. 24/7 Space News .
The rocket fired by Scrum
by Staff Writers
Falls Church VA (SPX) Jun 26, 2020

File illustration of OmegA.

In May 2019, the OmegATM first stage fired in Northrop Grumman's northern Utah test area, fulfilling a 2016 commitment made by the company to test a stage of its OmegA rocket by spring 2019. As soon as that test was completed, the next test-firing an OmegA second stage-was just around the corner.

"The significance of the second stage test cannot be overstated," said Charlie Precourt, vice president, propulsion systems, Northrop Grumman. "We had already fired the first stage, and the firing of the second stage would demonstrate what our country needs-a domestic solution to replace the RD-180 rocket engine.""

Major static tests of this scale require months of preparation with many team members. Coming from a culture of continuous improvement, the test area team decided to see if they could reduce the time required to prepare for the second stage OmegA test. They chose to apply an agile technique known as Scrum, which started out as a tool to help software developers deliver products on-time and on-budget.

"We're always looking for ways that lead to increased efficiency," said Precourt. "We've applied Scrum in many areas where the methods easily transfer to our business, but trying it with a motor test required a lot of ingenuity."

Author Jeff Sutherland describes Scrum in The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time, claiming it's possible in any industry to increase productivity by 400 percent. Undaunted by the inherent differences between developing software and testing a 39.5-foot-long and 378,000-pound rocket motor, the test area team was excited to try Sutherland's approach.

The first step was going through iterations that blended Scrum with the current work scope. The collaboration presented challenges, and the team quickly identified roadblocks in the transferability between Sutherland's proposal and their operations. For example, the team had to change their old ways of operating to incorporate key functions earlier, and some team members had to expand the previous scope of their roles.

"Working through roadblocks, the team took on greater ownership of this pilot effort," said Precourt.

As the team members became more invested, they were able to simplify team structures, streamline communication chains, adapt sprints to manufacturing timelines and integrate nonconformance tracking to reduce quality concerns. They stabilized work, increased efficiency and broke down barriers.

According to Andrew Martin, Northrop Grumman project engineer and static test lead for the OmegA first and second stage static tests, co-location was the most important aspect of Scrum to the team. "People from multiple engineering groups came out of their silos and to the product. Our customer also co-located to work with us."

Martin said co-location helped the team to break down communication boundaries they previously experienced. "That enabled us to make smart and efficient decisions together in the test bay. We got more work done and saved time," he said.

In conjunction with Scrum, the OmegA team utilized a model-based systems engineering (MBSE) design approach that allowed design engineers to create an integrated OmegA second stage, and the entire vehicle, in a digital format. This framework promotes the modeling to define, design, analyze and validate concept designs before construction. It allows for realistic 3D renderings of the final product to be reviewed and analyses to be run to simulate forces that will act on certain components, which helps engineers perfect the product the first time. MBSE decreases the amount of time between concept and design, and eliminates the need for substantial alterations to design.

"By utilizing Scrum and MBSE, we were able to incorporate design improvements into the second stage test without any impact to our launch readiness date," said Precourt.

In February, the OmegA second stage underwent a full-scale static test firing, the first under Scrum. The Scrum approach created greater efficiencies and saved significant time during the months of test preparation. For the test area team it was easy to compare the two back-to-back tests, and the verdict on whether Scrum applies to firing rockets is clear: It does.

The OmegA team is now incorporating the design improvements validated in the second stage test back into the first stage. Scrum is helping them complete this activity rapidly, so the most up-to-date first and second stage designs are on the first flight vehicle. In this way, Scrum not only helps with meeting schedule and reducing costs, but it reduces technical risk going forward.

Precourt credits the OmegA team for making the Scrum approach successful. "Change can be hard to implement, and I appreciate the willingness and ingenuity of this team," he said. "We'll continue to deploy Scrum across the plant and reap the benefits of better communication, faster development, and closer customer collaboration."

Related Links
Northrop Grumman
Rocket Science News at Space-Travel.Com

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

Gilmour Space achieves 45-second milestone in latest hybrid rocket engine test fire
Gold Coast, Australia (SPX) Jun 25, 2020
Australia's leading rocket company has reached another milestone in its mission to launch small satellites to space by 2022. Rocket engineers at Gilmour Space Technologies in Queensland, Australia, have completed the first in a series of major technology demonstrations this year: a successful 45-second 'hot fire' of their upper-stage hybrid rocket engine. "This was our longest and most efficient test fire to date," said Gilmour Space CEO and co-founder, Adam Gilmour. "It's a key demonstratio ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Search for benzene on Space Station to resume in July

Thales Alenia Space will provide two key pressurized elements for Axiom commercial space station

NASA renames Washington HQ for 'Hidden Figures' trailblazer

NASA Developing a Plan to Fly Personnel on Suborbital Spacecraft

Gilmour Space achieves 45-second milestone in latest hybrid rocket engine test fire

Virgin Galactic signs agreement with NASA

China launches final satellite to complete rival to GPS

NASA Prepares to Complete Artemis SLS Rocket Structural Testing

How NASA's Mars Helicopter Will Reach the Red Planet's Surface

NASA's new Mars mission will take at least a decade to confirm life

The Launch Is Approaching for NASA's Next Mars Rover, Perseverance

Martian rover motors ahead

China's tracking ship wraps up satellite launch monitoring

Final Beidou launch marks major milestone in China's space effort

Satellite launch center Wenchang eyes boosting homestay, catering sectors

Private investment fuels China commercial space sector growth

India ends monopoly of ISRO with new entity to facilitate private players

NASA moving forward to enable a low-earth orbit economy

WA space project to drive industry growth

UK space industry consortium calls for greater SME engagement for future satcom services

Quantum rings in the hold of laser light

Northrop Grumman completes PDR for Overhead Persistent Infrared Subsystem

ESA awards NanoAvionics contract to develop new satellite propulsion technologies

Microsoft ends game streaming, teams up with Facebook

Young giant planet offers clues to formation of exotic worlds

Breakthrough listen releases list of "exotica"

NASA scientist simulates sunsets on other worlds

Space Team Theorizes Rare Exomoon Discovery

Evidence supports 'hot start' scenario and early ocean formation on Pluto

Ocean in Jupiter's moon Europa "could be habitable"

Proposed NASA Mission Would Visit Neptune's Curious Moon Triton

SOFIA finds clues hidden in Pluto's haze

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.