Charles A. Primmerman

Dr. Charles A. Primmerman is a principal staff member in the Space Systems and Technology Division. Since joining Lincoln Laboratory as a staff member in 1975, he has performed pioneering research in adaptive optics, including directing the first closed-loop thermal-blooming-compensation experiments with a high-energy laser.

In 1985, Primmerman became leader of the High-Energy-Laser Beam Control and Propagation Group. He directed major field experiments involving laser propagation and atmospheric compensation from the ground to space. A highlight of this research was the first demonstration of adaptive optics using a laser guidestar, for which Primmerman was a co-recipient of the SPIE Technology Achievement Award in 1993 and was elected a fellow of the Optical Society of America in 1998. In 1995, he founded the Laboratory's biodefense program and served as program manager for this effort until 1999.

Primmerman has had several assignments on loan to government organizations. During 1984–1985, he was on loan to the newly formed Strategic Defense Initiative Organization, where he helped to initiate and organize projects in high-energy-laser beam control. From 1999 though 2001, he was on loan to the Department of Defense in Washington, D.C., as an Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) appointee. His first assignment was at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency as special assistant to the Director of the Advanced Systems Concepts Office. In 2000, he was appointed director of the High-Energy-Laser Joint Technology Office (HEL JTO), which had been recently formed within the Office of the Secretary of Defense. For his work in setting up and organizing the HEL JTO, he was awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service.

In 2002, Primmerman returned to Lincoln Laboratory to become leader of a newly constituted Directed Energy Group. He was promoted to assistant head of the Aerospace Division in July 2003, to associate head of the Sensor Systems Division in November 2004, and to his current position in February 2007.

Primmerman has authored more than 60 publications, including four that were selected for a 1994 SPIE volume on seminal papers in adaptive optics. He holds an AB degree in physics from Duke University and SM and PhD degrees, both in nuclear engineering, from MIT.