Dr. Baris I. Erkmen has been active in the development of advanced optical communication and sensing systems for two decades. He is presently CTO at Aalyria Technologies, driving the development of lasercom technology to connect space and ground communication networks.
Before joining Aalyria, Baris was the CEO of Hedron Space (2022-2023), developing an optical data-relay network for Earth-observation satellites. His past responsibilities include Engineering Director of Project Taara at X, the moonshot factory (2017-2022), where he developed a high-performance wireless optical communication product to expand terrestrial broadband networks. Prior to that he was the Lead for Project Loon’s Free-Space Optical Communications effort (2013-2016), where he and his team developed optical communications technology for a stratospheric platform. Baris has also been the Principal Investigator for NASA’s OPALS laser communication demonstration (2009-2013), which successfully demonstrated an optical downlink from the International Space Station to Earth. In 2022, Baris was elected Fellow of Optica for contributions to the advancement of wireless optical communication systems in performance, technology maturity, large-scale manufacturability, and cost.
Baris’s interests encompass the application of both classical and quantum properties of light to enhance communication and sensing capabilities for terrestrial, airborne, and spaceborne systems.