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
8:15 PM

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Enabling Exoplanet Direct Imaging with CubeSats Slides

Prof. Kerri Cahoy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA


Prof. Kerri Cahoy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Abstract:  CubeSats may be tiny and, and do not yet have apertures large enough to obtain high resolution images, but CubeSats can still enable progress in astronomy and astrophysics. For example, CubeSats can support technology demonstrations of promising new components, or they can augment the capability of a larger space telescope as a companion spacecraft. In this talk, we describe two of our projects, 1) the Deformable Mirror Demonstration Mission, DeMi, which will fly a MEMS deformable mirror along with Shack Hartmann and image plane wavefront sensors, and 2) the Laser Guide Star for Large Aperture Segmented Space Telescopes concept, where a companion CubeSat with a laser beacon flies at a safe distance from a large space telescope, while still in the field of view of the telescope's target. The CubeSat's reference beam allows faster stabilization of the space telescope, and results in access to more and dimmer targets for exoplanet direct imaging as well as relaxes stability requirements on the space telescope.


Biography:  Kerri Cahoy is an Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT and leads the Space Telecommunications, Astronomy, and Radiation (STAR) Laboratory. Cahoy received a B.S. (2000) in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University, and M.S. (2002) and Ph.D. (2008) in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. Dr. Cahoy previously worked at Space Systems Loral, as a postdoctoral fellow at NASA Ames, and currently leads nanosatellite atmospheric sensing (MicroMAS, MiRaTA), optical communications (NODE, CLICK), and exoplanet technology demonstration (DeMi) missions.


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