IEEE Photonics Society

Boston Photonics Society Chapter

Boston Chapter of the IEEE Photonics Society


October 12, 2006
7 PM

Verizon Laboratories

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High-speed Photon-efficient Lasercom Transceivers

Dr. David O. Caplan, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, MA


Dr. David O. Caplan, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, MA

Abstract:  Photon-efficient free-space laser communication systems offer the potential for flexible, cost-effective, high-speed connectivity suitable for ultra-long-haul intersatellite and interplanetary links.  While lasercom provides technical advantages that are widely accepted, operational systems have yet to be deployed, in part due to the maturity of optical technologies and system architectures.  In this seminar, we will present practical transmitter and receiver designs with sensitivities approaching a single photon/bit at speeds ranging from a few-Mbit/s to many-Gbit/s utilizing mature commercially-available technologies that are compatible with operation in the space environment.


Biography:  David Caplan joined the Optical Communication Technology group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory in 1996.  Since then, he has been engaged in research, design, and development of high-sensitivity lasercom systems and related technologies, and has authored or coauthored over 30 publications including 6 patents pending in this area.  He was the lead engineer for fiber, electro-optic, and transmitter systems for the GeoLITE Lasercom program, which first successfully demonstrated bidirectional laser communications between a satellite in geosynchronous orbit and ground- and aircraft-based terminals.  He has been an advisor to DARPA in its free-space optical communication initiatives, and contributed to the design for NASA’s MLCD program to demonstrate interplanetary laser communication between Mars and Earth.

David received a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University, graduating Summa Cum Laude in 1987.  After working several years on sonar systems at Raytheon Co., he returned to graduate school to study quantum and nonlinear optics, and communications at Northwestern University, where he received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering in 1992 and 1996, respectively.


Location:  Verizon Laboratories