IEEE Photonics Society

Boston Photonics Society Chapter

Boston Chapter of the IEEE Photonics Society

Applications of Optics and Photonics in Space  

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 17, 2019
7 PM

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Optical Crosslinks for Data Relay in Low Earth Orbit

Dr. Timothy Yarnall, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, MA


Dr. Timothy Yarnall, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, MA

Abstract:  TBD


Biography:  Dr. Yarnall has been actively contributing to research in the photonics community for many years.  He has a BS degree in applied physics from Caltech and an MS and Ph. D. degrees in electrical engineering from Boston University.  He has broad interests that include quantum optics, atmospheric propagation of optical signals, and coherent optical communications, and has published work in these areas in conferences and peer-reviewed journals steadily over his career.

Dr. Yarnall has been a significant contributor to many photonics technologies throughout his career.  At the beginning of his tenure at MIT Lincoln Laboratory he designed and constructed the low-noise optical amplifier for the world’s first high-rate space-borne laser communication demonstration.  He developed airborne optical terminals to support the exfiltration of large data volumes to ground sites. Following that, Dr. Yarnall led a team of engineers developing a high-speed high-sensitivity coherent optical modem.  In 2013, he published a world-record result where a coherent optical receiver demonstrated error-free performance at 10 Gb/s requiring only 2.1 photon per bit.  He has also developed an optical communication technology for high-rate communication between submerged vehicles based on photon counting at visible wavelengths.

More recently, his focus has returned to space-borne laser communication systems.  Presently, he is co-leading the development of two lasercom systems for human space exploration, one for the International Space Station and the other for the Orion’s return to cis-Lunar space.  Additionally, he is involved in the design of satellite constellations that employ optical crosslinks to support new space missions.


Advance registration and fee required (Open to all IEEE members as well as non-members)

$75/$85 (IEEE Member/Non-Member) early registration fee for ten 1-hour talks over five nights; cost includes coffee and cookies each night, as well as downloadable copies of speakers slides. Early registration deadline March 4th, 2019. Post deadline fee $85/$95 (IEEE Member/Non-Member).

Online registration coming soon

Onsite registration available

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