Local tech company with VWCC connections partners with NASA
When scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) capture future pictures of Earth’s atmosphere, they might end up using technology containing components manufactured by former Virginia Western Community College faculty and students.
Based in Fincastle, Va., Micro Harmonics Corporation (MHC) is a technology company that specializes in the creation of millimeter-wave components. The parts created by the company allow users to access higher frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum, and can be used for a number of scientific and commercial purposes. For example, automated cars, 5g wireless broadband access and airport security scanners all utilize millimeter-wave technology. The components are also used by NASA for a number of applications, including in the instruments that capture images of the Earth’s ozone layer.
“We’ve been working under NASA funding through various contracts for the past four years,” MHC chief executive officer David Porterfield said. “NASA’s been a big pusher of all these technologies.”
Founded in 2008, MHC is headed by Porterfield and his sister, former Virginia Western professor Diane Kees. She taught engineering and mechatronics classes before joining the company full time in 2017. Since acquiring a NASA small business innovation research grant worth $750,000, Porterfield and Kees have worked diligently to develop millimeter-wave components that can be used by commercial enterprises and government agencies alike.
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