2007 Technical Excellence Award Recipients

Dr. Don M. Boroson

For his contributions to the field of modulation and coding techniques as applied to optical communications systems.

Dr. Don M. Boroson joined Lincoln Laboratory’s technical staff in 1977. Early on, he contributed to advanced satellite communications system designs, developing digital beamforming algorithms, efficient receiver architectures, and novel modulation formats. He worked on the Fleetsat EHF Package program, modeling and helping design multiuser space receivers based on surface acoustic wave devices, as well as creating the automated test controller. He was promoted to Assistant Group Leader in 1984.

Don moved to the Optical Communications Group in 1986, where he coordinated the integration and test planning for the Laser Intersatellite Transmission Experiment. He subsequently served as team leader for the development of the next several generations of optical space terminals. In 1994, while in the Satellite Communications Technology Group, Don led studies that investigated advanced Satcom architectures, communications and ranging systems for micro-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) systems, novel high-rate readout architectures for UAVs, and space-ground networks.

When he returned to the Optical Communications Group in 1997, Don served as lead engineer and associate manager for the GeoLITE program. He oversaw and coordinated the creation of the complete system architecture and collaborated on the design of subsystems in this space-to-ground lasercom system, which, in 2001, became the world’s first successful space-based, high-rate lasercom system. He also proposed and collaborated on the design of a high-rate coding and interleaving system, successfully demonstrating that lasercom could work reliably in the face of fading.

In 2002, as Senior Staff in the Communications and Information Technology Division, Don became the lead system engineer on the NASA-sponsored deep-space lasercom study team, and then on the Mars Laser Communications Demonstration program. In this role, he helped coordinate multidivisional efforts resulting in highly efficient coded photon-counting communications system concepts and hardware; receivers based on inexpensive telescope arrays; and hybrid beam stabilization concepts for the Martian terminal. In 2006, he was appointed Leader in the Optical Communications Group, which continues to push the state of the art.

Don was a member of the Laboratory’s Hubble repair mission review team, has participated in government and cross-Laboratory system studies, has acted as supervisor and advisor for several MIT graduate students, and has served for many years on the New Technology Initiatives Board. He holds BSE, MSE, MA, and PhD degrees in electrical engineering from Princeton University.

top of page

Dr. Bernadette JohnsonDr. Bernadette Johnson

For her system-level architecting, technical innovation, and prototype demonstration in multiple areas and, in particular, nontraditional problems.

Dr. Bernadette Johnson is Leader of the Biodefense Systems Group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. Her current responsibilities include the direction of multiple programs in sensor development, laboratory and field measurements, biodetection forensic techniques, and a growing effort in systems analyses for military and civilian biodefense.

Since joining Lincoln Laboratory in 1985, Bernadette has been involved in a number of programs related to laser-based propagation and sensing and, more recently, biodetection. Her past work has included experiments in adaptive optics to facilitate high-energy-laser propagation through the atmosphere, the adaptation and installation of a declassified adaptive optics system on the 60" telescope at Mt. Wilson Observatory, and investigations into the use of photorefractive InP:Fe for applications including wide-field-of-view heterodyne receivers.

From 1993 through 1996, Bernadette directed the Environmental Monitoring Project, which was established to adapt Lincoln Laboratory technologies to environmental-monitoring applications. She subsequently became involved in experiments to investigate microlaser-induced breakdown spectroscopy for in situ elemental analysis. She then developed and managed a program to investigate the feasibility and utility of combining active illumination with hyperspectral imaging for a variety of military and civilian applications, including unexploded ordnance and land-mine sensing. In 1999, she became involved with Lincoln Laboratory’s growing biodetection program area.

Bernadette holds a BS in physics from Dickinson College, an MS in condensed matter theory from Georgetown University, and a PhD in plasma physics from Dartmouth College.

top of page