I approached this Open Mind a little differently from my latest round of posts. Instead of developing ideas and solutions over the course of a month, I gave myself a “pop” design challenge. The topic: If you were the lead designer for a new NASA Telescope, what considerations would be most important to you? My goal: Instead of developing the best or most important considerations for this challenge, I would develop the first three considerations that popped into my head.
My first thought dealt with finances. As the project manager, I would need to know how much funding the team has and what it will be used for. To me, the days of dumping money into a project especially for exploration are far and few between. It’s unfortunate but there are companies out there that are reviving the passion for space and underwater exploration; our team included. In order to justify spending money on a new exploration project, the team will absolutely have to design intelligently. By using sustainable materials and avoiding “reinventing the wheel”, the design team can focus on improving technology already available thus potentially saving money.
The second thought to pop up was about the project’s overall life cycle. As a manager, I would need to establish an efficient way to not only start and end the project, but see if the telescope has life after decommission. Can anything off the telescope be used or recycled after it’s no longer needed? There’s more to “design” now than ever since there’s a push to go green in all industries. Anything from control systems to frame material can be inspected and potentially approved for reuse. These parts don’t have to be used for serious missions but can be utilized in testing scenarios or for higher education.
The final thought before I called time revolved around power generation. Fuel supply and consumption are always design concerns for any project but none more than in space/underwater applications. There are particles of various sizes translating across space. If a designer can harness the power of small impacts on the telescope by the particles or generate rotational motion from the moving particles, power can be generated. This power can be used to charge batteries in times of need.
Until next time!