to the Trucking Industry. Studied the issues of congestion relief and the perceived costs and benefits that may arise through the use of dedicated or mixed-use toll road facilities through the lens of the trucking industry.
Economic trade-offs of Exclusive Truck Lanes (ETL), High-Occupancy Toll (HOT), and General Purpose (GP) Highway Lanes. Conducted research to determine the comparative economic benefits of the addition of HOT/ETL facilities and the addition or expansion of GP lanes.
FY 2009 Highlights
Transportation Economics Center. $500K to support research, sponsor conferences, and conduct training in the application of economic principles and theories to solving transportation problems and resource allocation.
Environmental Analysis. $350Kfor the analysis of transportation environmental issues, including the effects of transportation on climate change and air quality, policy tools to help manage the environmental impacts of transportation, the effects of new ozone air quality standards on transportation, and the implications of new energy and emissions reduction technologies.
Fuels Analysis: $400K for study of alternative fuel infrastructure to support the President's Twenty in Ten renewable fuels proposals, the fuel and emissions costs of congestion, benefits of congestion mitigation, and monitoring of ethanol freight flows.
Research on Remote Right-of-Way Intrusion Detection for Pipelines. $400K for research conducted by the Texas Transportation Institute to develop remote sensors that can detect excavations and/or leaks in pipeline rights-of-way.
Aviation Data Modernization. $1M to update and enhance the Nation's airline traffic and financial data collection system to improve aviation infrastructure planning and aviation policy analysis.
The PHMSA's mission is to promote the safe and secure transportation of hazardous materials by all modes. The agency has two major safety offices: the Office of Pipeline Safety, which promotes the safe, reliable, and environmentally sound operation of pipeline transportation; and the Office of Hazardous Materials Safety, which identifies, evaluates, and mitigates risks to the safe and secure transportation of hazardous materials. The RD&T program includes work in mission-critical areas, such as pipeline operations, control, and monitoring; pipeline damage prevention; improved pipeline materials; hazardous materials packaging and shipping; hazardous materials emergency response, hazard identification, risk assessment, and risk management; and hazardous materials transportation security.
Figure 17 shows PHMSA RD&T funding for the 3-year period covered by this report. Funding details are in Appendix A.
For FY 2009, PHMSA's total RD&T request is $3.1 million less (26 percent) than the actual level for FY 2007 and $2.3 million less (21 percent) than FY 2008. This reduction in RD&T funding is due primarily to a $2.4 million decrease in the agency's pipeline safety research program, representing a 29 percent drop for FY 2009 compared to FY 2008.
Figure 18 shows how PHMSA's FY 2009 RD&T request will support DOT strategic goals. Primary emphasis will be on RD&T in support of improved safety (79 percent), with additional efforts supporting Departmental goals for environmental stewardship (19 percent) and reduced congestion (2 percent). Details for PHMSA RD&T programs are in Appendix B.
PHMSA RD&T Accomplishments and Highlights
FY 2007 Accomplishments
Government/Industry Pipeline RD&T Forum. Held a forum on February 7-8 to develop an agenda to address technical gaps and challenges and to identify short- and long-term research objectives for liquid/gas transmission and gas distribution pipelines.
Pipeline Safety RD&T Projects. $4.6 million for eleven RD&T projects addressing improvements in weld design and construction practices for high-strength steel pipe; weld inspection, assessment, repair, and maintenance; and joint integrity and assessment for nonmetallic materials.
Pipeline Safety RD&T Project Peer Reviews. Held the second structured peer review for compliance with OMB's "Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review" of influential scientific information.
Pipeline Safety Small Business Innovation Research Projects. Awarded three Phase I projects ($.3 million) for innovative safety, reliability, and inspection technologies for pipeline system integrity management.
Hazardous Materials Transportation Safety. Supported development of the 2008 Emergency Response Guidebook; Acute Exposure Guideline Levels; and nondestructive testing techniques and failure analysis for hazardous materials packaging.
Hazardous Materials Cooperative Research Program. Continued with second year of this four-year pilot program being administered by the Transportation Research Board.
FY 2009 Highlights
Pipeline Safety. A total request of $5.8 million, including demonstrations to commercialize ongoing successful technology developments; research to further address excavation damage prevention; direct assessment; defect detection and characterization; defect remediation, repair, and mitigation; and a comprehensive roadmap to remove technical barriers for biofuels and other alternative fuels.
Hazardous Materials Transportation Safety. A total request of$1.8 million for new or follow-on research to enhance hazardous materials transportation safety and continue the pilot or the Hazardous Materials Cooperative Research Program.
The RITA's mission is to coordinate and review the Department's RD&T programs and to advance technologies that will reduce congestion and improve safety and system performance across the Nation's transportation network. The agency accomplishes the RD&T components of this mission by leading crossmodal research in areas such as hydrogen safety, ITS, remote sensing technologies, and positioning, navigation, and timing systems; planning, reviewing, and coordinating RD&T Department-wide; leading the Department's RD&T Planning Council and RD&T Planning Team; managing the UTC program and the ITS Joint Program Office; overseeing the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center and the Transportation Safety Institute; and managing the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, which plays a key role in gathering and improving the quality of the aviation, freight, and passenger flow data so critical for Departmental decision-making and priority-setting.
The FY 2009 RD&T request for RITA is up $7.4 million from FY 2007 and up slightly from the enacted level in FY 2008. Funding for RD&T projects has remained stable between FY 2008 and FY 2009, with a slight increase in the request for RD&T-related administrative expenses.3
Figure 20 shows how RITA's FY 2009 RD&T request will support DOT strategic goals. The majority of RITA's RD&T activities will support DOT goals for reduced congestion (49 percent) and organizational excellence (46 percent), with additional efforts supporting environmental stewardship (5 percent). Details for RITA RD&T programs are in Appendix B.
RITA RD&T Accomplishments and Highlights
FY 2007 Accomplishments
RD&T Coordination. Furthered the implementation of DOT Order 1120.39A on the Research, Development, and Technology Planning Council, Team, and Process, including completing the FY 2008 RD&T Annual Funding Report to Congress; identifying crossmodal RD&T priorities; reviewing operating administration RD&T budgets to assess support for Secretarial priorities; and leading annual program reviews to assess how modal priorities align with DOT goals.
Hydrogen Fuels Safety R&D. Developed a joint R&D plan for hydrogen transportation infrastructure with DoD; coordinated and completed the interagency assessment on Regulations for a Hydrogen Economy and published the corresponding Federal Register Notice; andengaged Missouri S&T as a University Transportation Center to develop a thermo-mechanical composite cylinder model to assess localized flame impingement on compressed gas cylinders.
FY 2009 Highlights
RD&T Coordination. $0.5 million to continue enhancing Department-wide coordination by focusing DOT's efforts to increase evaluation and measurement activity; continue implementation of RITA's research investment planning process to ensure that the right mix of investments meets DOT's goals, to foster collaborative RD&T portfolio management, and to advise the Secretary on budgetary implications of RD&T investment decisions; conduct multiple stakeholder workshops supporting crossmodal research priorities and emerging technologies; establish communications guidelines to strengthen collaboration/coordination across DOT and share information with University Transportation Centers, Centers of Excellence, and other entities; continue providing staff support to the RD&T Planning Council and RD&T Planning Team; engage internal and external stakeholders; and continue with ongoing planning and coordination activities, such as Annual Report to Congress, updates to the strategic plan and budget guidance, budget reviews, and program reviews.
Hydrogen Fuels Safety R&D. $0.5 million to continue progress made in FY 2008 in conducting multi-modal research in materials compatibility, design, and operations guidelines for hydrogen delivery, and research aimed at addressing near-term gaps; continue involvement in domestic and international partnerships; continue a program to educate and train State and local public safety officials and first responders; and conduct research to develop, evaluate, and validate, under real-world conditions, non-destructive testing and other safety and inspection technologies that will facilitate the reliable and safe operation of components of the hydrogen transportation system.
NDGPS. $4.6M for continued operation and maintenance of the partially-deployed inland NDGPS segment. In March 2008, the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing Executive Committee endorsed the DOT decision to continue inland NDGPS operations, with DOT continuing as Executive Agent for the system; funding received from other Federal agencies with system requirements or other sources will be used to recapitalize NDGPS equipment, and possibly to pursue completion of inland NDGPS Initial Operating Capability (IOC) as defined by the 2005 Federal Radionavigation Plan.
1 NextGen includes the following budget line items: Joint Planning and Development Office ($14.5 million); NextGen-related Wake Turbulence research ($7.4 million); NextGen -- Air Ground Integration ($2.6 million); NextGen -- Self Separation ($8 million); NextGen -- Weather in the Cockpit ($8 million); NextGen -- Environmental Research ($16 million); and NextGen -- System Development ($41.4 million).
2 For FY 2009, NDGPS includes two separate line items: NDGPS and Positioning, Navigation, and Timing.
3 In addition to the RD&T programs in RITA's RD&T budget, RITA administers the ITS Program (funded through FHWA) and UTC Program (funded through FHWA and FTA).