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Berhanu Bulcha

Berhanu Bulcha, Research Engineer, NASA

Berhanu Bulcha, Research Engineer, NASA

Laser communications often take the lion’s share of attention when it comes to the use of photonics in space, but lasers will also play a vital role locating resources on the Moon and other objects in the solar system, according to NASA’s Berhanu Bulcha.  

The next big thing in my area is developing an integrated photonics device-based THz spectrometer. NASA has a great interest in developing sensitive and small SWaP (size, weight and power) instruments for space missions,’ he said.

‘These devices are essential for lunar missions or missions within our solar system to detect critical resources such as water and organic molecules.’ However, he said that maturing photonics device-based THz spectrometers for flight missions requires funding resources ‘and I think it will continue to be a source of challenge in the near future.. 

You can find Bulcha online at He plans to attend the International Symposium on Space Terahertz Technology (ISSTT), International Conference on Infrared, Millimeter and Terahertz Wave (IRMMW-THz) and the American Astronomical Conference. 

Organisation: NASA

Role: Research Engineer 

Based in: Maryland, USA

Education: PhD, from University of Virginia, worked at MIT before joining NASA

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