Dr. Sal Cusumano Joins MZA
2012-10-16 10:22:54
MZA is honored to announce the addition of Dr. Salvatore J. Cusumano to its Dayton, Ohio staff. Dr. Cusumano is an expert in beam control recognized throughout the directed energy community having made significant contributions to phased arrays, telescope control, pointing and tracking, adaptive optics, and component technologies. Capping off more than 30 years of government service, Dr. Cusumano's most recent appointment was that of the Director of the Center for Directed Energy (CDE) at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) where he oversaw a 56% growth in center funding.

For the Airborne Laser System Program Office (ABL SPO), Dr. Cusumano served in a number of positions including Deputy Directory of Systems Engineering. He was also Deputy Director of Verification and Test and Evaluation. As Branch Chief of Performance and Analysis, Dr. Cusumano envisioned and oversaw a significant improvement in the governments modeling and analysis capabilities, where the group he led received the 2007 US Air Force (USAF) Modeling and Simulation Team Award. On February 11, 2010, the Airborne Laser Test Bed (ALTB) destroyed a boosting ballistic missile. Not only was this the first successful demonstration of a lethal air-to-air laser weapon against a ballistic missile, it is the first time ever that a ballistic missile has been destroyed while in its boost phase.

For the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and its predecessors, the Air Force Phillips and Weapons Laboratories (PL and AFWL), Dr. Cusumano made contributions to Airborne Laser tracking, Acquisition, Tracking, and Pointing (ATP) for Ground Based Laser Anti-Satellite (GBL ASAT) concepts, Atmospheric Compensation, the Phasar phased array experiment, advanced stabilization and alignment concepts, digital heterodyne interferometry, resonator alignment, and intracavity adaptive optics.

Dr. Cusumano served as an operational pilot during the Vietnam war. He was awarded the Air Medal for supporting the expeditionary forces in 1973. He has over 1,000 flight hours in command of KC-135s and was qualified to pilot four other USAF aircraft including T-39s.

Dr. Cusumano received his PhD in control theory from the University of Illinois in 1988, an MSEE from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1977, and a BSEE from the United States Air Force Academy in 1971. He holds two patents (jointly) for his work in phased arrays.

Dr. Cusumano has been recognized with numerous awards including the USAF Modeling and Simulation Team Award in 2007, Phillips Laboratory Sharp and Active Tracking Awards in 1997, an AFWL Fellowship in 1986, the Air Force Scientific Achievement Award for Phasar Work in 1984, the Air Force Meritorious Service Award in 1982, and the Air Medal for Operations over Southeast Asia in 1973. Dr. Cusumano has been lead author or contributor to numerous scientific publications ranging from beam control, adaptive optics, atmospheric characterization, high energy laser weapons concepts, modeling and analysis, and target signatures and effects. Because of his recognized subject matter expertise, he has been an invited participant to conferences, workshops, and task forces.

MZA will employ Dr. Cusumano's expertise across a broad range of directed energy programs. His immediate assignment will be to support the Systems Engineering of MZA's Helicopter Beam Director (HBD) for the High Energy Fiber Laser (HEFL) Future Naval Capability (FNC). He'll add formidable capabilities to control systems design and analysis for directed energy ATP systems. Dr. Cusumano's addition to the staff is the latest step in helping to build MZA into the best directed energy technology company in the world.