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January 5, 2018

Vantage Systems Honored by Prince George's County

During the recent Prince George’s County (PGC) “Business Appreciation Week” Vantage Systems, Inc. (Vantage) was selected as one of the top performing companies in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Vantage was recognized by the Office of the County Executive, Rushern Baker III, for its longstanding commitment to PGC. Vantage is a 25-year resident of PGC. Vantage was acknowledged for the important role it plays in the PGC community by providing jobs and revenue that help to improve the quality of life for PGC residents and businesses. The award was presented by the PGC Economic Development Corporation and accepted by Vantage President and CEO Joe Polk (center below).


August 1, 2017

Vantage Employees recognized by NASA Invention of the Year Awards

Hall Effect Thruster (HET)Hall Effect Thruster (HET) Life Extension

Hall Effect Thruster (HET) Life Extension

NASA Glenn Research Center’s Hall Effect Thruster (HET) Life Extension Invention received Honorable Mention for the NASA Invention of the Year.  Invented by Vantage Partners (VPL) employee Dr. Peter Peterson and four of his colleagues, this technology greatly prolongs the operational lifetime of the HET space propulsion engine. The novel design uses magnetic shielding to prevent the ionized xenon plasma that propels the HET from damaging the walls of the ceramic discharge channel where the plasma is accelerated. With this innovation, NASA can take advantage of the energy savings that come from the HET’s solar electric propulsion system (which offers ten times the fuel efficiency of chemical systems) to undertake such ambitious missions as the Journey to Mars.

Please refer to the following link for additional information on the HET Life Extension invention:

HET Team: Robert Jankovsky(GRC), David Manzella (GRC), David Jacobson (GRC), and Peter Peterson (VPL). Not pictured: Richard Hofer (JPL)


Schottky Diode Hydrogen and Hydrocarbon Gas Sensor

Also receiving the NASA Glenn Research Center Invention of the Year Honorable Mention is the Schottky Diode Hydrogen and Hydrocarbon Gas Sensor Team.  Their sensor can measure hydrogen and hydrocarbon species with high sensitivity and selectivity, while operating effectively even at very high temperatures (up to 600 degrees C). NASA Glenn innovators Gary Hunter (GRC), Dorothy Lukco (Vantage Partners), and Jennifer Xu (GRC) have combined newly developed silicon carbide (SiC) materials with Schottky diode sensing technology to create a sensor that directly measures the presence of targeted gases, rather than using a combination of pattern recognition and different cross-sensitive sensors. This ability to measure chemical species directly gives the SiC Schottky diode sensor uniquely high sensitivity and selectivity compared to other sensors. Furthermore, the sensor’s minimal power consumption as well as its small size and weight make it easy to implement in existing systems without requiring significant adaptations. All of these advantages make this technology extraordinarily useful, not only for space-related applications such as atmospheric characterization on Venus and the detection of launch pad fuel leaks, but also for more commercial uses such as monitoring cabin air quality aboard aircraft, enhancing industrial sensing systems, and providing real-time methane detection for firefighters and other first responders.

More information is available at Tech Briefs:

Schottky Diode Hydrogen and Hydrocarbon Gas Sensor Team:  Jennifer Xu (GRC), Gary Hunter (GRC), and Dorothy Lukco (VPL).

June 18, 2017

Vantage President & CEO Gives Back to High School Alma Mater

For the fifth consecutive year Vantage President and CEO Joe Polk and Vantage Systems contributed to  Virginia’s Pittsylvania County School System’s Graduate of Merit (GOM) Program by supporting Polk’s alma mater, Chatham High School in Chatham, Virginia. To fulfill his passion to give back to the community where he received his secondary school education Polk and Vantage Systems sponsors two GOM students each year.

The county’s Graduate of Merit Program is a community partnership which recognizes outstanding high school graduates who exemplify attributes of achievement, proficiency, character and social development demonstrated through commitment to excellence in education. The GOM program is a great school and community partnership that has received acknowledgement from the Governor of Virginia. The students are honored during a public ceremony/banquet attended by parents, sponsors, and school and county officials.

Pictured below are the 2017 Vantage sponsored recipients Phillip Motley and Kobie Wright being presented their awards by Polk’s sister Janie Luck.

August 31, 2016

Vantage Employee Receives Prestigious NASA Medal

Vantage employee, Dr. William Wright, received the NASA Exceptional Technology Achievement Medal at the NASA Honors Awards Ceremony on August 31, 2016.  Dr. Wright received this medal for his sustained leadership and successful development of the LEWICE2D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code and technology transfer to external organizations.  The LEWICE code is used by NASA, DoD, and industry to enhance aviation safety by predicting ice formation on aircraft surfaces.  The NASA Exceptional Technology Achievement Medal is one of the highest awards in the Agency and represents acknowledgement of significant contributions to NASA's mission and purpose.

Pictured above is Dr. William Wright (center) with Dr. Janet Kavandi, Director of NASA Glenn Research Center and Captain Michael Coats, Retired Director of Johnson Space Center and Former NASA Astronaut.

August 28, 2016

Vantage President Selected as NSBE Aerospace Entrepreneur of the Year

Vantage Systems President & CEO, Joe Polk, has once again been named the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Aerospace Entrepreneur of the Year. Joe was also the 2014 recipient of the award. The award was presented at the NSBE Aerospace Systems Conference (ASC) Celestial Torch Awards Banquet which culminated a 4-day conference held August 24-27, 2016.  The NSBE ASC awards ceremony recognized a number of African America aerospace professionals who have made significant contributions in their respective fields, and who exemplify NSBE’s mission, “To increase the number of culturally responsible Black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.”  NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden, delivered a very inspiring keynote speech to the awardees and all in attendance at the event.

The biennial 4-day conference, held this year at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel in Arlington, Virginia, isa scientific and technical conference of NSBE Professionals focused on aeronautical and astronautical disciplines.  The ASC is unique in that it is America's only known technical conference focused specifically on dissemination of the scientific and engineering contributions of African American aerospace professionals.

Pictured above are Vantage President Joe Polk (center) with Dr. Robert Howard (NASA/JSC), NSBE Space Special Interest Group Director, and Anthony Sanders (NASA/GSFC) NSBE ASC 2016 Vice Chairman.