Vol. 1 No. 2 – June 2020
ALWAYS SAFE, ON COMMAND, WHEN COMMANDED
Gregory J. Scaven | President, PacSci EMC
All of us, no matter who you are or where you live, have recently been impacted by the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic that has played havoc with the health of our fellow humans and global economy. This pandemic has created numerous leadership challenges for businesses of all types as well – and as I write this, we all find ourselves in various stages of re-opening but with doubt living on in all our heads about what the new ‘normal’ may look like in the weeks, months, and perhaps years ahead.
I’m sure most of you have previously seen messages from executives such as myself that say something along the lines of …’people are our most important asset.’ Perhaps there is doubt related to the genuity of comments such as these, but let there be no doubt that while this is always true at PacSci EMC, our employees’ response to dealing with COVID-19 has been nothing short of phenomenal – and stands as a true testament to why it’s our people that make this truly a great company and place to work.
As a defense contractor, PacSci EMC has been designated as a company that supports the essential critical infrastructure by the Department of Homeland Defense. If you’re a PacSci EMC employee, you likely already knew that. Our products make a life-saving difference for each of our end users who knowingly choose to potentially place themselves in harms’ way in the name of freedom. Those products don’t build themselves – they take real people – very human brains and human hands – to come into existence and make it to our customers. Each of our plants is proudly displaying banners that say we love our essential workers who make PacSci EMC their home, whether they are working from home or working on-site.
“Always safe, on command, when commanded” is our organizational motto at PacSci EMC – and I remain both proud and humbled by how every one of our employees breathes life into this continuing story every day.
I can’t possibly tell everyone here how proud I am of this team, as we have not missed a beat through the COVID-19 pandemic with regards to our customer commitments. Like a lot of businesses, we rapidly had to figure the best way to minimize the potential hazard to our employees, and that meant many of us would be re-deployed to perform our company functions from our homes. We all have become pretty adept at using Microsoft Teams as a way to connect remotely with our fellow co-workers and customers to deliver on these commitments. I’m likely somewhat blissfully unaware of all the IT-related challenges this created behind the scenes, but clearly – it takes a small village of support teams across our company to ensure our people’s needs are still tended to in good times and those that are more challenging like today.
While many of our employees are working from home, we are truly a manufacturing business, and due to the job-shop nature of our high mix, low volume production, you don’t see a lot of robots on the production floor. While robots likely aren’t affected too much by such a
pandemic, flesh and blood people like all those heroes who have been coming to each site every day are vulnerable. Our number one priority has always been their health, safety and well-being, and pandemic or not, that continues to be our priority today. We’ve had to implement some new standard practices to ensure for their safety, such as the use of social distancing, self-screening protocols, facial coverings and limiting external potential exposures. As local governments make decisions to re-open from stay-at-home/shelter-in-place orders, we are carefully assessing how we best continue to ensure we do everything possible to minimize exposure risk to our employees, and – as of late May – we have put in place a phased implementation program that slowly reintroduces members of our team that have been working at home back onto our production sites. We will be purposeful and measured as we go about making progress against this plan – and it will likely mean that some job functions continue to work from home for quite some time.
I have been conducting daily meetings with my L1 leadership team since late February with regards to our company’s response to the pandemic and we will continue to hold these meetings daily for the foreseeable future. This might seem as if it’s a bit extreme, but as we’ve all seen, the progress of the pandemic across our broader population seems to change pretty constantly –and as such, I want to ensure we are making the best possible decisions regarding our people’s safety with the latest, most recent informational updates. Across the board, whether the leadership team, our dedicated on-site employees or those who can perform their functions while working from home, we are all focused on making sure we are staying safe so we can continueto ensure the safety and success of all the critical missions our customers make possible. “Always safe, on command, when commanded” is our organizational motto at PacSci EMC – andI remain both proud and humbled by how every one of our employees breathes life into this continuing story every day.
PAYLOAD RELEASE SEQUENCING SYSTEMS (PRSS)
On March 21, 2020 PacSci EMC proudly participated in the successful deployment of 34 satellites into Low Earth Orbit (LEO). The release of these satellites from the launch vehicle dispenser structure is a precision operation choreographed by our Payload Release Sequencing System (PRSS). To date the PacSci EMS PRSS has successfully sequenced 592 on orbit events to successfully deploy 74 satellites.
What may be less well known is how PacSci EMC came to develop the PRSS technology. With the growing use of airbags in the 1980s and 1990s, the automotive industry established a consortium of companies to develop communication & sequencing protocol. A safe-by-wire technology was developed to initiate the growing number of airbags found in modern vehicles. Ultimately the technology was deemed too expensive for the high volume production of the automotive industry. PacSci EMC recognized the potential application for the technology in the aerospace industry and acquired the intellectual property in 2001. For use in aerospace application, we branded the technology as Smart Energetic Architecture (SEA).
Since 2001, PacSci EMC has successfully implemented SEA technology in numerous applications. For the deployment of large satellite constellations, Smart Energetic Architecture offers many advantages:
► Flight qualified on 74 One-Web Satellite Separations
► Flight qualified on space SRM Attitude Control/Delta V ignition system for Cubesats
► Designed for space (vehicle radiation, thermal, vacuum, shock, vibration etc)
► Highly flexible mission configurations. Mission sequencing can be hard-coded or user configurable
► Multi-satellite release solution—integrated mechanical & electrical system and harnessing
► Parallel bus allows for minimized system harness mass
► Configurable mounting options—enables flexibility, smaller footprint, less weight/wiring
► High reliability and precise timing—no satellite tip off
► Flexible & scalable architecture
► Command many individual separation events (e.g., 16, 72, etc.). Demonstrated up to 384 events on one vehicle
► Real time status/arming/firing feedback, bi-directional network bus architecture over a variety of serial communication options (Ex: RS422)
► Commands a mix of pyro devices, motorized light bands and non-explosive actuators
► Very low power—ability to sleep/no power draw. Has demonstrated mission durations from hours to months
THE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO ALL-FIRE AND NO-FIRE SENSITIVITY
We have a rich heritage in the design and manufacturing of initiators, detonators and other Electro-Explosive Devices (EED) dating back to the 1960’s. A typical design requirement1 for all PacSci EMC EED components is their sensitivity to an input stimulus, commonly defined as the device “no-fire” and “all-fire” levels. While these terms may be new to those unfamiliar with the energetics industry, anyone dealing with ordnance devices should have at least a beginner’s understanding of an EED’s no-fire and all-fire characteristics, and their relationship to the device safety and functional performance.
What is an Initiator?
To comprehend what the no-fire and all-fire levels entail, it is important to understand how an initiator works. We define an initiator as any single discrete device or sub-assembly whose actuation is caused by the application of electric energy which in turn ignites a pyrotechnic or explosive material contained therein, as shown in Figures 1-2. Although existing initiator technologies include: Hot-Wire initiators, Exploding Bridgewire (EBW) detonators, Reactive Semiconductor Bridge (RSCB) initiators and Exploding Foil Initiators (EFI), for the purpose of simplicity, we will limit our discussion to Hot-Wire initiators; the most common type of EED in use. In a Hot-Wire initiator, an external power source supplies a firing current directly to the initiator’s heat sensitive element commonly known as a bridgewire. The bridgewire is then heated by the direct application of energy, until reaching the ignition temperature of the ordnance compound surrounding it. The reaction may directly drive an output or may act as the ignition agent driving other ordnance compounds until a final output is yielded. Regardless of the type of initiator device used in an application, it is imperative to know the maximum electric stimulus that can be supplied which shall not
ignite the device, therefore providing a reliable level of safety to the user, or what is the minimum electric stimulus required to guarantee its functional performance.
All-Fire and No-Fire Defined
Sensitivity tests are often used to estimate continuous variables which cannot be measured or non-destructively determined, e.g. the sensitivity of an initiator to an electric current input. For each test specimen, a critical current level or threshold is assumed. Electric current inputs larger than the threshold will always ignite the specimen, while current inputs lower than the threshold will not yield an ignition. However, repeated testing of any one sample would not be possible, since a current input that is not sufficient to cause the test specimen to initiate will generally damage the specimen to some extent. Therefore, in order to measure the initiation parameters of the underlying distribution, e.g. mean and standard deviation, the initiator samples need to be tested at different current input levels and their response or lack thereof documented.
No-fire is defined as the maximum electric stimulus which can be applied for a specific time to a bridgewire without firing the initiator. The typical no-fire design requirement is a one (1) Ampere minimum with an associated one (1) Watt minimum applied to the initiator’s bridgewire circuit for a duration of five (5) minutes, and which does not cause the initiation of more than 1% of the device population at a confidence level of 95%. The test samples are typically divided into groups and temperature conditioned at 70°F or 225°F. This information is important in understanding how to safely operate the device. It is also critical in avoiding any unintentional activity due to electrical noise or other inadvertent stimulus in the system.
All-fire is defined as the minimum electric stimulus that will always ignite the primary charge in an initiator. The typical all-fire design requirement is a 50 millisecond pulse at the minimum allfire level which causes the device population to initiate not less than 99.0% of the time at a confidence level of 95%. The test samples are typically divided into groups and temperature conditioned at -80°F, +70°F or +225°F. This information provides the necessary knowledge to the end user in order to properly incorporate the device into their system and guarantee its proper function. Often, the system level power allocation is critical.
Determining Response Levels
There is currently no single methodology capable of exactly determining an initiator’s no-fire or all-fire response. As such, determining the no-fire and all-fire levels of the device requires destructive testing, which is typically costly and time-consuming. Therefore, it is important to determine these levels in the most efficient way possible. Various test methods, such as, Probit Analysis2, have been created and applied in the past to statistically determine a test specimen’s safety and reliability characteristics3. Today, the most commonly used methods applicable to EEDs are: the Bruceton, Langlie and Neyer sensitivity tests. In general, all the test methods operate similarly; a probability distribution function is assumed, e.g. normal distribution, an initial stimulus is tested, the response is documented and influences the stimulus level of the following test(s) until a convergence occurs between the input stimulus and the device’s ignition
threshold, as shown in Figure 3. The results of all the tests are analyzed to determine the mean, standard deviation, reliability and confidence level of the response level, effectively determining the no-fire and/or all-fire characteristics. While there are some similarities between the test methods, each has its advantages and disadvantages.
Sensitivity Tests Methods Explained
The Probit (probability unit) method, conceptualized in 1934 by Chester Bliss4 and further expanded by David Finney in 1952, is a type of regression model used to analyze binomial (go/nogo, head or tails, all or nothing) response variables. It transforms the sigmoid (S-shape) input-response curve to a straight line that can then be analyzed by regression either through least squares or maximum likelihood methods. Probit analysis can be conducted by one of three techniques: using tables to estimate the probits and fitting the relationship by eye, hand calculating the probits, regression coefficient, and confidence intervals, or having a statistical package such as SPSS, SAS or R do it all for you. Although this is the simplest sensitivity test to perform and provides a straightforward method to analyze the data, it generally requires many more samples than other tests because it does not concentrate the testing where the most information can be obtained. In addition, for the method to work somewhat efficiently, it requires that both mean and standard deviation of the population be well known in advance so that the testing can be conducted in the range of stimulus levels which allow convergence.
The Bruceton (up-and-down) method, published in 1948 by Dixon and Mood5, relies on simple calculations which can be done without the aid of a computer, and are based on an initial guess close to the population mean and a constant step size approximately equal to the standard deviation. It is generally more efficient than the Probit method since it concentrates the testing close to the population mean. However, the Bruceton method is very sensitive to the selected step size. If the step size is much bigger than the standard deviation, then none of the test will concentrate near the mean. On the other hand, if the step size is much smaller than the standard deviation and the initial guess is not near the true mean of the population, this method will not quickly converge to a final value, which can be costly due to extended testing.
The Langlie (one-shot) method, published in 1962 by Langlie6, efficiently provides accurate values for mean and standard deviation, without requiring that an initial guess be selected close to the population standard deviation. The Langlie approach is to bound the estimated mean by selecting an upper and lower limit. However, convergence of the method requires the certainty that none of the test samples will initiate at the lower limit, while ensuring that all the test samples will initiate at the upper limit. Once the upper and lower limits are chosen, the first stimulus level is chosen halfway between the limits interval. If the test interval is inappropriately chosen, then the stress levels will tend to converge towards either the lower or the upper limit. In such a case, convergence to the lower limit would be indicative of an incorrect stimulus selection, and little will be learned, while convergence toward the upper limit can be shown statistically acceptable by use of the likelihood ratio test method. The main problem with the Langlie method is that it concentrates the test levels too close to the mean, which results in the inefficient determination of the standard deviation of the population.
The Neyer D-Optimal method, published in 1994 by Neyer7, is the most efficient of all methods requiring the smallest test sample size and only three parameters; lower and upper limits and an estimate of the standard deviation. It was designed to extract the maximum amount of statistical information from the test sample. Unlike previous methods which only required paper and pencil, the Neyer D-Optimal test requires detailed computer calculations to determine the test levels. In addition, the test method uses the results of all the previous test results to compute the next test level. The test method uses a three-step approach to establish the mean and standard deviation. First, the test algorithm “closes in” on the region of interest to within a few standard deviations of the mean. Second, the test algorithm determines the unique estimates of the parameters efficiently. Finally, the test continuously refines the estimates once convergence has been established.
To summarize, the efficiency of the Bruceton method is strongly dependent on the choice of step size. The efficiency of the Langlie method is somewhat dependent on the spacing between the upper and lower test levels. The Neyer D-Optimal test is essentially independent of the choice of parameters.
At PacSci EMC, we use the Neyer D-Optimal sensitivity test method to determine EEDs8 no-fire and all-fire characteristics due to its efficiency, accuracy and proven reliability.
Safety & Reliability at PacSci EMC
PacSci EMC’s highest priority is the safety and reliability of our products. Having clear and accurately defined all-fire and no-fire characteristics guarantees that our customers can safely operate our products as intended. These well-defined parameters also ensure our initiators and other EED’s will work reliably when required. Whether the application is in Space, Defense, Oil and Gas, or any other field, PacSci EMC guarantees that our product will work with the highest safety and reliability, on command, when commanded.
1. MIL-DTL-23659F, General Design Specification for Electrical Initiators
2. Finney, D. J., Ed. (1952), Probit Analysis, Cambridge, England, Cambridge University Press.
3. NAVORD Report 2101, Statistical Methods Appropriate for Evaluation of Fuze Explosive-Train Safety and Reliability.
4. Greenberg, B. G. (1980), Chester I. Bliss, 1899-1979, International Statistical Review / Revue Internationale de Statistique, 8(1): 135-136.
5. Dixon, J.W. and Mood, A.M. (1948), A Method for Obtaining and Analyzing Sensitivity Data, Journal of the American Statistical Association, Vol. 43, pp. 109–126.
6. Langlie, H.J., (1962), A Reliability Test Method for “One-Shot” Items, Proceedings of the Eighth Conference on the Design of Experiments in Army Research Development and Testing, Washington, D.C., October 24-26, 1962.
7. Barry T. Neyer, A D-Optimality-Based Sensitivity Test, Technometrics, Vol. 36: No. 1 (1994), pp. 61-70.
ELECTRIC INITIATOR DESIGN GUIDE
► Output Thread Size
► Mating Connector
► Overall Length
► Total Mass
► Connector Pin Quantity
► Number of Circuits
► Pin Grounding to Body
► Ground to cable shielding
► Cable Definition/Shielding
► Max Temperature
► Min Temperature
► Max Shock Levels
► Max Vibration Levels
► Acceleration Limit
► Max Storage Temperature
► Insulation Resistance
► Dielectric Withstanding Voltage
► Circuit Resistance
► Electrostatic Discharge (ESD)
► Firing Current (AC-DC)
► Constant Current
► Capacitance Discharge
► Low Voltage Ignition
► High Voltage Ignition
► All-Fire Capability
► No-Fire Capability
► Pressure Output
► Time to Peak Pressure
► Pressure Retention Limits
► Cable/Pin Pull Strength
COMMON DESIGN CRITERIA AND TEST METHOD DEFINING DOCUMENTS
MIL-DTL-23659 Detail Specification Initiators, Electric, General Design Specification
AIAA S-113 Criteria for Explosive Systems and Devices on Space and Launch Vehicles
RCC-319 Flight Termination Systems Commonality Standard
MIL-HDBK-83578 Criteria for Explosive Systems and Devices on Space Vehicles
MIL-STD-1901A Munition Rocket and Missile Motor Ignition System Design, Safety Criteria
MIL-STD-810 Environtmental Engineering Considerations and Labratory Tests
MIL-STD-1516 Electroexplosive Subsystems, Electrically Initiated Design Requirements and Test Methods
MIL-STD-1576 Electroexplosive Subsystems Safety Requirements and Test Methods for Space Systems
MIL-STD-331 Fuze and Fuze Components, Environmental and Performance Tests
MIL-STD-202 Test Methods for Electronic and Electrical Component Parts
MIL-STD-464 Electromagnetic Environmental Effects, Requirements for Systems
******Some of the noted documents are cancelled for new designs but are still readily used in the industry******
POWDERS OF THE QUARTER
OUR GOAL HAS ALWAYS BEEN TO EXPAND ENERGETICS POTENTIAL
A GOAL THAT WE MEET THROUGH EXHAUSTIVE RESEARCH AND INNOVATION.
Our trio of powders are the expression of that pursuit. Our chemical science team has put together three pyrotechnic powders that we’re excited about and that we think you’ll be excited about too. Here, we give you an overview of the three energetic chemicals we use. Each section presents an explanation of each pyrotechnic’s chemical composition, its advantages and precautions for use.
#1 PRIMARY EXPLOSIVE: DBX-1
What It Is
DBX-1 is a primary explosive designed to function as a drop-in replacement for lead azide. It’s produced from copper(II) and sodium 5-nitrotetrazolate and it’s chemical name is copper(I) 5-nitrotetrazolate. DBX-1 was discovered and developed at PacSci EMC.
Why We Like It
One of the best things about DBX-1 is that has no toxic or environmentally undesirable elements (like lead) that are used during manufacture, use or disposal. Because of this, DBX-1 is a great alternative to lead azide (LA) which presents a wide range of toxicity related health and safety issues. DBX-1 offers a “green” alternative to lead azide, and was designed to have physical and chemical characteristics, including output performance, sensitivity and thermal stability, that are nearly identical to those of lead azide. However, several DBX-1 characteristics that make it superior to LA:
► Has a better compatibility profile with other EM’s and ordnance components than Lead azide
► Does not decompose in non-hermetic systems like LA
► Does not dead press at high loading pressures
► May be shipped wet under 2-propanol
How You Should Handle It
DBX-1 is a very sensitive primary explosive and should be handled in the same way that lead azide would. It is very low friction, impact and ESD sensitive and is a point detonant.
#2 PRIMARY EXPLOSIVE: BNCCP
What It Is
BNCP is a relatively insensitive primary explosive made from sodium 5-nitrotetrazole, cobalt and potassium perchlorate. It was developed at PacSci EMC in conjunction with Sandia National Labs. It’s typically orange in color and both it and it’s combustion products are relatively non-toxic.
Why We Like It
BNCP is a relatively stable (to 350 °F) material that is unique in that it is a DDT explosive. In order to function as a detonating explosive, it must be confined in plastic, aluminum or steel housings/parts. In an unconfined state such as a loose powder, it will not sustain detonation. This makes it quite safe compared to other primary explosives during handling and loading. Once confined, it functions like any other primary explosive. PacSci EMC uses BNCP in it’s FIREX line and it also finds applications in laser initiated ordnance where it is commonly doped with carbon black. PacSci EMC is the primary producer of BNCP and manufactures a variety of particle sizes for custom applications. Other manufacturers make it for research and development purposes, but don’t typically make BNCP in large quantities.
How You Should Handle It
BNCP is a relatively insensitive energetic material and is not particularly static or heat-sensitive. It presents only mild friction and impact hazard compared to other primary explosives.
Also, moisture, light and heat have minimal effects on BNCP. However, we suggest storing it in a closed puck and a low humidity environment.
When you’re working with this material, use a velostat scoop and make sure you’re grounded. Proper safety wear includes a smock, safety glasses and conductive shoes.
Cleanup of minor spills should be done with a 50% IPA/DI water mix and a wet paper towel for blotting. Like other EM’s, major spills require evacuation of the area.
#3 PRIMARY EXPLOSIVE: LEAD AZIDE
What It Is
Lead azide (LA) is a white primary explosive composed of lead and nitrogen. Three common varieties of LA are produced based on different additives: dextrin (DLA), polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and CMC (RD-1333). Manufacture with these additives optimizes the crystal shape so that the LA will flow through automatic loading equipment. The additives also serve to reduce the sensitivity of t he lead azide.
Why We Like It
inexpensive LA from an outside source but will manufacture high sensitivity LA for unusual applications. At PacSci EMC it is used as an initiating agent, as a transfer charge and in stab primer applications. Some of the explosives we use it with include:
What makes it such an effective primary explosive is that it detonates quickly, is thermally stable and has a long shelf life in hermetic applications.
How You Should Handle It
LA is an incredibly sensitive explosive. It is one of the most sensitive materials we use at PacSci EMC.
To give you an idea of exactly how hazardous it can be, its sensitivity levels for friction, impact and ESD are:
► Friction: ≤ 10 grams
► Impact: ≤ 30 centimeters
► Static: ≤ 7 megajoules
Despite having enhanced sensitivity, LA is widely used at PacSci EMC and many other ordnance manufacturers every day without issue.
You’ll want to use the standard PPE procedure when working with this material: smock, safety goggles and conductive shoes. All work should take place behind a shielded workstation. You should use additional PPE when you’re dealing with a large quantity of LA.
Lead azide isn’t sensitive to light, heat or moisture. Therefore, storage rules are straightforward: Keep in a puck in low-humidity environments.
INNOVATION WITH OUR GLOBAL REPRESENTATIVES AND DISTRIBUTORS
WE CALL THEM PARTNERS
Several years ago, we embarked on an ambitious plan to remake our global representative and distributor network to ensure we had all the right partners who were compliant with the myriad of regulations. In looking back on the many successes and a few missteps in this endeavor, we can say in 2020 that our innovation in working with our partners has been a key factor driving the incremental growth we’ve achieved for our business. Although there are hundreds of lessons learned, we think there are three maxims that drive our approach today with our global network. They are relatively simple: extension, engagement, and
expectations. The following paragraphs will highlight our approach and hopefully give a sense for what it is like to work with PacSci EMC whether as rep, distributor, or even draw parallels to the supplier or customer experience.
PacSci EMC views our partners as an extension of our company. This is not lip service. We strive to treat them with the utmost dignity and respect just like we do our employees, suppliers, customers, and the warfighter. This mentality puts our reps and distributors on the proper pedestal to ensure they do the same for their employees and customers. This simple concept resonates well with our global network and continues to build trust and loyalty year after year.
It makes little sense to have a global network of partners if you don’t spend time with them and the customers they serve. This engagement focus has paid lasting dividends. Until the recent travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, PacSci EMC made numerous trips annually to meet with our partners along with their customers at trade shows, customer facilities, and even an occasional social hour or reception. Within our processes, we continue to evaluate the strategies we’ve employed and modify them as required to ensure we capture new business. Engagement on a continued basis has been the lifeblood of our partner innovation – the more we talk with our reps, distributors, and their customers the more opportunities come our way to grow our business.
All of this does nothing for PacSci EMC if we fail to set expectations with our reps and distributors for annual growth of their orders placed with us. We also set expectations for marketing activities we undertake along with quarterly reporting to ensure were lockstep with our partners. Our experience shows that our partners appreciate the expectation setting, and some of them even astound us with their stretch goals. We appreciate the candor developed through the interactions around expectations, and we find that the conversation about increasing bookings goals is more often through our partner’s initiative rather than us forcing it. Refreshing!
As we have matured our relationships with the global network of partners over the years, we’ve found treating them as an extension of our company makes engaging them at the critical moments in their part of the market a very natural activity. Setting mutually beneficial expectations and then achieving those bookings goals is icing on the cake of a very successful venture that will bear fruit for many years to come.
MODULAR ARCHITECHTURE PROPULSION SYSTEM (MAPS)
PacSci EMC has for several decades supported various Missile Defense Agency and Active Protection programs with Attitude Control Systems (ACS). These systems are a marriage of our long heritage designing and manufacturing solid propellant grains with our Smart Energetic Architecture sequencing system. These technologies working in combination can provide precision thrust to enable interception of an incoming threat. Typical implementation on these platforms consisted or an array of small motors making up a ring segment of the vehicle or payload as shown below.
In late 2017 /early 2018 PacSci EMC launched PACSCISAT, a 3U CubeSat fitted with MAPS solid rocket motors and SEA controllers. Over the course of several months we commanded the firing of various motor pairs. The PACSCISAT mission successfully achieved all mission objectives, with MAPS performing as predicted in pre-flight modeling.
A new and novel application of this technology was subsequently conceived to provide propulsion capability for the small satellite market. By arranging the motors in a flat array and sequencing the firings to be balanced around a central axis, PacSci EMC created the Modular Architecture Propulsion System (MAPS). MAPS is easily scalable to meet mission requirements and can be implemented in a variety of form factors. The system offer convenience of a bolt on system and eliminates the need for complex tanks, valves, plumbing and toxic fuel found is a liquid system.
► Extends orbital life of SmallSats
► No tanks, valves, tubing or heaters
► Plug and Play, bolt on design
► Fits in separation systems and ESPA ring
► IInstant on w/ 10+year life
► Very low power
► Variable thrust
MAINTAINING A SUPPLY CHAIN
As the COVID-19 pandemic quickly escalated, spreading from an international crisis to one effecting the United States, we quickly realized we would recognize
some impact to our supply chain at PacSci EMC. The pandemic was and is an extremely fluid situation with communication changing hour to hour, making our
adjustments challenging. The pandemic is an unfortunate situation for PacSci EMC, however there was one aspect where we found ourselves in a fortunate place. The majority of our work is government related, and thus, we must procure our materials domestically. With the exception of a few wires, cables or shop supplies, the majority of our procurement purchases are managed in the United States. Based on this we were able to concentrate on high impact areas like New York, Washington and California. These areas became our main focus and we went to work gauging our risk.
Our first step was drafting a communication to our suppliers articulating PacSci EMC’s position and relevance within the Government Supply Chain and our DPAS rated orders. Many suppliers embraced our position and remained open to support our critical orders. This did not come without challenges. Suppliers dealt with higher levels of absenteeism related to sickness or self-quarantine in order to maintain social distancing, so producing at normal capacity was a challenge. Communication became critical and it was important to maintain daily contact to vet priorities, protect supply and maintain customer delivery. Another area of concentration came with shop supplies like toilet paper, gloves and sanitizing wipes. All cleaning supplies were impacted but with great work by our internal PacSci EMC teams and our procurement teams working with external suppliers we were able to mitigate all shortages. Shifting priorities and expediting key orders became a new strategy to maintain continuity of supply.
Through all of this our suppliers did a fantastic job working with us and balancing work commitments while ensuring employee safety. As we work through what is now our new normal, it is important to maintain high levels of communication, flexibility and provide as much forecasting as possible to the supply chain. This allows us to mitigate lead-time and delivery risks associated with COVID delays. Our supply chain was able to show great resourcefulness and adaptability through these challenging times. Additionally, creating an environment of critical thinking that leads to new ways to work with our suppliers and identifying new resources when needed.
ALLFIRE VO. 1 NO. 1 ANSWER KEY
1.a. 1.83 lb
c. o.o63 lb/ft3
2. 559 psi
3. Propellant weight 0.433 lb.
4. a. 3.20 inches
b. 3.79 inches
5. a. 0.0375 inches2
b. 0.218 inches
6. 7.6 psi