CubeSats with Lasers to Enable Science

February 8, 2018 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm America/New York Timezone
MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Forbes Rd
Lexington, MA 02421

Photonics Society

CubeSats with Lasers to Enable Science

Prof. Kerri Cahoy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Three ongoing MIT STAR Lab CubeSat projects involve using lasers and optical technologies to enable new scientific capabilities in astrophysics and Earth science. First, we discuss the NASA-sponsored Satellite Laser Guidestar (SLGS) project in collaboration with the University of Arizona, a detailed design and prototyping study to investigate the feasibility of using a free-flying laser beacon on a CubeSat as an artificial guidestar, to improve wavefront sensing and control capability on large segmented aperture space telescopes such as LUVOIR. The goal of SLGS is to increase the photons/second available to both the segment-phasing control loop and, for an exoplanet direct imaging internal coronagraph, the dark-hole digging control loop that uses high actuator count deformable mirrors, leading to a relaxation of observatory stability requirements. Second, we discuss the DARPA-sponsored Deformable Mirror demonstration CubeSat (DeMi), a 6U Blue Canyon Technologies CubeSat to demonstrate the performance of a 140-actuator MEMS deformable mirror payload on orbit, with both Shack Hartmann and image plane wavefront sensing and control experiments. Third, we discuss the recently-proposed (but not yet selected) Laser Crosslink Atmospheric Sounder mission (LCAS) that is able to measure atmospheric composition for species of interest at the same time as obtaining high resolution temperature-pressure profiles using laser occultation, in collaboration with the University of Florida and the University of Arizona.


This meeting begins at 7:00PM Thursday, February 8th, 2018 and will be located 3 Forbes Road, Lexington, MA, 02420.

Note this is a satellite location ~1.5mi away from MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

The meeting is free and open to the public. All are welcome.

Prior to the seminar there will be social time and networking from 6:30 – 7:00PM.

Dinner will also be provided. The seminar will begin at 7:00PM.

For more information contact Ajay Garg, IEEE Photonics Society Boston Chapter chair at, or visit the IEEE Photonics Society Boston Chapter website at

Directions to Forbes Rd Lincoln Laboratory: (from interstate I-95/Route 128)
 Take Exit 30B onto Marrett Rd in Lexington – Merge into left lane
 Make the first Left onto Forbes Rd.
 Proceed straight through the small rotary and enter the parking lot.
 The entrance is by the flags.