WorldWide Drilling Resource

17 JULY 2021 WorldWide Drilling Resource ® Our Spacecraft Worked Great Until It Blew Up by Britt Storkson Owner, P2FlowLLC Yahoo! News reported on March 3, 2021, that minute s after a seemingly successful landing, SpaceX's Starship rock - et exploded on the landing pad. It was hailed as a success . Why? Because the two previous rocket launch attempts of a similar model blew up before they landed instead of after they landed. So I gues s by comparison it could be termed “more successful”. If you can understand th e logic, I must be missing something. The concept of “first do no harm” is widely attributed to the Hippocratic oath , which is often required of medical school graduates. It means, whatever you do , don’t do anything to hurt anybody or anything. The patient may die, but don’t d o anything to accelerate or exacerbate the problem. Yet, it is often what we get with computer controls. Because of poor design an d overcomplexity, more problems are caused than they solve. This also works count - er to the reason for having a computer in the first place. Many times, the operator s become “slaves” to the computer when the computer is supposed to be the “slave ” to the operator. My neighbor recently bought a new chest freezer which has a great feature. I f the power to the freezer is turned off, when it is turned back on a light flashes t o indicate the power had been interrupted. A push button is provided to “reset” th e alarm and turn off the flashing indicator light. It also has a “power on” light to verif y the power is on with just a glance. Why is this so great? Because it’s so simple. Yes, it uses a microprocessor , but the microprocessor can be simple and inexpensive which, by extension, mean s it’s probably very durable and reliable as well. This also “remembers” a power out - age incident even if the power goes off and then comes back on again, as is th e case with most power outages. It’s an elegant design that uses the “power o n reset” feature all microprocessors have, and does not require a backup battery. This actually happened to my neighbor. A faulty ground fault interrupter device feeding power to his freezer turned off. Without some sort of warning device, unless one physically opened the freezer and checked a thermometer inside, one would never know the power had turned off. Plus, if a freezer turned off and spoiled the food and then turn back on again, it could be problematic as well. One power outage could cause the loss of a lot of food, costing many dollars. Just to point out absurdity using absurdity, let’s overcomplicate this design to illustrate what happens far too often in industry. Let’s give it a Wi-Fi connection and develop an app to alert you if the freezer stopped working. Great idea, right? But when you do that, you need to have a battery to operate the Wi-Fi when the power goes off. The best batteries have a useful life of no more than five to seven years in storage and, depending on the power requirements of the Wi-Fi and other electronics, don’t last more than a few hours in operation. Even if you use a rechargeable battery, one must provide a way to keep it “trickle charged”. This all adds cost, complexity, doesn’t monitor the freezer under all conditions, and requires skilled operator interaction which may or may not be there. Sometimes it’s far better “not to go there” even if you can. Britt Britt Storkson may be contacted via e-mail to 302-684-3197 FAX: 302-384-0643 142 Broadkill Rd. • Milton, DE 19968 email: Manufacturers of Slotted & Perforated Pipe ranging from ½” to 24” diameter Atlantic Screen & Mfg., Inc. • Well Rehab. Products • Manholes • Bentonite • Filter Sock • Inline Chemical Mixers • Sampling Bailers • Clear PVC Pipe • Locking Caps