Neptec lands prestigious NASA Award

Ottawa-based aerospace engineering firm first non-U.S. company to be recognized by U.S. space agency.

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by Design Engineering Staff

Aerospace, defence and industrial systems and applications company, Neptec Design Group, has become the first non-U.S. company to receive NASA’s George M. Low Award for quality and performance.

The Ottawa-based company received the award in the small business product category for the development of machine vision products that operate in space environments in support of the Space Shuttle Program. Since1995, Neptec’s machine vision systems have participated in three different NASA programs and supported more than 40 Space Shuttle missions with more than 30,000 hours logged in Mission Control.

Neptec’s Laser Camera System (LCS) — a mandatory system on every shuttle mission –is a high precision 3D laser scanner designed to inspect the shuttle’s thermal protection system for damage in orbit.

In addition to its Laser Camera System (LCS), the company also developed the Tridar automated rendezvous and Docking Sensors initially implemented by the Space Shuttle Discovery to dock with the International Space Station in 2009. Currently, the company is working on a $11.5 million contract to develop the Lunar Exploration Light Rover (LELR) for the Canadian Space Agency.

The award was established in 1985 as NASA’s Excellence Award for Quality and Productivity before being renamed in 1990 in memory of George M. Low, NASA’s deputy administrator from 1969 to 1976 and a leader in the early development of space programs. The 2010 Low awards were presented at NASA’s eighth annual Project Management Challenge in Long Beach, CA.