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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: https://technology.grc.nasa.gov/featurestory/ioy-2017


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:  http://www.techbriefs.com/component/content/article/ntb/tech-briefs/physical-sciences/20676


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

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.

August 12, 2016

GESS-3 Contract – Summer Picnic

Vantage Partners, LLC (Vantage) held a GESS-3 Contract picnic on Friday, August 12th at the Cleveland MetroParks Chalet.  GESS-3 employees and their families were treated to a cookout meal of grilled chicken, barbecue ribs, roasted potatoes and vegetables, and ice cream sundaes.  Even though the temperature was 90+ degrees outside, picnic guests enjoyed a corn-hole and horseshoe tournament, a hula-hoop contest and a water balloon toss.  Children (and adults) enjoyed an amazing balloon artist and the face painting.  It was a great way to end a work week and start one of the last weekends of summer! A great time was had by all!

   

   

   

   

June 17, 2016

GESS-3 Contract - NASA Silver Snoopy Award Winners

Vantage Partners, LLC (Vantage) congratulates GESS-3 and Vantage employees Liz Gray and Ross Miller for receiving the prestigious NASA Silver Snoopy Award. In recognition of their outstanding contributions to NASA’s mission success they were presented with the Silver Snoopy Award by Astronaut Doug Wheelock at a ceremony at NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) on May 16th.


Pictured: Left to Right – Dr. Lynn A. Capadona (nominator), Chief, GRC Science and Space Technology Systems Branch; Liz Gray; and Ross Miller. 

Liz received the award for continued and sustained integration efforts on the Spacecraft Fire Safety (SFS) Demonstration Project and its three payloads with the International Space Station (ISS) Program.  For constant innovation in working with the ISS Program to streamline processes for payload requirements and verifications that minimized project complexity and risk, and for redefining the common launch Interface Requirements Document approach for launch vehicle specific ISS payloads.

Ross received the award for continued and sustained integration efforts on the Spacecraft Fire Safety (SFS) Demonstration Project and its three payloads with Orbital ATK and the Cygnus vehicle.  For innovative excellence in defining custom interfaces, creating new integration processes for International Space Station (ISS) payloads into Cygnus, and developing a one-of-a-kind ground test demonstration to reduce project and program risk.

We also acknowledge prior GESS-3 Silver Snoopy award winners Shane Showers (Vantage, 2013), Dwayne Kiefer (Vantage, 2013), Chris Fulton (ZIN, 2014), and Eric Baker (Connecticut Reserve Technologies, 2013).
The Silver Snoopy award is a special honor awarded to NASA employees and contractors for outstanding achievements related to human flight safety or mission success. The award is given personally by NASA astronauts as it represents the astronauts' own recognition of excellence. Fewer than one percent of the aerospace program workforce receive it annually, making it a special honor to receive this award.

More info regarding the award:  https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/heo/sfa/aac/silver-snoopy-award

More info regarding SFS:  http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1761.html