2 pages/≈550 words
IT & Computer Science
Flow Control Valve Issue: Cognitive Diversity Case Study (Case Study Sample)
Flow Control Valve Issue
The space shuttle Endeavor took to the skies on STS-126 in a bid to help in the building of the International Space Station, ISS, on November 14, 2008 (“The STS-119 Flow Control Valve Issue,” n.d.). Flight controllers that were monitoring the flight detected an unexpected hydrogen flow increase from one of the main engines of the shuttle. Hydrogen flow control valves and poppet are the devices that control the flow of hydrogen. Despite the glitch, the flight was smooth. This prompted a follow-up to ensure the safety of future shuttle missions. It took leadership of different stakeholders and efficient communication between them to solve the flow control valve issue.
On landing at the Edwards Air Force Base, the shuttle was transferred to the Kennedy Space Center, KSC, for analysis of the problem (“The STS-119 Flow Control Valve Issue,” n.d.). Analysis began with the inspection of the shuttle. There was a debate on whether to do the inspection while all devices were intact or to perform the inspection by removing the valve. Settling on the former, Johnson Space Center engineers had the dilemma of the best non-destructive, NDE, techniques that include ye penetrant inspection, magnetic particle inspection, and scanning through the use of an electron microscope. The reports of the inspection were termed as inconclusive during the first Flight Readiness Review held on February 3, 2009.
Leadership and Communication among Different Stakeholders
After the first FRR, Glenn Research Center with help from Stennis Space Center and White Sands Test focused their research on the material properties of the flight hardware and the impact of particles striking the material at different velocities. Behind this aggressive efforts was the leadership of JSC’s Propulsion Systems Branch Chief Gene Grush who ensured efficient communication between different parties. Consequently, computational fluid dynamics analysis got findings on particles striking materials at varying velocities at around that time. The results from tests above led to the teams agreeing on a probabilistic risk assessment of the entire flow control valve hydrogen repress system. The findings above led to the second FRR on February 20, 2009, despite some stakeholders terming the reports as incomplete and inconclusive.
During the second FRR meeting, Grush admitted to using substandard particles in testing hence making the findings unreliable. (“The STS-119 Flow Control Valve Issue,” n.d.) states that despite this, FRR Chairman Bill Gerstenmaier championed for the flight to still take place to ensure the plans of building the ISS were achieved at the set time. Bill’s proposal was put down by those attending the second FRR, and thus the launch pushed forward. This move was seen as a mature and thoughtful of the parties and their leadership as the people were more interested in safety rather than overwhelming launch fever.
Under Rene Ortega and Charles Bryson leadership, new inspection tools were implemente...
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