HDT’s Vertigo Recognized by NASA

October 23, 2009

RIVERSIDE, Calif., Oct. 23 /PRNewswire/ — Vertigo, Inc., a subsidiary of HDT Engineered Technologies (HDT), was recognized by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for its contributions as members of the Mars Phoenix Lander Entry, Descent and Landing Team.

The first in NASA’s Scout Program, Phoenix was launched to Mars in 2007 to study the history of water and habitability potential in the Martian arctic’s ice-rich soil. Dara Sabahi, Director at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and Barry Goldstein, Project Manager for the Phoenix Mission, presented awards to the Vertigo engineering team members on October 22 at the company’s Lake Elsinore, Calif., office.

Vertigo specializes in testing services for sensors that descend rapidly toward the Earth or other planetary surfaces. This refined method of high-speed, precision descent testing is suitable for a variety of ground or imaging sensors.

Phoenix, like all Mars landers, uses a complex system called the Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) system to land on Mars. A critical element of this system is the landing radar. The radar works as the eyes of EDL.

Vertigo completed the work under contract with the Phoenix Mars Lander prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, from 2005 to 2008. Vertigo developed the Controlled Descent System (CDS) for testing the Phoenix spacecraft’s landing radar in a representative Earth environment. On May 25, 2008, Phoenix successfully landed in the north polar region of Mars. This was the first successful soft landing on Mars in the 32 years since Viking in 1976. The CDS test program was a critical element of the Phoenix mission’s overall success.

When asked about related projects in this area, Roy Haggard, Vertigo’s Chief Technologist said, “the company is currently in discussions to apply this capability to radar testing of the European Space Agency’s ExoMars spacecraft, whose mission is to characterize the biological environment on Mars in preparation for robotic missions and then human exploration.”

About HDT Engineered Technologies:

Headquartered in Solon, Ohio, HDT Engineered Technologies is a proven leader in design, development and production of integrated, deployable solutions for government, commercial and military customers. For more information, visit www.hdtglobal.com.

SOURCE HDT Engineering Services

Source: newswire

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