PSI Annual Technical Achievement Awards

Feb 03, 2017

In this newsletter we present our 2016 Achievement Awards to formally recognize a few of the most significant accomplishments by our staff this past year. PSI and our subsidiaries perform research over a remarkably diverse range of technical disciplines. With hundreds of ongoing projects, the selection process is always difficult, and these awards recognize only a small fraction of the many accomplishments by our talented staff. B. David Green, President and CEO, recently presented the 2016 PSI Annual Technical Achievement Awards for notable accomplishments by three groups of researchers.

Development of High Performance Composite Solid Ramjet Fuels Using Solid Storable Liquids (SSL)

Jeff Wegener, Principal Scientist; Allan Dokhan, Area Manager, Armament Technologies; and Lauren Ziemba, Senior Scientist, received Technical Achievement Awards for their development of a solid state storable fuel that is a key component of a hypersonic cruise missile meant to counter emerging threats facing the U.S. Navy.


The development of a solid state storable fuel is an important advance for a hypersonic cruise missile meant to counter the emerging threats facing the U.S. Navy. After winning the Phase II program, the team successfully demonstrated feasibility on a tight schedule with very limited funding. The team demonstrated successful micro-encapsulation of JP-10 fuel in a solid matrix as well as the ability to disperse those microcapsules in a binder/solid fuel mix without rupture, while maintaining the required mechanical strength of the composite. The team went on to demonstrate a 65% improvement in burn rate over the base formulation while achieving the required energy density of 900 BTU/in3.

Development of Recycling Electrochemical Machining

Brian Skinn, Principal Scientist at Faraday Technology, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of PSI, was presented with a Technical Achievement Award for his important contributions in the successful development of recycling electrochemical machining.

B Skinn

Electrochemical machining enables precise processing of a wide range of materials. Faradayic® R-ECM demonstrated a substantial reduction in fluid waste volume and reclamation of feedstocks. Brian has played a technical leadership role in this activity since joining Faraday, achieving technical milestones and moving the project through Phase 1 option, Phase II and Phase II Enhancement. This success led to the installation of a R-ECM apparatus to process cannon material at the Army Benet Lab in Watervliet Arsenal. This activity was the 2015 Faraday strategic initiative. These advances address two of the major challenges facing wide scale adoption of R-ECM.

InstantEye® GEN4

Louis Buck III, Senior Research Engineer; Philly Croteau, Project Engineer; Jordan Nesmith, Senior Scientist/Engineer; Patricia Wentworth, Senior Research Engineer; David Manegold, Principal Scientist; and Travis Grager, Senior Research Engineer were presented with Technical Achievement Awards in recognition of their contributions to the flight and navigation software and testing for the InstantEye GEN4.


The development, testing and fielding of the InstantEye Mk-2 GEN4 was a complex team effort. This development program required many parallel activities to come together to create an entirely new aircraft with much greater performance abilities than the GEN3. It required the team to merge many sub-systems together, test, revise, and release a system in less than 9 months - demonstrating our inventiveness and commitment to our nation's warfighters. This system is now in use in theatre, providing reconnaissance, and saving lives. The entire InstantEye team demonstrated incredible dedication and have made the GEN4 a great success.

PSI Receives 2016 Tibbetts Award

Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) was recently presented with a 2016 Tibbetts Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) by Maria Contreras-Sweet, SBA Administrator and Mark Walsh, SBA Associate Administrator at a ceremony on the White House grounds in Washington, DC on January 10, 2017. B. David Green and Kirill Shokhirev accepted the award on behalf of our technical team consisting of Bogdan Cosofret, Daisei Konno, Thomas Schmit, Kirill Shokhirev, and John Wright. PSI's algorithm called Poisson Clutter Split (PCS) was recognized for greatly benefiting national security by permitting sensitive detection and identification of radiological threats in a compact form factor. Funded by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) SBIR program, PCS is part of DNDO's "Cost Effective Materials Portfolio" and maximizes the return on investment to the U.S. Taxpayer by adding value to resources far beyond those provided to implement PCS. (Read the full story)


GOES-R "Outstanding Team of the Quarter"

Members of Research Support Instruments (RSI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Physical Sciences Inc. located in Lanham, MD, were part of the ABI Stray Light Baffle and Test Team who were acknowledged in a GOES-R "Outstanding Team of the Quarter" recognition award for the April - June 2016 Quarter.

The RSI team was cited for outstanding work modeling stray light effects in the GOES-R weather satellite's Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) instrument. The modeling efforts provided support to the Harris Corporation (developer of the ABI instrument) in its efforts to understand on-orbit stray light effects seen by AHI-8 and develop a hardware mitigation for the GOES-R ABI.


Specifically, Jeff Ashbaugh, Senior Research Engineer, imported the mechanical instrument model, developed suitable optical properties descriptions for these mechanical components, and developed ray tracing strategies to simplify the calculations so as to allow detailed quantitative performance assessments in a timely fashion. He used these tools to show the quantitative susceptibility to sources versus source location, the quantitative expected consequent stray light contribution that would be manifested at various locations on Earth as a function of instrument scanner angles, and the path(s) taken by this stray light as it propagated through the instrument. Jeff then produced video representations of the predicted performance that exhibited high fidelity agreement with the actual observations. His work was also used by NASA and Harris Corporation to help guide the design of a stray light test to demonstrate the efficacy of their additional mitigating baffle. Jeff's efforts have helped elevate RSI's standing with NASA and the GOES-R community.

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