We’ve all heard the saying, “you don’t know what you don’t know.” Unfortunately, the minions have been directed to do a lot of things they don’t have a grasp on. And then they are told how smart they are by people that don’t know any better. Experienced mentors are hard to find. Just ask Steve Cook. Maybe not?
Take the issue of controllability of Doc’s (remember him? must be doing time somewhere by now?) spaghetti string? Five segments of looseness, being pushed from the bottom, and making organ tones around just above 10 Hz as it lurches upward. You’d think someone designing rockets would have been familiar with the problem. Maybe someone did but thought it would be a fun problem to solve. Maybe not?
So our soon, simple, safe rocket, now has more moving parts than an Atlas 5. We dare you to run the reliability numbers on the two. That SRB now looks about as stock as the Cheerios car at Richmond looks like a real Dodge. Maybe not?
So out come the pencils and the computers and the power point charts. Numbers churn. S squareds and omega squareds are scribbled down. Simple control problem spews out on the paper. Given enough bandwidth and a bunch of little rockets up top, and some spring, mass, dampers down below, we can get the Emperor’s limp rod in the air. Maybe not?
“Not so fast!” yells Mr. Nyquist. “Looks good on paper,” he says, “but don’t forget about transforming those s’s into z’s!” Ahhh, yes, the real-world implementation of a control problem . Pick a computer and a bus to move sensor data and take controlling actions back and forth to those vibration dampers. Moving a continuous reality to the chunked-up digital world should be easy these days. Maybe not?
Time for another number: 1553.
Mr. Nyquist is about half-satisfied. He’s sending the spaghetti into the sauce.
And here’s another clue for you all, the walrus was Paul. Maybe not?