News

VPT’s Design for A New Power Converter with Gate Driving Awarded US Patent

At VPT we are constantly developing new and innovative power conversion solutions for use in avionics, military, space, and industrial applications. We are proud to announce that one of our recent breakthrough designs has earned a US patent. This is a testament to the ingenuity and expertise of our engineers who continually push the boundaries of power conversion technology.

A Solution to a Common Challenge

Gate drivers utilizing isolation transformers during a short circuit event or even in the course of an ordinary shutdown sometimes face challenges, namely, the driver can lose control of the power switch causing the switch to turn on for long periods of time while the pulse-width-modulator (PWM) is commanding the driver to keep the switch off. This loss of control can often damage the power converter. VPT engineers have designed a solution to solve this problem by ensuring that the appropriate components are de-energized inside the classical dc-restore driver circuit, preventing the PWM from losing control of the power switch.

The Patent-Winning Design

VPT’s new invention includes new transformer-isolated driver designs that build upon the classical dc-restore circuit while solving the known issues with how the dc-restore circuit behaves during short circuit and shutdown events. The drive section features an innovative method of driving the power switch in cases where isolating the switch terminals from the PWM ground is desired. The design uses basic, simple parts (e.g. resistors, small discrete components, etc.) to solve the problems related to when PWM-type switching power supplies encounter fault conditions such as a short circuit across the output. It also protects the switch and the load when an ordinary shutdown or disable command is received.

Useful Applications

One advantage of this invention’s design is that it uses fewer components that are inexpensive, and common in the industry, which is crucial not only because it helps to reduce costs, but it also increases component reliability. More parts translate to a higher failure rate for the switched mode power supply. This is especially useful for military and space-borne applications where failure can be a very costly mistake.

VPT’s new patent-winning design is just the latest advancement developed by our expert engineers. Our commitment to devising new problem-solving technologies is why NASA, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, the United States Air Force, and other leading institutions depend on VPT’s power solutions for use in mission-critical devices. Learn more about our awards and achievements here.

Virginia Tech Global Entrepreneur Challenge 2018

The ninth annual Virginia Tech Global Entrepreneur Challenge begins this week as students and recent graduates from universities across the globe will ultimately present a business model to a panel of judges. The challenge encourages students to develop their entrepreneurial ideas and exercise their creativity. VPT is proud to help sponsor this event that fosters students’ entrepreneurial ideas as well as recognizing their contributions to the global economy.

This year’s Challenge begins on with a two-day sightseeing trip to Washington DC, followed by a week in Blacksburg, VA where the students will be able to take part in various workshops, networking events, and social activities with Virginia Tech students and staff.  The Challenge itself takes place on August 23rd, where the student teams will present their business concept along with a working prototype for the chance to win one of three cash prizes.

For the duration of their time in Blacksburg, Challenge participants will be staying with local host families, and thanks to the help of sponsors no student will have any food or lodging expenses.

More information about this year’s challenge can be found on its official page.

Technical Video Library Accessibility

We appreciate being members of the engineering community and providing helpful technical resources to other engineers around the world. In order to open these tools to people everywhere, we’ve recently added closed captioning to the majority of our technical videos on our YouTube channel (VPTTECH). The VPT technical videos cover a multitude of topics that are designed to help the engineering community create more efficient electrical designs, learn techniques for compliance to many military specifications, and gain more understanding of VPT’s product offerings. 

Comprehensive Quality Control Drives High Product Reliability

VPT proudly manufactures power conversion solutions for critical power systems in avionics, military, and space applications. Client feedback lauds VPT for having the industry’s best control processes, product reliability, and overall satisfaction. This is a result of many factors that are all bound together with VPT’s proactive quality control program. Strict adherence to this program, which involves every stage of product development, enables continuous improvement and superior reliability.

VPT holds a variety of certifications including: MIL-PRF-38534 Class H and Class K certification, QML; MIL-STD-883 Lab Suitability; MIL-STD-750 Lab Suitability; IPC-A-610 Class 3 and J-STD-001 compliance; ISO-9001:2008 Certification; various MIL-PRF-38534 Class H and Class K Standard Military Drawings (SMDs). The company’s long-term and repeat customer list is most telling, however, as it includes NASA, ESA, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Thales, Raytheon, Harris, Northrop Grumman, and many more internationally renowned organizations.

For a centralized view, VPT utilizes its configuration control program that creates awareness throughout product design, material selection and conformance, and manufacturing processes. In combination with advanced technologies and equipment, personnel across VPT’s departments and facilities have visibility to every product requirement, standard, and process document for each crucial stage of design, manufacturing, screening, and shipping.

Starting with vigilant oversight of the source material selection process, VPT uses components and materials from proven and reliable suppliers. Materials are verified by screening, Design of Experiments (DOE), qualification, and periodic audits. Robust product designs are based on VPT’s proven heritage, followed by streamlined and tightly controlled manufacturing processes in certified facilities. Once manufacturing is complete, VPT utilizes its own internally-designed automated test system for product inspection and screening. Products intended for space environments are also tested in the VPT Rad lab which has DLA lab suitability for MIL-STD-883 and MIL-STD 750.

A thorough quality control process provides assurances for product quality as well as insights into process improvement opportunities. As a result, customers benefit through faster delivery as well as high performance reliability in the finished products. Furthermore, the documented product sourcing, design, manufacturing, and testing history allows successful processes to be easily repeated.

In addition to their advanced QC processes and systems, VPT conducts extensive training and hires expert staff at all levels. All of these elements, in conjunction with a company culture that fosters innovation, is how VPT ensures the design and production of the highest quality power conversion solutions in the industry.

Click here to learn more about our products for avionics, military, and space applications.

Exploring VPT’s Role in Ground-Breaking Space Programs

We are amid a time of monumental importance for space technology and exploration. In the past few years alone, we’ve seen remarkable first-time accomplishments by both commercial and government space organizations, witnessing the first successful launch and landing of reusable rockets, the very first up-close images of Pluto, and the first launch of an asteroid mining mission. Additionally, vital human health and environmental issues are explored and improved regularly, thanks to the work aboard the International Space Station. At VPT, these developments are especially exciting as our high-reliability products are part of the critical power systems on many of these astounding space programs.

Mission #1: Decrease space mission cost with system reusability

In an effort to significantly lower the cost of space missions, reusable rockets and capsules are making  a tremendous impact. Both Blue Origin and SpaceX have made developments in greatly diminishing the overall cost of space missions with their successful launches and landings of reusable space systems. In 2015, Blue Origin’s reusable rocket, New Shepard, became the first rocket to launch just short of low Earth orbit and land fully intact.

Soon after, SpaceX accomplished a similar feat with its Falcon 9 rocket, successfully completing the first-ever orbital launch and landing. Prior to this, no orbital class booster had ever landed intact. Additionally, both vertical take-off/vertical-launch (VTVL) vehicles continued to make additional launches and landings.

Most recently, SpaceX launched its Dragon capsule from its Falcon 9 rocket for a resupply mission to the International Space Station. Not only did the rocket land safely after launch, the Dragon capsule arrived at the International Space Station two days later. This marks the Dragon spacecraft’s second delivery to the space station, making it the first reusable and commercially built spacecraft to make repeat deliveries to the ISS. Both the launch vehicle and the cargo capsule had VPT parts onboard for this mission.

 Mission #2: Uncover the origins of the solar system

Humans have made impressive discoveries in space over the years, including one of the most significant events in modern history. On July 14, 2015 NASA’s interplanetary probe, New Horizons, made a flyby above the surface of Pluto, capturing the first high-resolution photos of the dwarf planet and its moon Charon. The mission has brought to light many facts about Pluto and its system that were simply unknown before; from evidence of water on Pluto to the color of its atmosphere. Launched in 2006, New Horizons made the nearly decade-long and 3.6-billion-mile journey to Pluto, with VPT power conversion parts on board. This mission provided a first-time up-close look at Pluto and Charon, as well as Jupiter and the farther regions of our solar system. New Horizons is still in orbit, with an expected flyby of the Kuiper belt in January 2019, and a projected mission end-date in 2026.

Another significant mission for NASA is OSIRIS-REx, their first asteroid study and sample return mission. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will rendezvous with, and take samples from asteroid Bennu. This is the first mission designed to inform scientists about the solar system’s development by bringing actual samples from an asteroid back to Earth. In 2018 OSIRIS-REx is scheduled to make contact with the mountain-sized Bennu, studying it as it prepares for sample collection in 2020. The spacecraft will return to Earth in September 2023. Since its launch, OSIRIS-Rex has performed flawlessly and remains on schedule, having also completed a successful deep space maneuver in December 2016, as well as capturing an image of Jupiter and three of its moons during a search for Earth-Trojan asteroids. While the Earth-Trojan survey did not yield any discoveries, it provided the mission team practice with hazard maneuvers that will help the spacecraft avoid collision with satellites as it approaches asteroid Bennu. NASA has included VPT parts on the vehicles used in both above-mentioned historic missions.

It is not NASA alone that trusts VPT with systems facing extreme space environments; VPT parts are also aboard the European Space Agency and Roscosmos on the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO). The ExoMars program is designed to search for signs of life on Mars — past or present, as well as to test and collect samples from the Martian environment. The TGO entered Mars’ orbit on October 16, 2016 and will begin gathering atmospheric data in late 2017.

 Mission #3: Help Earth and humankind through science

While much of modern space news surrounds more recent space developments, we owe honorable mention to an impressive technological mainstay: The International Space Station (ISS), which is the largest man-made object in low Earth orbit. The ISS launched in 1998 and was largely assembled in orbit. It is currently the longest continuously-occupied space station, hosting astronauts onboard since November 2, 2000. With VPT parts vital to its space power operation, the ISS serves as a premier research facility for hundreds of important studies designed to help humankind and the environmental health of Earth. The U.S. segment of the space station is designated as a national laboratory, producing scientific research that has advanced several medical technologies including an eye-tracking device used in laser surgery, as well as a robotic arm based on space robot technology which can be used to perform delicate surgeries. Ongoing medical studies also include a look into loss of bone density, improvements in ultrasound technology, and vaccine development.

 

The ISS and its scientists have also played an essential role back on Earth with its water-purification technology, which has been adapted for Earth use and has helped save lives in regions that did not previously have safe drinking water. Additionally, the ISS onboard imaging system known as the ISS Servir Environmental Research and Visualization System (ISERV), captures images of Earth from space and has been used to help emergency and rescue workers respond to natural disasters. Since 2012, ISERV has collected data from 34 specific events which helped save countless lives.

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Advancements in space technology and exploration is on a steep and thrilling trajectory. The repeated success of reusable equipment is a testament to the quality and longevity of the components of which they are made, as well as the many brilliant people that have contributed to space system reusability. All space endeavors, whether they are relatively brief resupply missions or two-decade long research missions, require an unfailing foundation. Considering the knowledge gained from each space mission, reliability is imperative whether the mission is manned or unmanned. VPT’s space heritage is built on our longstanding commitment to providing high reliability power conversion solutions for space applications of every kind, and we will continue to support these programs to ensure there are many more “firsts” in the future.

Advancements in Electronics Packaging: How V-SHIELD® Offers Superior Operation

As a global leader in power conversion solutions for use in avionics, military, space, and industrial applications, VPT, Inc. understands the severe environments our products are destined to encounter. Extreme salt, air, pressure, and temperature conditions are just a few of the scenarios our DC-DC converters, EMI filters, and accessory power products regularly experience. Some missions require these products to pass several screening levels to meet certain application needs. Because rugged conditions can pose a threat to the reliability and operability of power conversion devices, we’ve engineered durable, high-performing packaging that offers exceptional product protection and functionality.

VPT VXR30-2800D DC-DC Converter

At VPT we engineer power conversion solutions for use in avionics, military, space, and industrial applications. Our DC-DC converters, EMI filters, and accessory power products are destined to encounter severe environments and extreme salt, air, pressure, and temperature conditions. In order to provide superior operation even the harshest scenarios, our expert power supply innovators have engineered V-SHIELD® packaging technology.

V-SHIELD® packaging is an advanced epoxy encapsulation solution highly resistant to chemical, solvent and salt environments. It is fully compatible with high volume manufacturing processes including wave solder, cleaning solvents, high pressure sprays and aqueous wash processes. The packaging solution features a unique integral six-sided metalized shield to improve system EMI compatibility. It also simplifies system thermal design with dual sided conduction cooling, coupled with reduced power dissipation.

With V-SHIELD® packaging, the DC-DC converter combines the reduced radiated emissions advantage of the metal packaging and the water/chemical resistivity of the epoxy packaging. Merging these two options provides a design with superior performance at a reasonable cost. V-SHIELD® packaging allows the converter to be used for multiple rugged applications, from military ground vehicles to commercial and military aircrafts. It can withstand harsh environments including severe vibration, shock and temperature cycling.

Judges of the prestigious 2016 Military & Aerospace Electronics Innovators Awards program recognized V-SHIELD® packaging technology with its highest, platinum level award. The platinum level celebrates military and aerospace electronics featuring a superb innovation, characterized by a groundbreaking approach to meeting a need, a new level of performance, efficiency and/or ease-of-use.

V-SHIELD® packaging is designed to offer exceptional protection for effective product operability in rugged environments, at a cost comparable to other high-reliability COTS solutions.

VPT Recognized for Supplier Excellence by L3

L3 Space & Sensors has awarded VPT the Distinguished Supplier Award for Outstanding On-Time Delivery.  VPT is one of only three suppliers to receive this award for supplier performance in 2017.  The award acknowledges VPT’s commitment to delivering products to customers on time.

L3 Space & Sensors (Cincinnati Electronics) is a leader in military and defense technology, space exploration, and engineering services.  With nearly 100 years in the industry, they have become a world-renowned engineering company with expertise in infrared detection and space electronics.

VPT is honored to be recognized as a distinguished supplier by one of the industry’s leading high-technology developers.  We look forward to continuing our relationship with L3 by providing them with outstanding service.

VPT’s Dan Sable Inducted into Virginia Tech’s Academy of Engineering Excellence

May 1, 2018 — VPT’s Co-founder and CEO, Dr. Dan Sable, was one of six Virginia Tech alumni to be inducted into VT’s College of Engineering Academy of Engineering Excellence last week.

Credit: Virginia Tech

The academy was founded in 1999 by former Dean of the College of Engineering, F. William Stephenson, as well as the college’s advisory board and honors alumni who have had exceptional career successes.

Dr. Sable received his master’s degree and Ph.D. from Virginia Tech in 1985 and 1991 respectively. He then went on to work as a research scientist at the Virginia Tech Center for Power Electronics. In 1993 Sable joined Fred Lee, who was the director of the Center at the time, and Gary Hua to form VPT, Inc. Now, the company has global success providing high-reliability power supplies for mission critical applications.

Dan Sable is currently serving as VPT’s CEO as well as an adjunct professor at the Virginia Tech Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. In addition, he is a member of the Virginia Tech College of Engineering Committee of 100, the Virginia Tech Global Engineering Engagement and Research Advisory Board, and the Virginia Tech Space @VT Advisory Board.

We want to congratulate Dr. Dan Sable on earning this very well-deserved accolade!

To find out more about this year’s inductees visit Virginia Tech’s website.

VPT Presents at Space Parts Working Group 2018

April 11, 2018 VPT’s Vice President of Engineering, Leonard Leslie, presented company and space components updates today to the attendees at the 47th annual Space Parts Working Group in Torrance, CA. Guests included members from government agencies, prime system contractors and subcontractors, part suppliers, and laboratories.  The Space Parts Working Group (SPWG) is sponsored by The Aerospace Corporation, in cooperation with U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), and the National Reconnaissance Office and is an unclassified, international forum which disseminates information to the aerospace industry and for resolving problems with high-reliability electronic piece parts for space applications.

HEICO Ranked One of 100 Most Trustworthy Companies in America

June 8, 2016 – VPT’s parent company, HEICO Corporation (NYSE:HEI.A) (NYSE:HEI), was recently selected by Forbes as one of the 100 Most Trustworthy Companies in America based on accounting and governance practices. This recognition, which identifies American companies that most consistently demonstrate transparent accounting practices and solid corporate governance, is HEICO Corporation’s 11th recognition by Forbes in the past several years. Within its category of MID CAP companies between $1 billion and $5 billion in revenue, HEICO Corporation joined the ranks of American Eagle Outfitters. Logitech International and Virgin America.

VPT Presents at Space Parts Working Group 2016

April 20, 2016 – VPT’s Director of Engineering, Leonard Leslie, presented yesterday to the attendees of the 45th annual Space Parts Working Group.  The Space Parts Working Group (SPWG) is sponsored by The Aerospace Corporation, in cooperation with the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) and the National Reconnaissance Office. SPWG is an unclassified, international forum for disseminating information to the aerospace industry and for resolving problems with high-reliability electronic piece parts for space applications. More information can be found on the event website.

Virginia State Leaders Visit VPT

April 13, 2016- We are proud to have hosted a headquarters facility visit from respected state leaders today. Virginia House Delegate Terry Austin, Virginia Secretary of Commerce Maurice Jones, and Director of the Virginia Space Grant Consortium Mary Sandy met with VPT’s CEO Dr. Dan Sable, Director of Engineering Leonard Leslie, as well as Shawn Graham, VPT’s Chief Operations Officer and Executive Director of Quality.

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) is a coalition of five Virginia colleges and universities, NASA, state educational agencies, Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology, and other institutions representing diverse aerospace education and research. Headquartered on the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center campus, VPT has long supported aerospace engineering educational efforts in the state, and we are grateful to be able to contribute to the growth of the aerospace industry as a whole.

VA House Delegate Terry Austin, VPT's Dr. Dan Sable, VA Secretary of Commerce Maurice Jones, Virginia Space Grant Consortium Director Mary Sandy

VPT Supports Virginia Tech’s Electrical & Computer Engineering Department With Donation to AMP Lab

November 12, 2015 – VPT recently provided a $25,000 donation to Virginia Tech’s Electrical & Computer Engineering Department in support of its Autonomous Mastery Prototyping Lab (AMP Lab).

The AMP Lab offers a creative, practical, hands-on learning environment for Electrical and Computer Engineering students, staff, and faculty at Virginia Tech. In addition to fostering mentorship for undergraduates, the AMP Lab offers programs in circuit design, PC board layout, soldering, and lab safety.

VPT has supported the engineering programs at Virginia Tech for many years. VPT’s CEO, Dr. Dan Sable has served as the chairman of the Virginia Tech Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Industrial Advisory Board where he was instrumental in founding the Space Science and Engineering Research program. This is VPT’s fifth donation to Virginia Tech’s engineering programs.

Pictured: Dr. Luke Lester, Electrical & Computer Engineering Department Head at Virginia Tech (left), Dr. Dan Sable, CEO of VPT (middle), and John Hodock, President of VPT (right).

VPT Presents at Space Tech Expo 2015

May 21, 2015 – Yesterday at Space Tech Expo in Long Beach, CA, VPT’s Senior Design Engineer Brandon Witcher presented on the topic of power challenges of modern space systems. Specifically speaking to space system processor board designers, Witcher discussed the tight regulation and multiple complex requirements involved in current data-intensive space payloads. He also presented distributed power solutions that address the vast operating conditions and varied feature requirements. Please see Space Tech Expo for more information on this annual event.

VPT Presents at Space Parts Working Group 2015

April 29, 2015 -  Dr. Dan Sable, VPT’s CEO and Leonard Leslie, VPT’s Director of Engineering presented company updates and space product developments to the attendees of Space Parts Working Group yesterday in Torrance, CA. The Space Parts Working Group (SPWG) is sponsored by The Aerospace Corporation, in cooperation with the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) and the National Reconnaissance Office. Now in its 44th year, SPWG is an unclassified, international forum for disseminating information to the aerospace industry regarding electronic piece parts for space applications. Please see the Space Parts Working Group website for more information.

Raytheon’s Space & Airborne Systems Division Recognizes VPT with Top Level Supplier Award

Raytheon recently awarded VPT with its second 4-Star Supplier Excellence Award in one year. In addition to the 4-star award from Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems, the most recent award arrived from Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems division. Fewer than one percent of all Raytheon suppliers receive a 4-Star rating. Raytheon representatives said, “Customer success is our mission at Raytheon. We could not achieve it without suppliers such as VPT, Inc. Your high standards of quality, on-time delivery and customer satisfaction make you a top-performing supplier and collaborative partner.” This additional recognition for excellence in 2013 is VPT’s third Raytheon Supplier award. For more information on VPT’s other awards, please see our awards and achievements page.

DLA SMD for VPT’s DVPL0503S Series

April 23, 2014 -The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) has added VPT’s DVPL0503S Series DC-DC Point-of-Load power converter to Standard Microcircuit Drawing (SMD) #5962-13243.   The specifications for the DVPL0503S, which is fully qualified to MIL-PRF-38534 Class H and Class K, can be found on the DVPL0503S datasheet.

For additional information, please contact VPT Sales.

 

 

VPT to Present at Space Parts Working Group 2014

April 2, 2014 – VPT’s CEO, Dr. Dan Sable, will present to the attendees of Space Parts Working Group on Wednesday, April 23.  Dr. Sable will discuss Aerospace TOR compliance as well as VPT company expansion and space-related product plans. Space Parts Working Group is sponsored by The Aerospace Corporation in cooperation with the U.S. Air Force and Missile Systems Center and the National Reconnaissance Office. More information can be found on their website.

Event Dates:      April 22 and 23

Location:            Torrance, CA

 

VPT Presents to EWCI Attendees

February 19, 2014 – VPT’s Leonard Leslie, Manager of Space Products Engineering, presented today to the attendees of the Third International Conference on Electronic Warfare (EWCI) in Bangalore, India. Mr. Leslie discussed the use of ruggedized EMI Filters to pass the CS101 Requirement of MIL-STD-461D-F, including an examination of the CS101 requirements, power system performance expectations, and tips on test methods and testing precautions. For detailed information on the presentation, please email vptsales@vptpower.com.

Please see the EWCI website for more information regarding the event.

VPT’s DVPL0510S DC-DC Point-of-Load Converter Added to DLA SMD List

November 25, 2013 -The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) has added VPT’s DC-DC SVPL0510S DC-DC Point-of-Load power converter to Standard Microcircuit Drawing (SMD) #5962-1901.  The specifications for the DVPL0510S, which is fully qualified to MIL-PRF-38534 Class H and Class K, can be found on the datasheet. MIL-PRF-38534 Class H and K Certified

To order, or to find additional information, please contact VPT Sales.



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