SAWE Blog

New Emphasis on Standards and Practices

SAWE Blog - Mon, 2017-10-16 10:22

Everyone reading this blog is involved in some way with mass properties – as an engineer, a technician, a manager, or sales. Every one of us has experience and knowledge that we could pass on to others involved in the mass properties world. Broadly speaking, this knowledge can be broken into two overarching categories – Technical Details and Methodologies.

Throughout its many years, the SAWE has concentrated on the first of these categories, asking mass properties personnel to spread their knowledge of technical details by writing papers, giving presentations, or teaching a class. We still want (and need) our practitioners to do this.

Paradoxically, the influence of the SAWE as an organization has grown while our individual influence has shrunk. Let me try to explain this. Several years ago, the SAWE became a Standards Organization by seeking and achieving recognition by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). As a result, the society has gained a growing influence in both America and abroad. However, even as the society as a whole has gained recognition for our unique mastery of the science and art of mass properties concepts, our members have experienced erosion of the profession by those who employ mass properties personnel. Primarily this has been a consequence of ever more capable automated capabilities of computer programs. This has created a sense that what we as mass properties professionals can do can be duplicated by computer algorithms. This is not a new phenomenon. Forty years ago, when I was a fresh out of college new mass properties engineer, I heard the head of the mass properties group say, “Eventually, we’ll be able to push a button and the computer will spit out a new airplane design.” Implied in this was that we would not be needed.

I will be the first to admit that much of the calculation duties that were required all those years ago have been supplanted by Computer Aided Design programs, provided that the required parameters have been properly implemented. Calculating weight, CG, and inertias rarely gets performed by today’s mass properties engineers, except perhaps during early conceptual designs. Although this was a large part of my initiation into mass properties, there were many other aspects, including evaluating assembly drawings for completeness and crucially, compatibility. I have lost track of the number of supposedly connectable parts which obviously wouldn’t connect, missing parts, and even parts that shouldn’t be in an assembly and whose presence would preclude operation of the assembly I have found. And these were assemblies that had made it through the Checking group! This was never written down as part of my job description, but are errors I found that had to be corrected before I would accept an assembly into the database. These problems don’t disappear because a computer has calculated some numbers. It still takes a person looking at a project as a whole to find and solve these problems.

Which brings us to the second knowledge transfer category – Methodologies. The SAWE has an obligation to ensure that its members know what is required to perform as mass properties practitioners. The most effective means of performing mass properties tasks is to work through the task in an orderly fashion, so that we can be sure that nothing of importance is inadvertently missed. And the society has found that having a blueprint of what tasks are required is an effective aid. We call these task “blueprints” Standards if the “blueprint” conveys specific technical information that results in a consensus of how that information is presented. An example would be a standardized coordinate system used by a specific industry. How a standardized coordinate system is implemented is not included in the Standard. A Practice is the flip side of the coin regarding Standards – a Practice delineates the accepted means of performing a task. The SAWE designates a Practice as a Recommended Practice, such as SAWE RP A-3, 2016: Mass Properties Control for Space Vehicles. This RP defines what is accepted in industry to ensure that required mass properties tasks are completed and in useable form.

The SAWE has requested that mass properties practitioners consider writing a paper for the conference in Fort Worth in May, 2018 to address specific gaps in our Standards and Practices. Applicable papers do not need to be fully realized Recommended Practices or Standards, but should be utilizable as a framework upon such RPs or Standards could be taken up by our Industry Committees and turned into RPs or Standards (using our standardized templates). Specific areas of interest are delineated on the SAWE web site at https://www.sawe.org/technical/papers/2018Campain (yes “campaign” is misspelled in the URL). Please consider what you can contribute to the SAWE by helping us fill in the gaps in our Standards and Practices, and increase our visibility into Mass Properties Methodology. And if you know of specific Technical Knowledge, we will of course accept Technical papers as well. In either case, if you write a paper for the conference, please submit your abstract at http://www.sawe.org/technical/papers/submittal.

Categories: SAWE Blog

Addition of Chapter Website Links

SAWE Blog - Wed, 2017-09-27 07:50

I have added some of the Chapter websites to the side of this site.  This allows chapters that utilize their chapter websites prior and outside of the main blog to continue to use their sites without having to post everything to the main SAWE blog.

Please still post to the main blog!  We want to link the Chapter sites so they do not become obsolete and can still be used as means of communication among chapter members.

I only added the Texas, LA, and Hampton Roads sites currently, as they appear to be the most utilized sites.  If you wish for your chapter site to be added as a link to the SAWE blog please let me know and I will add it.

Thank you for all those that have subscribed thus far, posted, and have reached out to be involved in the blog.  This is what we hoped for and envisioned when we first talked about a blog. Please continue to reach out to your chapter and make sure people are subscribing! That is the easiest way to be involved and be kept up to date on posts.

Melissa Rapier

Categories: SAWE Blog

Los Angeles Chapter Meeting – Speaker: Dr. Jeffry Padin

SAWE Blog - Wed, 2017-09-20 06:37
The Los Angeles chapter held its first meeting of 2017-2018 on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at the S Building on Northrop Grumman’s Space Park campus, Redondo Beach CA.  Dr Jeffry Padin of the Aerospace Corporation was the evening’s featured speaker.  After a delicious meal of Chinese food, Dr. Padin gave an impassioned presentation about the unique corporate culture at SpaceX (Dr. Padin is a manufacturing and design liaison between the Aerospace Corporation and SpaceX).  Many companies try to understand and improve employee engagement – SpaceX seems to have found the magic ingredient ! Dr. Padin’s presentation was enthusiastically received by an audience of 18 members and guests.  Honored guests included new members Maben Jimenez (the Aerospace Corporation), Kushal Patel (also the Aerospace Corpoartion) and Randy Quon (Northrop Grumman).  Also in attendance were Ron Fox (SAWE Executive Director and Honorary Fellow), John Hargrave (Honorary Fellow), John Nakai (Honorary Fellow), and Mike Notarangelo (Fellow). John Nakai and Yi-Ling Tam (both from the Aerospace Corporation) led a brief discussion of Tailoring Instructions for ANSI/AIAA S-120A-2016 Documents Status.  This impacts both Launch Vehicles (TOR-2017-02292) and Space Vehicles (TOR-2017-02395). All in all, a very successful start to 2017-2018 for the Los Angeles chapter.  Kudos and Thanks to Yi-Ling Tam (Los Angeles chapter President) for arranging the speaker, and also the food and to Oliver Philippi for arranging the facility. Respectfully,  Dan Rowley Los Angeles chapter Vice President
Categories: SAWE Blog

In the news, Space related, Cassini

SAWE Blog - Fri, 2017-09-15 10:25

Copy and paste link :

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=6945&utm_source=iContact&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NASAJPL&utm_content=daily20170913-2

From Wikipedia :

With the launch vehicle adapter and 3,132 kg (6,905 lb) of propellants at launch, the spacecraft had a mass of 5,600 kg (12,300 lb). Only the two Phobos 1 and 2 spacecraft sent to Mars by the Soviet Union were larger. The Cassini spacecraft was 6.8 meters (22 ft) high and 4 meters (13 ft) wide.

Categories: SAWE Blog

How to interact on the blog

SAWE Blog - Tue, 2017-09-12 13:32

I will do my best to hit all the points on how you can interact on the blog.  As I stated from the beginning this will be a bit of a learning curve to start, but I hope that you stick with us and utilize the blog as much as you can!  As I am finishing writing up this blog post, I realize it may be long, but I believe it hits a lot of the questions on how to interact with the blog.  I have tried to test everything out myself so that I can speak to everything as best I can, hopefully I am not wrong on anything!

PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU FIND SOMETHING DIDN’T WORK AS I STATED! I WILL UPDATE THE POST TO REFLECT ANY ISSUES AND HOW TO WORK AROUND THEM!

Create an Account

You do NOT need a account to interact on the blog, you will have limitations but those will be addressed in each section.  I do highly recommend that you register an account, this will allow you to do more as well as subscribe to the blog to be notified when new posts occur

To create an account, on the right side of the site you will see “Recent Posts”, “Recent Comments”, “Archives”, “Categories”, “Meta”

Under the Meta section you can register an account, this will also automatically make you a “Subscriber” to the blog.

After you register an account, you click the username and password to login, this is not necessarily a WordPress account, I believe this just registers you to the SAWE blog.

When you login, it should take you to your profile, please make sure you have your name filled out, and chose your full name to be displayed. This way we aren’t trying to guess on who a user is that comments!

Commenting on Posts:

The easiest way for members to interact with the blog is comment on posts.  This provides us feedback on our articles, and we believe the discussions that can come from the blog will provide us something that sending out email blasts and newsletters couldn’t.

  • You do not need a login to comment on posts
  • At the bottom of a post you can “Leave a Reply”
  • Provide your comment, name, and email address
  • You may also check to be notified when follow up comments occur, so if you forget about a post, you will see when you have responses to your comments! You can also check to be notified of new posts by emails
  • Admin has to approve the comment, this helps us weed out spam bots from posting on all our posts.
    • If you have an account, once you are approved for a comment once, you do NOT need approval on future comments
    • If you choose to not have an account and provide your name and email for comments, you will still need to be approved for all comments
  • As we start posting regularly, I will check the site daily to approve comments.  I am also notified of comments via email so I will see when things are happening and will approve them as soon as I can.
Posting to the Blog

If you wish to post an article, update, etc. to the blog — first off, thank you!  This is exactly what we want.

  • You DO need an account to be able to post to the blog.
  • Once you have Registered an account as discussed above, you will be a “Subscriber” to the SAWE blog.
  • Once you are a “Subscriber” to the blog, I can change it so that your role is not a subscriber, but a contributor or author.  This will allow you to be able to post to the blog
  • You will need to contact me and let me know that you wish to be able to create blog posts, otherwise you will be a subscriber
  • If you do end up being a contributor or author, I will send a separate email to you on how exactly to post and things you can add (i.e. categories, tags, etc.) if you are having trouble figuring anything out!
  • Another option is to post through me, if you have a write up or an article that you want posted you are more than welcome to contact me (Melissa.rapier@sawe.org) and I will post for you.  I have no problem doing this!
Other comments
  • Remember that this is a public blog.
  • If you are a blog poster, keep this in mind if there are things you do not want on the public blog, we can and will link stuff back to the SAWE website where users will need to log in to view

Thank you if you made it this far and read everything, I hope that I hit on all the main points and cleared up any confusion.  Please do not hesitate to ask questions if you continue to have any, I will do my best to answer them.  Looking forward to the future of this blog.

Melissa Rapier

(Melissa.rapier@sawe.org)

 

 

Categories: SAWE Blog

Welcome to the SAWE Blog!

SAWE Blog - Wed, 2017-08-30 09:20

In the newsletter we discussed all the changes that are coming in regards to our social media presence.  I am excited that this blog is one of those changes.  We really want this to be interactive, having members ask questions, add comments, and get conversations going on the blog.

This blog is a public forum so it is not just for members.  For anything that we plan to be for members only, we will hyperlink to the website where you will need to sign in to view.  There will also be a block on the website front page that will link to recent blog posts.

We are using WordPress for the blog, as the features are very beneficial.  Posts will be able to have categories and tags to be easily searchable (i.e. Standards & Practices, President, etc.).  There are many other features we will be implementing and using on WordPress that the SAWE website could not offer.  You may need to create a WordPress account to be able to interact with posts.

Blog posts will include a variety of content.  The blog will allow us to dispense the newsletter, as we will be posting updates from the Executive Board members regularly on the blog.  We hope that this will prove more useful, timely, and interactive than a 10 page newsletter that comes out quarterly.

We will spotlight SAWE members’ careers and accomplishments, in a series of brief career autobiographies.  I believe that this will be most beneficial for newer, younger members to see where a career in Mass Properties can take you.  I also think that this is a great way to get to know some of the members of the society, as some of us only see each other once a year.  I hope this also leads to easier interactions at conferences.  This can also lead to mentoring opportunities as younger members may be very interested in the work and accomplishments listed in the blog post.

We will include articles related to mass properties, and occasionally may reference back to a paper from a conference.  We believe it is very important to promote the importance of mass proprietaries, and this forum should allow us to do so.  Being a public blog, this may be a way of reaching nonmembers.  Blog posts such as this will be connected to our LinkedIn page, hoping that cross traffic will bring in new members.

As to be expected, I am sure we will run into issues as we start using the blog.  Please be patient as we will work through any issues as quickly as possible.  If you have any questions or want to contribute to the blog, please contact me.

Melissa Rapier                                                                                           (melissa.rapier@sawe.org)

 

 

Categories: SAWE Blog