IEEE Photonics Society

Boston Photonics Society Chapter

Boston Chapter of the IEEE Photonics Society

Applications of Optics and Photonics in Space PDF

Wednesday, April 3, 10, 17, 24, May 1, 2019, 7:00–9:30 PM
Located at MIT Lincoln Laboratory – 3 Forbes Road, Lexington, MA, 02420, USA

April 3, 2019
7 PM

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Laser Communication for NASA Mission Slides

Dr. Farzana Khatri, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, MA


Dr. Farzana Khatri, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, MA

Abstract:  Traditionally, communications between the Earth and space has relied on radio frequency (rf) systems, which have been in use since the Apollo era when sensor technology was primitive and the Internet did not exist. Today, commercial companies have deployed satellites with sensors that generate many Terabytes of data each day, but only a fraction of this data is transmitted back to earth due to communications bandwidth constraints. Furthermore, as humans venture deeper into space, higher communications bandwidth will be required to support them. Free-space laser communications, or “lasercom,” offers a high bandwidth and low Size Weight and Power solution to the space bandwidth bottleneck by using the same lasers and techniques which revolutionized fiber-optic communications in the 1990’s.  This talk will describe the > 15 year collaboration between MIT LL and NASA in architecting and deploying lasercom systems, the current efforts to develop a strong industry base in lasercom, and upcoming lasercom missions.


Biography:  Farzana Khatri is a Senior Staff Member in the Optical Communication Technology group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, MA. She was a key player in NASA’s Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) project, a first-of-its-kind, record-breaking Moon to Earth free space laser communication system demo. Farzana is currently the Lead System Engineer for the lasercom links for NASA’s Laser Enhanced Mission Communications and Navigation Operational Service (LEMNOS) program. Farzana received the S.B., S.M., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT in 1990, 1992, and 1996.


For more information on the technical content of the workshop, contact either:
1) Farhad Hakimi, (, Chair
2) Bill Nelson, (, Co-Chair
3) Dean Tsang, (, Co-Chair