Don M Boroson is the Leader of the Optical Communications Technology Group in the Communications and Information Technology Division at the M.I.T. Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, Massachusetts.
He leads a group of about 30 scientists and engineers in research and development for free-space laser communications systems. This work ranges from collaborations on electro-optic device development, to the design, analysis, and implementation of novel transmitter and receiver subsystem and system architectures, to the overall system engineering and design of complete end-to-end free-space optical communications systems including opto-mechanical considerations, beam control, and propagation.
Don has been at Lincoln Lab since he received his PhD in 1977. During that time, he has worked in wide-ranging areas including antenna beamforming algorithms and analysis, communications signal and coding design, communications receiver architecture design, analog and digital signal processing, and many others. As System Engineer, he has designed satellite links and systems in both the RF and optical domains, automated satellite test capabilities, and integrated space-ground communications networks. He led the teams that built and tested several space-qualified lasercom terminals in the late 80’s and early 90’s. This led to his acting as Lincoln’s Lead Engineer on the GeoLITE program, which in 2001 demonstrated the world's first successful telecom-rate laser communications links between a satellite and both the ground and an aircraft. He then acted as the Lead System Engineer for NASA’s Mars Laser Communications Demonstration program, which (until it was cancelled in 2005 due to other NASA budgetary constraints) was a joint project with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and which devised new components, techniques, and architectures with the potential to increase the rate of data delivery from Mars by two orders of magnitude over present RF systems.