Detecting Trouble

April 2015

Recently, Four Seasons' team at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was put to the test when a faulty fire alarm system caused series of unfortunate events.

June 13, 2014, a smoke detector at the computer room power system at the NOAA Satellite Operations Facility in Suitland, MD activated an Emergency Power Off (EPO). This EPO resulted in an interruption of power, leading to a hard shutdown of all mission systems housed in the space.

While no fire was ever found, the power outage lasted 2.5 hours, and National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service operations were interrupted and not fully restored for more than 12 hours.

"Due to the shutdown, one of the most critical satellites in orbit was left for several hours without proper command and control of the platform," Paul Pegnato, General Engineer at NOAA stated.

Thankfully though, due to the excellence of the Facilities Operations Branch, the smoke detector was removed and replaced with a new unit. J.R. Faunce, Project Manager at NOAA, credits Kevin Price, FSE's Chief Engineer at NOAA, and Tim Berrich, ProSource Consulting LLC, for the successful handling of the issue.

A big thank you to J.R., Kevin and the rest of the FSE team at NOAA!