PSI Annual Technical Achievement Awards

Nov 16, 2021

B. David Green, CEO, presented the 2021 Technical Achievement Awards to formally recognize the most significant technical achievements by our staff this past year. With hundreds of ongoing projects and numerous noteworthy contributors, the selection process is always difficult, and these awards recognize only a small fraction of the many significant accomplishments by our talented staff.

Radiological and Nuclear Detection Systems

Forrest Otsuka, Project Engineer; Thomas Schmit, Product Manager, Sensor Systems; Evan Brown, Senior Engineer; Alexandre Ortiz, Senior Engineer; Daniel Brown, Principal Analyst; and Daisei Konno, Principal Analyst received Technical Achievement Awards for the development, construction, field installation, and sustainment of the Archer and Krieger radiological and nuclear detection systems. These systems represent a significant advance in PSI’s gamma and neutron detection technology and our PCS algorithm. The team demonstrated the ability to detect and identify sources inside specific vehicles on multilane highways at traffic speeds of up to 45 mph while operating at extremely low false alarm rates. The Archer and Krieger systems, over a combined 25 months of operation with the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP), have demonstrated excellent reliability. This excellent performance has led to the systems being considered for further vehicle, cargo and rail screening. We also gratefully recognize the contributions of Kevin Potter, Dan Fernandez, Alan Gilford, Mao Men, Michael Rosenbaum, and John Wright.

Radiation Group
Forrest Otsuka, Tom Schmit, Evan Brown, Alex Ortiz, Daniel Brown, and Daisei Konno

The Extraction of Rare Earth Elements (REE)

David Gamliel, Principal Research Scientist; Dorin Preda, Area Manager, Materials Research; Jeffrey Yee, Senior Scientist/Engineer; Nathan Shipley, Scientist; Bryan Sharkey, Principal Engineer; and Russell Lambert, Senior Engineer were presented with Achievement Awards for the further demonstration of the extraction of Rare Earth Elements (REE) from domestic supplies of coal ash. REEs are critical for many economic, energy and defense applications. The PSI team successfully performed progressively complex programs to increase the REE purity and demonstrate recovery of critical minerals. They have led a team to demonstrate recovery at a pilot-scale demo plant. In addition to maturing this technology, this effort created a new laboratory capability at PSI, enabled the addition of talented new staff, and resulted in multiple conference presentations and publications. We also acknowledge the important role that **Prakash Joshi **played throughout this program.

REE group
David Gamliel, Dorin Preda, Jeffrey Yee, Nate Shipley, Bryan Sharkey, and Russell Lambert

InstantEye® RS-SKO Product Line

A division of Physical Sciences Inc., InstantEye Robotics' Louis Buck, Project Engineer; Christopher McLoud, Senior Engineer; Jordan Nesmith, Project Engineer; Philip Croteau, Director of Engineering Operations; Benjamin Rude, Project Engineer; and Conor Geary, Scientist/Engineer received Technical Achievement Awards for the development of the Render Safe - Sets, Kits, and Outfits (RS-SKO) product line. The development required a coordinated and multidisciplinary team effort to add important new capabilities to our Mk3 GEN4-D heavy lift system to allow Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) operators to render explosive hazard threats safe. Key development efforts included: accurate high-resolution-video, LIDAR-enabled 3D position hold and accurate placement, as well as triggering of three-pounds of explosives at 300m ranges in a GPS denied environment. The system went through extensive performance and operator testing at numerous DoD installations.

IE group
Louis Buck, Chris McLoud, Jordan Nesmith, Philly Croteau, Ben Rude, and Conor Geary

A Sol Gel Process to Produce a VO2-Based Coating

Colin Hessel, Principal Research Scientist; Albert Wright, Senior Research Scientist; and David Woolf, Group Leader, Structured Optical Materials were presented with Achievement Awards for their development of a sol gel process to produce a VO2-based coating that significantly alters its emissivity on phase change to permit a spacecraft to regulate its operational temperature over a very wide range. This team developed and demonstrated the approach and then delivered samples to our aerospace prime partner. The outstanding external evaluation of the material’s performance has resulted in a further order and significant government interest. If this material survives further testing and evaluation, there is the potential for delivery of meter scale panels for spacecraft, and eventual widespread application. This activity demonstrates an expertise in a growing area of engineered optical materials at PSI.

Sol Gel group
Colin Hessel, Dave Green, AJ Wright, and David Woolf

Contract News

PSI recently received the following research contracts:

"Environmentally Adaptive Free-space Optical Communication" and "Lightweight Wideband Satcomm Phased Array (LWSPA)" from the U.S. Army.

"GHz LLIDAR IMaging Receiver (GLIMR)", "Sealed Complete Vacuum Equipment (SeaCoVE)" and "COMbine BAckground multi-band Target-Scene Projector (COMBAT-SP)" from the Naval Air Warfare Center

"Smart Multi-grid Template for Focal Therapy of Prostate Cancer" and "Multispectral Cellular-level Retinal Imaging for Early Detection of Alzheimer's Disease" from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

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