Optical Communications Engineer – MIT Lincoln Laboratory

The Optical Communications Technology Group develops advanced laser communications technology for use in innovative system demonstrations and architectures. A primary area of research is the development of sensitive, single-photon detector arrays, coherent modems, integrated photonic circuits, and novel modulation and coding approaches. Using these technologies, the group conducts research and development for a wide range of space, airborne, and terrestrial communication system applications, including terabit-per-second direct-to-Earth small-satellite constellations, near-Earth wideband relay laser communication terminal hardware, and next-generation beam-director prototypes inherently scalable to deep-space systems. The group has also initiated new research efforts into extending the range and utility of extremely photon-starved undersea communication transceivers and entanglement-based quantum communication networks.

Candidate will develop novel optical communications device technology. Will also work as a member of a team developing low size, weight, and power (SWaP) space lasercom terminals which perform reliably over fading links. Responsibilities will include development of high data-rate modems with high efficiency modulation formats and sensitive detection schemes, and implementation of novel forward error correction codes to enable communication performance near theoretical capacity limits. Responsibilities will also involve development and refinement of system architecture concepts, as well as implementation of subsystems, and simulation and analysis.


  • PhD in Electrical or Optical Engineering or Physics or an MS in Electrical or Optical Engineering or Physics with 4 or more years of directly related experience will be considered.
  • Experience in some of the following areas is desired: digital modulation and coding hardware; familiarity with optical components and test equipment, familiarity with optical properties and impacts on light propagation; experience building subsystems for space or undersea testing, deployment, or emulation of space or undersea environments.

MIT Lincoln Laboratory is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, veteran status, disability status, or genetic information; U.S. citizenship is required.