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MIT Prof to Lead DARPA Optics Project

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Nov. 22 -- The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded a 3.5-year, $9.5 million program to Erich P. Ippen, a member of MIT's Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) faculty.

The project, titled "Optical Arbitrary Waveform Generation for Ultrahigh Resolution Sensing and Imaging," seeks to achieve unprecedented levels of performance for ultrabroadband coherent optical systems and to enable dramatic advances in applications such as high-resolution 3-D imaging, novel chemical sensing and ultrabroadband optical communications.

"This is challenging but very exciting," said Ippen, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science and of physics at MIT. "We have an opportunity to achieve an entirely new level of control over the optical spectrum." Ippen's RLE co-principal investigators are Franz X. Kaertner and Leslie A. Kolodziejski, both professors in MIT's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Ippen's team includes collaborators at the University of California at Davis, where the lead co-principal investigator is Professor S. J. Ben Yoo, and industry partners Inphi Inc. of Westlake Village, Calif., and Multiplex Inc. and Inplane Photonics Inc., both of South Plainfield, N. J.

Jeffrey H. Shapiro, director of RLE and an MIT professor of electrical engineering, said, "This new DARPA project -- which is the largest Department of Defense program ever awarded to RLE, and the second-largest ever from any sponsor -- builds on the laboratory's strengths in photonics, particularly our world-leading efforts in femtosecond-laser frequency-comb technology and nanoscale device fabrication. It also reflects the success of our researchers in bringing together multidisciplinary teams that span diverse research capabilities and organizations."

The work is funded by the Defense Sciences Office and the Microsystems Technology Office of DARPA.

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Nov 2005
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
CommunicationsDARPAdefenseDefense Advanced Research Projects AgencyErich IppenMITMIT Research Laboratory of ElectronicsNews & FeaturesopticsphotonicsRLE

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