A photo of two scientists inspecting the tess satellite in a cleanroom environment.

Civil Space Systems and Technology

The Civil Space Systems and Technology Office was established to leverage Lincoln Laboratory's technologies and expertise to enable next-generation civilian space missions. Many space technologies and capabilities that are relevant for national security applications have applicability to non-military missions such as homeland security, agriculture, commerce, health, and science. Our goal is to contribute to these missions by developing and delivering these technologies in partnership with stakeholders and end users.

We offer a diverse collection of advanced technologies, systems expertise, and state-of-the-art facilities. See below to explore how these capabilities might enable your civil space mission or support scientific discovery.


Prototype 100,000-pixel magnetic calorimeter array developed via collaboration between NASA GSFC and MIT Lincoln Laboratory. Photo: NASA GSFC

Core technologies

Our core technology research focuses on inventing new materials, devices, and components to enable revolutionary system capabilities. We pursue innovation in a wide set of areas, including imagers, lasers, quantum systems, RF technology, and optics.

A photo of a small satellite in a studio

Systems expertise

Our engineers ensure that all the components of a system work together to achieve the desired results. Our work ranges from trade and design studies at the beginning of a program, to planning and executing the assembly, integration, and testing of prototype systems. Example mission applications include space payloads for scientific applications, optical and quantum communications demonstrations, and three-dimensional imaging laser radars (lidar).

Prototype telescopes, such as the one above, were designed, built, and tested for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) system.


Our skilled engineering researchers utilize state-of-the-art equipment in facilities such as our microsystems prototyping foundry, optical systems test facility, and environmental test laboratory to build system prototypes for demonstrating new capabilities. Software engineers complete the system with the addition of sophisticated on-board and ground-based computing, supported by AI technology and our supercomputing center. These prototypes are tested in operational environments to evaluate their ability to provide information to end users for decision support or scientific applications.

A History of Impact

On the watch for potentially hazardous asteroids

LINEAR, the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research, program is expanding astronomers' knowledge about the population of asteroids and comets in our solar system.

Lighting up the speed of communications

Revolutionary enabling technologies are paving the way to NASA's dreams for missions that send scientific data from distances as far away as Mars at incredible speeds that make possible receipt of huge volumes of data and even near-real-time data analysis.

Related resources


MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Lexington, Massachusetts


Backdoor poisoning of encrypted traffic classifiers

Nov 28
IEEE Intl. Conf. Data Mining Workshops, ICDMW, 28 Nov. - 1 Dec. 2022.

Predicting ankle moment trajectory with adaptive weighted ensemble of LSTM network

Nov 1
2022 IEEE High Perf. Extreme Comp. Conf. (HPEC), 19-23 September 2022, DOI: 10.1109/HPEC55821.2022.9926370.

Multimodal physiological monitoring during virtual reality piloting tasks

Aug 25
Multimodal Physiological Monitoring During Virtual Reality Piloting Tasks (version 1.0.0). PhysioNet. https://doi.org/10.13026/azwa-ge48.


View the leadership of the Civil Space Systems and Technology Office team.

Contact us

Contact us to learn more about our capabilities and ways to collaborate or access our civil space technologies and expertise.

Our Staff

View biographies of members of the Civil Space Systems and Technology Office team.