Giannetti Chosen for Otto C. Winzen Award

Arthur Giannetti

by Kathy Hedges

SOCORRO, N.M., April 13, 2007 -- Arthur Giannetti, Jr., New Mexico Tech’s consultant with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in Albuquerque, was recently chosen as the recipient of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Otto C. Winzen Lifetime Achievement Award for 2007.

The award will be presented at a banquet on May 23 in conjunction with the AIAA Balloon Systems Conference in Williamsburg, Va.

Giannetti is being recognized for conceiving and executing numerous programs that firmly established stratospheric balloons as reliable aerospace testing platforms. These programs led the way for future planetary exploration missions and military earth observations systems. He will be honored at the May 23, 2007 awards ceremony being held in conjunction with the AIAA Balloon Systems Conference at the Williamsburg Lodge in Williamsburg, Virginia.

The Otto C. Winzen Lifetime Achievement Award is presented for outstanding contributions and achievements in the advancement of free flight balloon systems or related technologies. It honors Otto C. Winzen, an innovator and visionary, best known for introducing new balloon materials and construction methods, particularly polyethylene resin which was light, relatively cheap, and unaffected by ultraviolet radiation.

Prior to working for New Mexico Tech, Giannetti retired from the Air Force after 46 years as a civilian employee. He spent most of his career with lighter-than-air technology and was the manager of the AFRL High Altitude Research Balloon program. In addition to working as a consultant for New Mexico Tech, he is also a technical advisor to the Missile Defense Agency’s High Altitude Airship (HAA).

Art resides with his wife Amanda in Rio Rancho, N.M.

[Note: New Mexico Tech has one previous recipient of the Otto C. Winzen Award: Dr. C. B. Moore, who received it in 1997 numerous innovations and contributions to scientific ballooning.]