Antonio Pensa | College of Information Sciences and Technology
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Antonio Pensa

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Antonio Pensa
  • Assistant Director Emeritus, Aerospace Division, Lincoln Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • Advisory Board Member, College of Information Sciences and Technology, Penn State


Dr. Antonio F. Pensa is currently an assistant director emeritus, with technical and administrative policy responsibilities. He has responsibility for military space activities including those in support of the National Reconnaissance Office.

Pensa joined the Laboratory in November 1969 after receiving a Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the Penn State. His initial assignments at Lincoln Laboratory were associated with the Re-entry Systems and the Air Traffic Control Programs. Subsequently, Pensa was responsible for the development and implementation of the coherent integration tracking, which led to the realization of a U.S. operational deep space radar capability. Pensa was instrumental in establishing the Space Surveillance Program at Lincoln Laboratory and is currently responsible for Laboratory programs in Space Control.

Pensa has served on most of the Air Force Space Surveillance Architecture Studies since 1972, and is considered a national expert in the techniques and sensors associated with surveillance of space and from space. In 1993, Pensa served as a member of the Technical Support Group for the Bottom-Up Review on Space Based Early Warning Systems. Subsequently, he chaired a national study that examined the impact of phenomenology uncertainties on Space Based IR Systems performance and cost.

From 1988 to 1991, Pensa served as a member of the Industrial and Professional Advisory Council for Penn State’s College of Engineering. In 1991, he served as the chairman of the committee for the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Pensa is currently a member of the advisory board of the College of Information Sciences and Technology.

Pensa is a past member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) in which he was the chairman of the 2001 Summer Study on “Sensor Technology for Difficult Targets.”

Pensa was a member of the Defense Science Board (DSB) Task Force on Space Superiority and the DSB/SAB Task Force on National Security Space. He is currently a member of the Intelligence Science Board (ISB), the Air Force Space Command Independent Strategic Assessment Group (ISAG) , the Space and Missile Center Space Program Assessment Group (SPAG), and the U.S. Strategic Command Advisory Group (SAG).

Pensa is the recipient of the NRO Directors Award for Distinguished Service, the Air Force Award for Distinguished Service and the NASA Group Achievement Award. In 2007, Penn State named Pensa an Outstanding Engineering Alumni.