Lincoln Laboratory/MIT Campus Interactions

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Lincoln Laboratory's status as a research and development center of MIT promotes research collaborations, knowledge exchange, and staff development. The MIT Office of the Provost and the Laboratory Director's Office strongly support the Campus Interaction Committee.

As a large interdisciplinary system laboratory, Lincoln Laboratory is able to offer a breadth of expertise to campus researchers, both faculty and students. The Laboratory's ability to architect and build sensors that enable significant campus science research is well established. The synergy between the campus focus on basic research and the Laboratory knowledge of defense applications has benefited both communities.

Collaborative studies and research and development are under way in the following areas:

  • Convex optimization of integrated communications systems
  • Air traffic management with weather-induced capacity constraint
  • Magneto-optical materials for integrated optical isolators
  • Multispectral infrared detector arrays using amorphous semiconductors
  • Blind calibration algorithms for a digitally enhanced high-speed analog-to-digital converter architecture
  • Nanotube dispersions in polymer matrices


Advanced Concepts Committee

The Lincoln Laboratory Advanced Concepts Committee (ACC) supports the development of innovative concepts that address important technical problems of national interest. Collaborative efforts between Lincoln Laboratory and the MIT campus are encouraged. The ACC provides seed funding, as well as technical and programmatic support, to investigators with new technology ideas. These ideas are typically high risk, but offer the potential to significantly impact national needs by enabling new systems or improving existing capabilities. Projects are scoped to demonstrate concept feasibility and typically last 9 to 12 months.

Shown here is a monolayer graphene (MLG) device for near- and mid-infrared photodetectors. An Advanced Concepts Committee project being investigated by Lincoln Laboratory and Prof. Jarillo-Herrero of MIT is focused on exploring a new field of atomically layered materials (ALMs), in which graphene and other ALMs (e.g., hexagonal boron nitride or MoS2) are assembled on top of each other to create devices with new functionalities. Shown here is a monolayer graphene (MLG) device for near- and mid-infrared photodetectors.

Recent ACC-sponsored initiatives include research into fringe ladar for low size, weight, and power systems, ingestible electronics for physiological-status monitoring, microfluidics, improved lithiium-ion batteries, ultrasonic shear-wave imaging for biomedical diagnostics, polydimethylsiloxane-based materials for 3D printing, and a solar thermoacoustic engine for satellites.

The ACC sponsors a Defense Studies Seminar Series that includes speakers associated with the MIT Security Studies Program. The 2013 seminars included the following:

  • "China Rises, Japan Responds: Security Situation in East Asia and Japan's Security Policy" Chikako Kawakatsu Ueki, MIT Security Studies Program Visiting Scholar, Professor of International Relations at Wasesda University in Tokyo
  • "After Proliferation: How to Deter an Emerging Nuclear Power," Prof. Joshua Rovner, U.S. Naval War College
  • "New Technology for the Pivot to Asia," Dr. Owen Cote Jr., MIT Security Studies Program

Integrated Photonics Initiative

A unique collaboration between Lincoln Laboratory and the MIT campus is the Integrated Photonics Initiative (IPI), a multiyear, Laboratory-funded effort that enhances the research experience for PhD candidates working on integrated photonics devices and subsystems for potential insertion into advanced communications systems. The program also gives students a broader awareness of the DoD's communications mission and needs. The Laboratory's specialized facilities and expertise in applied research add another dimension to the students' thesis development. Monthly IPI status meetings rotating between the Laboratory and the campus foster interaction between the students, Laboratory staff, and campus faculty.

The Integrated Photonics Initiative (IPI) has been developing new devices and subsystems to advance the field of coherent optics, which are of increasing interest for use in applications such as optical communications, laser radar, and microwave photonics. Coherent optics involve the use of the phase information of optical signals
in addition to their amplitude.

The IPI also co-organized a workshop on coherent optics at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the MIT Center for Integrated Photonic Systems. Participants from academia, industry, and government discussed coherent optics challenges and needs within the telecommunications industry and the DoD.

Administrative Resources

Some Lincoln Laboratory administrative functions and services are enhanced by connections with resources at MIT.

  • Under the umbrella of the SAP business software system, the Laboratory's finance and human resources systems are integrated with those of Campus.
  • The Laboratory's Safety and Mission Assurance Office draws upon the resources of the Radiation Protection and Industrial Hygiene programs operating within the EHS Office on the MIT campus.
  • Child care services are available to Laboratory employees at a center that is one of the four MIT Technology Children's Centers.
  • The MIT Medical and Athletic departments operate the Health and Wellness Center and the Fitness Center, respectively, at Lincoln Laboratory.
  • The MIT Office of General Counsel provides legal services for MIT Lincoln Laboratory.  Legal inquires may be sent to the onsite legal advisor at Lincoln Laboratory.


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