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Implosion: Lessons from National Security, High Reliability Spacecraft, Electronics, and the Forces Which Changed Them / Edition 1

Implosion: Lessons from National Security, High Reliability Spacecraft, Electronics, and the Forces Which Changed Them / Edition 1

by L. Parker Temple
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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781118462423
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 12/26/2012
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

L. PARKER TEMPLE III, PhD, is a Senior Policy Analystwith more than forty years' experience in program management andexecution, software and systems engineering, policy and systemsanalysis in national defense, and national security air and spaceprograms. The recipient of numerous awards, Dr. Temple has workedwith the National Reconnaissance Office; NASA; the IntelligenceCommunity; the Departments of Transportation, State, and Commerce;the Office of the Secretary of Defense; and the armed services.

Table of Contents

List of Figures vii

List of Tables ix

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xv

Acronyms, Abbreviations, and Program Names xvii

Part I Activation Energy (1931-1968)

1 Washington…We Have a Problem… 3

2 The Quantum Leap 6

3 Preparation 21

4 The Final Frontiers 29

5 Minuteman Means Reliability 58

6 Skinning Cats 68

Part II Startup Transient (1969-1980)

7 Changing the Sea State 87

8 Space Parts: From A to S 93

9 There's S, and Then There's S 122

10 A Little Revolution Now and Then Is Good 140

11 Quality on the Horizon 144

Part III Switching Transient (1980-1989)

12 Crossing the Operational Divide 153

13 Stocking the Shelves 168

14 Hammered 184

15 Battlegrounds: Reorganization and Reform 187

16 Implementing Change in a Changing World 207

Part IV Shorting To Ground (1989-2002)

17 Leap First, Look Later 231

18 Hardly Standing PAT 248

Part V Resetting the Circuit Breakers

19 Brewing the Perfect Storm 277

20 Summing the Parts 301

Epilogue: Can One Ever Truly Go Home Again? 309

Index 322

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Solid-state electronics enabled the amazing transformation oflife on Earth in countless ways during the second half of thetwentieth century. This technology has become so ubiquitous thatpeople worldwide take it for granted and, more often than not,never contemplate what the world would be like without it. InImplosion, historian Parker Temple captures in remarkabledetail the evolutionary complexity of one aspect of thattechnological transformation—the requirement for and theacquisition of highly reliable solid-state electronics for missionassurance in U.S. national security and national defense spaceprograms. From the incorporation of strict military specificationsand standards for proliferating solid-state devices during the1950-1960s to the inability of those specifications and standardsto keep pace with the evolution of electronics in the1980s—1990s, Dr. Temple weaves an elaborate narrative. Heexplains how military standards advanced the quality of solid-stateelectronic devices generally, even as demands for more capabilitiesengendered greater complexity, until concern about rising costs inthe waning years of the twentieth century politicized  changeand resulted in the entropic unraveling of an optimized productionsystem.
Engineering instructors, students, industrial leaders, governmentprocurement officers, administrative policy makers, and legislatorsall might benefit from contemplating Dr. Temple's critical analysisof how the optimized production system for highly reliableelectronics came about, what sustained it over time, why it fellapart, and whether a satisfactory replacement might again ensuredelivery of highly reliable electronic devices. History holds manylessons for those who are willing to pay attention, andImplosion reminds the attentive few that technologicalcomplexity can harbor the seeds of its own collapse.  As Dr.Temple correctly acknowledges, it took decades to evolve anoptimized production system that once ensured highly reliablesolid-state electronic devices for U.S. rocket and space programs;it likely will take decades before a fully acceptable replacementsystem emerges. Well informed, historically astute participants,playing many different roles, can help 'stay the course' that leadsto that new production system.
Rick W. Sturdevant, Ph.D., Deputy Director ofHistory, HQ Air Force Space Command

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