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August 23, 2017

Vantage Employees recognized by NASA Invention of the Year Awards

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).

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, is a 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

February 1, 2016

Vantage Spreads Post-Holiday Cheer and Goodwill

Vantage Partners (VPL) held its post-holiday party on Saturday evening, January 30th in the ballroom at the Springvale Golf Course in North Olmsted, OH.  GESS-3 employees and their guests enjoyed a buffet dinner and a casino-themed evening with play money used to gamble at blackjack tables, craps tables and roulette wheels.  Attendees had the opportunity to win numerous gift baskets including a super-bowl party kit. There was also a caricature artist drawing portraits of the employees/guests throughout the evening. A great time was had by all.

In addition to the party festivities, non-perishable food items were collected to benefit the Cleveland Food Bank.  GESS-3 employees generously donated over 617 pounds of items which Beth Arent (and her husband Tim) personally delivered to the Food Bank!  A 50/50 raffle was also held with proceeds going to the Cleveland Food Bank in the form of a monetary donation.

In December GESS-3 employees also participated in a Clothing Drive (organized by GESS-3 employee Alan Richard of ZIN Technologies) to benefit the Cleveland City Mission.  Donations completely filled the back of Mike Senchak’s truck with clothing donated from our employees.  VPL also contacted the Toys For Tots donation coordinator at NASA GRC and had a Toys-for-Tots donation box placed in our facility.  Once again, GESS-3 employees were extremely generous with their donations and we delivered an overflowing box of toys to NASA which was then given to Toys-for-Tots.

September 10, 2015

VPL receives SB Prime Contractor of the Year Award

 

The Glenn Research Center’s (GRC) 2015 Agency Honor and Center Awards Ceremony was held on Friday, August 14, 2015. During the ceremony Vantage Partners, LLC (VPL) was presented its award for GRC 2014 Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year. The award was accepted by VPL President and CEO Joe Polk, and was presented by GRC Center Director Jim Free and Rear Admiral Fred Midgette, of the United States Coast Guard. Rear Admiral Midgette was this year’s guest speaker for the event.

September 4, 2015

NASA/GSFC Awards TIDES Contract

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center has awarded the Technology and Integrated Discipline Engineering Services (TIDES) contract to Trident Vantage Systems, LLC (TVS). TVS is a joint venture between Vantage Systems and Trident, Inc. The 5 Year, $114M contract will provide engineering and related services to the Mission Engineering and Systems Analysis Division at NASA Goddard for the formulation, design, development, fabrication, integration, testing, verification and operations of guidance, navigation and control space flight and ground system hardware and software. For further information on the award click here to see the official NASA announcement: http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-technology-integrated-discipline-engineering-services-contract.

TVS will start execution of the TIDES contract following a 45-day phase-in period.  Further information regarding phase-in and contract startup activities will be posted soon to the TVS website. Please look for updates at the TVS website: www.trivansys.com.

August 30, 2015

Vantage Partners (VPL) gives back to Cleveland Community

Since starting execution of the GESS-3 contract in 2012 VPL has sought out ways to partner with the Glenn Research Center (GRC) and the Cleveland community to show our appreciation for NASA/GRC entrusting us with the execution of the Center’s premier engineering services contract. Some of the most recent activities VPL has supported are:

1.       Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation

VPL was an associate sponsor of the 4th Annual Northeast Ohio Sjogren’s Walkabout on May 30, 2015 at the Oak Grove Picnic Area in the Brecksville Reservation of Cleveland Metroparks. The Sjogren’s Walkabout is a national event focused on increasing awareness about Sjogren’s while helping to raise money to support Sjogren’s research and education. The goal this year was to exceed the amount of $10,000 that was raised last year.

2.       Lewis Little Folks Golf Outing

On June 19, 2015 VPL participated in the NASA Glenn Research Center’s (GRC) Lewis Little Folks (LLF) 15th Annual Benefit Golf Outing.  LLF was organized in 1985 and is located on the grounds of GRC. It includes not only a daycare center, but also a comprehensive , full-day kindergarten, which is open to all GRC employees and support service contractors. Proceeds from this year’s event went toward replacement of aging toddler playground equipment which is expected to cost $15,000.  VPL has supported this event for the past 3 years. VPL employees supporting the event were Scott Lawyer, Barbara Wamsley, and Ray Kaliszewski.

Pictured (from left to right): Scott Lawyer, Barbara Wamsely, and Ray Kaliszewski

3.       INCOSE Great Lakes Regional Conference 2015

This year VPL is a sponsor of the INCOSE Great Lakes Regional Conference (GLRC) 2015. The conference will be held October 23rd, 24th, and 25th at the Crowne Plaza South in Independence, Ohio.  This year’s conference is hosted by the local INCOSE group, the Cleveland-Northern Ohio chapter with participation from other Great Lakes chapters. Attendance at this event will include NASA GRC engineers and management as well as representatives from other industries and government agencies. VPL is a silver sponsor of this event. Click on the following link for more information on this event: http://www.incose.org/ChaptersGroups/Chapters/ChapterSites/cleveland-northern-ohio/chapter-events/glrc9.