Missile Defense Agency presents Jonathan Bernays with Contractor of the Year Award

By Meg Cichon | Communications and Community Outreach Office

D. Jonathan Bernays, senior staff in the Systems and Architectures Group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, was named Contractor of the Year for Technical Engineering at the 2016 Missile Defense Agency (MDA) Awards Ceremony on 20 September. Bernays was selected for his outstanding performance as the deputy lead for the Department of Defense (DoD) Global Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) Sensor Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) project. The AoA will have a major impact on 2018 Presidential Budget deliberations in areas such as long-range discriminating radar and future MDA space layer architectures.

BernaysMDAAwardJonathan Bernays accepts the Contractor of the Year for Technical Engineering Award at the 2016 Missile Defense Agency Awards Ceremony.

Beginning in February 2015, Bernays led a Sensor AoA study that will define the future sensor architecture for the BMDS. He was the technical lead for the study, directing the development of the study plan, the conduct of qualitative and quantitative analyses, and the production of executive-level Senior Advisory Group briefings. He coordinated active participation from several stakeholders, including the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) for Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE); OSD for Policy; OSD for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics; United States Strategic Command; United States Northern Command; Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense; Joint Integrated Air and Missile Defense Organization; and MDA Elements.

Bernays examined more than 70 sensor architecture alternatives to address advancing ballistic missile threats. The AoA provided an analytical comparison of the technical feasibility, operational effectiveness and suitability, military utility, risk, cost, and developmental schedule for future BMDS sensor architecture options. His thorough planning and execution of the study resulted in products that had a solid engineering and analytical foundation. In high-level senior briefings, Bernays summarized complex results and explained architecture options that senior department leaders were able to evaluate based on intelligence assessments. The Sensor AoA was endorsed by all stakeholders.

"Jonathan deservingly received this highly competitive and prestigious award. He ensured that the Sensor AoA study had a strong analytical foundation, and developed high-quality briefing packages that were commended by senior executives across the department," says Kari Anderson of the MDA. "I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Jonathan and hope to work with him again in the near future."

In 1987 Bernays joined Lincoln Laboratory's Optical Communications Group, where he worked on the Laser Intersatellite Telecommunications Experiment (LITE) program. In 1992 he transferred to the Air Traffic Control Systems Group and worked on a several data link and beacon surveillance programs. In support of what is now the Federal Aviation Administration's Traffic Information Service, he led an effort to develop, flight test, and deploy a radar-based, automated traffic advisory system. He also led teams focused on the development, standardization, and validation of Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast, a cooperative surveillance system in which aircraft self-report their GPS-based positions. Most recently, Bernays joined the Air, Missile, and Maritime Defense Technology Division where he has worked on a variety of air defense projects, including the characterization and flight test analysis of the U.S. Navy E-2D radar program and a congressionally mandated study to define and analyze options against asymmetric attacks for homeland defense. Within the Systems and Architectures Group, Bernays has led studies related to integrated air and missile defense, advanced sensor technology development, and BMDS sensor architectures.

A total of 43 people were nominated for the MDA Contractor of the Year Award. According to Anderson, Bernays' selection as the most outstanding contractor is a testament to his excellent work and the positive impact he has had across all departments.

"I was deeply honored to be recognized as MDA's Contractor of the Year. This award reflects my good fortune of working with such a strong team, at both the MDA and across the federally funded research and development center community, on a problem of critical importance," says Bernays. "Most importantly, this award would not have been possible without the support and mentorship I received from my Lincoln Laboratory colleagues."

Posted September 2016

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