Technical Input on In Service Weight Control

I thought I would start a thread on a topic of conversation, In Service Weight Control, from recent SAWE events. After a platform is put into operation, configuration changes take place throughout operation.  This must be kept track of for safe and successful operation.

What related experiences can you share?

I’ll start.  I perform Integrated Mass Properties analysis on the International Space Station (ISS).   I gather inputs from the International partners on Visiting Vehicles coming and going.  I gather inputs from our International partners on modules.  I gather inputs from our Configuration team as changes are made, for example moving Orbital Replacement Units (ORUs) from their storage location on ISS to their new location to support continued operation.  I verify the inputs make sense and question everything that doesn’t.

When you put it all together, you have analysis of the ISS at any given point in time needed to operate the ISS as it orbits our Earth every 90 minutes.

Consider sharing your experiences here, at a local chapter meeting, in a presentation / paper, and/or at a conference.

I am hoping this will be a catalyst to increased technical discussion.



Author: clintds01

SAWE member since 2003.

One thought on “Technical Input on In Service Weight Control”

  1. In the offshore oil industry, weight management during operations takes place in a similar manner as that done during the detailed design phase. Project modifications are organized into discrete work packs to be completed either during normal operations or a shutdown – when hydrocarbon production ceases and major work is performed on the platform.

    Weight and CG estimates are completed as part of the work pack development. These are accumulated in the weight database and the total impact (since the previous issue of the weight report) monitored. Once the total weight accumulated reaches a predetermined threshold – 25 or 50 tones – the weight report is reissued.

    Federal or State/Provincial regulators will require an operational weight control procedure in place before granting a permit to operate. This document will include procedures (weight management, equipment vendor weight management and weighing of assemblies and modules) created during the preliminary and detailed design of the project.

    Since the weight management process during operations is ‘less intense’ than during the engineering and fabrication phases, it is often assigned to an engineer as a part-time activity. If this occurs, the weight of a platform will receive less priority within the engineering office. Care should be taken to assign a sufficient level of importance to weight management so as to ensure a presence amongst the engineering and operations staff.

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