MIT: Independent Activities Period: IAP

IAP 2016

Introduction to Lasercom: Build a Laser Audio Link

Jade Wang, David Caplan, Gavin Lund, Dave Geisler, Neal Spellmeyer, Rich Kaminsky

Jan/05 Tue 01:00PM-04:00PM NE45 2nd floor
Jan/07 Thu 01:00PM-04:00PM NE45 2nd floor
Jan/12 Tue 01:00PM-04:00PM NE45 2nd floor
Jan/14 Thu 01:00PM-04:00PM NE45 2nd floor
Jan/19 Tue 01:00PM-04:00PM NE45 2nd floor
Jan/21 Thu 01:00PM-04:00PM NE45 2nd floor

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/01
Limited to 20 participants
Attendance: Participants must attend all sessions
Prereq: None

Free-space laser communication (lasercom) is poised to revolutionize space-based data transmission, by enabling links with higher data rates and longer ranges than are practically achievable with radio-frequency systems. MIT Lincoln Laboratory and NASA recently demonstrated a record-breaking high-data-rate lasercom link, from a spacecraft orbiting the moon to ground stations on Earth, in the Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD).

 Although we won’t be sending laser beams into space, this class will provide students with hands-on experience designing and building a basic lasercom system. The accompanying lectures will provide an overview of lasercom concepts, lasers and optical components, lasercom-relevant electronics, communication link design, and analog and digital modulation techniques. Students will learn to apply these principles by building their own laser audio communication systems, and will work in teams to compete for a best-project award.   


To register,  email Jade Wang (  Include "2016 IAP Lasercom Course Registration Request" in subject line and provide a brief description of your MIT affiliation and interest in the course.


*This work is sponsored by the Department of the Air Force under Air Force Contract #FA8721-05-C-0002. Opinions, interpretations, conclusions and recommendations are those of the authors and are not necessarily endorsed by the United States Government.

Sponsor(s): Lincoln Laboratory, MIT-SUTD Collaboration
Contact: Jade Wang, MIT Lincoln Laboratory,