IMC-2016 Learning Session - 26:56
by Chase Sasser, UE Systems and Sean Hollis, Jacobs/Kennedy Space Center
Kennedy Space Center is the home to 166 manned and hundreds of scientific spacecraft launches, starting with the Saturn V in 1966, to Shuttle and the International Space Station, and currently KSC is evolving with the Space Launch System as well as supporting commercial companies to become the premier spaceport. As the Kennedy Space Center shifts from a focus on flight and facilities to ground support, the need for cost-effective and reliable systems becomes paramount. KSC is accomplishing this by conducting efficient maintenance embracing Reliability Centered Maintenance processes supported with Predictive Testing and Inspection technologies. Building on the work that was started two decades ago, the Jacobs TOSC Team has utilized State of the Art PT&I technologies to assess the current condition of the assets they manage. Specifically, the Asset Management department leveraged the benefits of ultrasound technology to quantify a motor issue in the Liquid Oxygen Storage Area, and troubleshoot the sources prior to loading the tank to perform V&V activities. This technology was cheap and easy to implement, and provided system engineers with data on a possible source of the problem. In situations where legacy motors are exhibiting unexpected noises, it may seem easier to remove and refurbish the motor and replace the bearings because that solution resolves most of the common causes of the noise. However, that solution would have involved unnecessary spending and may not have solved issues stemming from the foundation, if those existed. By utilizing the ultrasound equipment provided by UE Systems, the Jacobs TOSC Team was able to determine from the sound profiles that the issue resembled a faulty bearing. After replacing the bearing, the unexpected noise ceased. This was the first time portable ultrasound equipment was used to determine maintenance actions for the LOX motors, and the equipment provided the information necessary to make a data driven decision that ultimately achieved the most cost-effective solution. As technology evolves, sharing information and keeping an open mind with new technology provides the users with the opportunity to conduct their operations more easily and more efficiently.