Communication is Key to Success
Mark Knight is Chief Engineer in the Electricity Infrastructure group at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He is responsible for providing technical thought leadership and project/program management for the laboratory's research portfolio in distribution analysis and automation, demand response, and distributed energy technologies.
Do you remember the Mars Climate Orbiter spacecraft, which suffered a navigation mishap in 1999? It was pushed dangerously close to the planet's atmosphere, where it burned up and broke into pieces.
The accident occurred because one engineering team used metric units for a key spacecraft operation, while another used English units.
That was a one hundred twenty-five-million-dollar interoperability failure, plus years of work to get to that point.
The people who were recently stranded for twenty-four hours without food or water in the Australian desert can probably relate to that mistake.
They used Apple Maps to find the city of Mildura. Apple showed it at the end of a dirt road in the Australian bush, forty-four miles from its actual position.