ARL electronics engineer named DoD Laboratory Scientist of the Quarter

December 23, 2014

By Jenna Brady, ARL Public Affairs

Story Highlights

  • ARL electronics engineer recognized with the Department of Defense's Laboratory Scientist of the Quarter Award for developing a GPS-alternative to be used in future Army and DoD systems

Dr. Olukayode Okusaga, an electronics engineer and subject matter expert in the field of radio frequency-photonics at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, was recently recognized with the Department of Defense's Laboratory Scientist of the Quarter Award.

Okusaga was recognized for his distinguished accomplishments with the Coalition Warfare Program for RF-over-fiber links and the Positioning Navigation and Timing Technical Program Agreement with the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, Power and Integration.

Specifically, Okusaga and his team developed the first novel fiber-optic communications link capable of transmitting frequency references 10 times better than Global-Positioning Systems that can serve as a GPS-alternative in future Army and DoD systems.

The alternative is a low-cost, lightweight way to synchronize systems even when they are miles apart.

Okusaga's basic research in Rayleigh-scattering, the elastic scattering of light or other electromagnetic radiation by particles much smaller than the wavelength of the light, and exceptional work on RF-over-fiber links were crucial in developing this GPS-alternative.

Rayleigh-scattering in optical fibers is the dominant source of noise that prevents the transmission of GPS-quality frequency references over fiber. Once Okusaga identified this issue, he led the development of a method to suppress this noise source.

Okusaga's hard work and perseverance throughout this project are especially crucial to the Army, as GPS signals are prone to jamming, environmental interference and spoofing, and an increased emphasis has been placed on alternative means of time and frequency transfer for PN&T applications.

"Receiving the Laboratory Scientist of the Quarter Award is a great honor that I am both honored and proud to accept," said Okusaga.

"This acknowledgement reaffirms that I am headed in the right direction in terms of my research and that the research that I do matters," added Okusaga.

Okusaga said that he always wanted to be involved in work that was both fulfilling to his interests in the area of RF-photonics and work that allows him to contribute to something bigger than himself and the work conducted in his laboratory.

"Knowing that my work is not only fulfilling my dream of being an engineer, but providing a need for those who risk their lives every day on the battlefield are what make my job that much more rewarding and make accepting this award even more meaningful," Okusaga stated.

Okusaga began his career as a Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation student at ARL. Upon obtaining his doctorate in 2010 from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, he progressed to working on CWP projects on optoelectronic oscillators and RF-over-fiber links.

Amidst all of his accomplishments, Okusaga noted that he enjoys giving back and providing younger generations with the knowledge and skills that are needed to be successful as future scientists and engineers.

In his spare time, Okusaga teaches and tutors students of all ages in hopes of inspiring them to believe that they could one day be in the position that he holds, a position that is both self-rewarding and serves a bigger purpose.


Last Update / Reviewed: December 23, 2014