MIT: Independent Activities Period: IAP

IAP 2014

Laser Radar: Basic Principles and Hands-on Operation

Jeffrey Shapiro, Julius A Stratton Professor of Electrical Engineering, Kevin Holman, Technical Staff, MIT Lincoln Lab

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/06
Limited to 10 participants
Attendance: Participants must attend all sessions
Prereq: Signal analyais (Fourier transforms, etc.) useful

Laser radars, like their microwave counterparts, send out electromagnetic signals and sense properties of their environment by collecting reflections therefrom.  However, because the infrared wavelengths used by laser radars are orders of magnitude shorter than wavelengths employed in microwave radars, the laser systems provide much finer spatial resolution in comparison with microwave systems.  Similarly, the much higher carrier frequency of laser radars, as opposed to microwave radars, provides the former with much larger Doppler shifts upon reflection from a moving object.  Likewise, the much higher bandwidths available to laser radars gives them superior range resolution in comparison with lower bandwidth microwave radars.  All these advantages come with some major differences.  Laser radars employ technologies that are very different from those of microwave radars.  Furthermore, atmospheric propagation effects are far more deleterious at infrared wavelengths than they are at microwave wavelengths.  Thus both microwave and laser radars have different application domains in which one is superior to the other.

Lectures cover the essentials of laser radar technology, the fundamental behaviors of optical propagation and detection relevant to determining laser radar performance, and  examples of state-of-the-art laser radar applications.  Lab sessions provide hands-on experience demonstrating laser radar principles for both direct and coherent detection systems.

Sponsor(s): Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Contact: Professor Shapiro,

Jan/22 Wed 01:00PM-05:00PM 36-144
Jan/23 Thu 01:00PM-02:00PM 36-144
Jan/23 Thu 02:00PM-05:00PM 36-144
Jan/29 Wed 01:00PM-05:00PM 36-144
Jan/30 Thu 01:00PM-02:00PM 36-144
Jan/30 Thu 02:00PM-05:00PM 36-144

Enrollment will be limited to 10 students, to ensure that everyone has enough time to work with the lab setups.  Prior experience with optics is helpful but not required.   Knowledge of signal analysis ¿ Fourier transforms, etc. ¿ is also useful but not required.   Both undergraduate and graduate students may apply, with   preference given to students majoring in EECS or Physics.

Jeffrey Shapiro - Julius A Stratton Professor of Electrical Engineering, Kevin Holman - Technical Staff, MIT Lincoln Lab