Edward I. Ackerman received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Lafayette College in 1987 and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Drexel University in 1989 and 1994, respectively. From 1989 through 1994 he was employed as a microwave photonics engineer at Martin Marietta¹s Electronics Laboratory in Syracuse, New York, where he used low-loss narrowband impedance matching techniques to demonstrate the first amplifierless direct modulation analog optical link with RF gain (+3.7 dB at 900 MHz). From 1995 to July 1999 he was a member of the Technical Staff at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, where he developed high-performance analog photonic links for microwave communications and antenna remoting applications. During this time he achieved the lowest noise figure ever demonstrated for an amplifierless analog optical link (2.5 dB at 130 MHz). While at Lincoln Laboratory he also developed and patented a novel linearization technique that uses a standard lithium niobate modulator with only one electrode to enable improved analog optical link dynamic range across broad bandwidths and at higher frequencies than other linearization techniques currently allow. Since 1999 he has been Vice President of R & D for Photonic Systems, Inc. of Billerica, Massachusetts. He has co-edited a book and has authored or co-authored three book chapters as well as more than 70 technical papers on the subject of analog photonic subsystem performance modeling and optimization. Dr. Ackerman is a Fellow of the IEEE. He holds eight US patents.
Both the scientific and the defense communities wish to receive and process information occupying ever-wider portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. This can often create an analog-to-digital conversion “bottleneck”. Analog photonic channelization, linearization, and frequency conversion systems can be designed to alleviate this bottleneck. Moreover, the low loss and dispersion of optical fiber and integrated optical waveguides enable most of the components in a broadband sensing or communication system, including all of the analog-to-digital and digital processing hardware, to be situated many feet or even miles from the antennas or other sensors with almost no performance penalty. The anticipated presentation will highlight the advantages and other features of analog photonic systems (including some specific systems that the author has constructed and tested for the US Department of Defense), and will review and explain multiple techniques for optimizing their performance.