David Caplan

David O. Caplan is a Senior Staff member in the Optical Communication Technology Group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory.  He graduated summa cum laude from Tufts University with a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering, and received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Northwestern University in the field of nonlinear and quantum optics. 

Since joining the Laboratory in 1996, his research has focused on high-sensitivity laser communication systems, with an emphasis on photon- and power-efficient transmitter and receiver design.  He led the development of transmitter systems for the GeoLITE mission, the world’s first successful high-rate space-based laser communications system.  His work on high-sensitivity multi-rate optical transceivers has been incorporated into NASA’s deep-space interplanetary laser communication initiatives including the Mars and subsequent Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD), and the ongoing Laser Communications Relay demonstration program.  He designed and oversaw the buildup of the LLCD uplink transmitter systems – which increased state-of-the-art data rates to the Moon by more than three orders of magnitude.  He is currently leading an effort to develop integrated photonic transceivers with agile multi-rate and multiple-modulation-format capabilities. 

Dr. Caplan has been active in both OSA and IEEE professional societies.  He was a guest editor for the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics (JSTQE), has served as a member of the OSA Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO) and IEEE Photonics Society technical program committees, and chaired the CLEO Lightwave Communications and Optical Networks Technology committee.  He has also been active in numerous educational initiatives, organizing and teaching courses both at MIT and MIT Lincoln Laboratory.  His work in the field has led to numerous patents and publications, including two book chapters, and was recently recognized with the MIT Lincoln Laboratory Technical Excellence Award.

For JLT he is handling submissions on the following topics:

  • Optical Transmitters and Receivers
  • Modulation Formats
  • Free-space laser communications
  • Optical Filtering Techniques
  • Optical amplifiers and applications
  • High-sensitivity optical detection