23-27 April 2012
Baltimore, Maryland, Convention Center
Kevin Meiners, 2012 SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing symposium chair, welcomed attendees to the event's debut in Baltimore.
Event photo gallery
Thursday 26 April
Wednesday 25 April
Tuesday 24 April
Monday 23 April
Thursday 26 April
It's official: 2012 is a record-breaking year!
With more than 6,700 registered attendees at the close of the week, SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing was the largest in its history at the event's debut in Baltimore, The technical program had the most presentations yet -- 2,450 -- and the exhibit in particular saw growth, with a record-breaking 540 exhibitors and an 18 percent increase in exhibit visitors.
Feedback from attendees confirmed that the growth reflects both proximity to the government community, research labs, and industry as well as expansion of the meeting's historical focus on ISR and CBRNE, using lasers, sensors and high-end imaging has epanded into environmental sensing, food safety, and commercial applications of infrared cameras.
Continuing the conversation
Discussions continued between sessions (above) as colleagues moved from conference room to coffee breaks.
Below, with several conferences and the short course program continuing through Friday, there was still plenty to study in the conference program.
Among Thursday's papers, Richard Baraniuk of Rice University described in "Compressive signal processing" (8401-16) work in compressive sampling, a technique designed to address the huge data requirements of various kinds of high-resolution imaging. A relatively new field, it has a lot of potential for additional work, according to Baraniuk, including applying it to video. He said one example of its potential utility would be to shorten the time required for an MRI exam from 20 minutes to five.
Thursday evening brought the week's second opportunity to view poster papers at a well-attended reception (more photos in the event gallery).
Wednesday 25 April
In the conference rooms, presentations continued. Among them:
Efforts to characterize upper ocean processes with the aid of lidar were explored in a paper (8372-23) by Robert Arnone and colleagues at the Naval Research Lab, along with Charles Trees from the NATO Undersea Research Center.
Arnone, who chairs the Ocean Sensing and Monitoring conference with Weilin Will Hou, described how lidar is helping advance understanding of the linkage between physical and biological processes in the ocean. "Lidars can give us the first understanding of subsurface processes that we've ever had," he said. Currently the researchers are exploring whether lidar can reach the mixed layer of the ocean, with an eventual goal of reaching the euphotic depth, where the light level is 1% of the surface light.
In the next paper (8372-24), James Churnside described how airborne lidar is being used to study internal waves in shallow fjords, revealing information about underwater mixing. A recent SPIE Newsroom article and video give a snapshot of the work.
Leaders in the IR community come to share ideas
In the Early Stage Technology Commercialization Workshop, moderated by Joseph Montemarano, Executive Director, MIRTHE, Princeton Univ. (above) panelists from U.S. government laboratories, the venture capital community, and industry, discussed ways to speed the commercialization and deployment of early-stage Defense and Homeland Security applications focused on mid-infrared technologies.
Exhibition, day two
The exhibit experience continued positive on Day 2, with comments such as this from one exhibitor: "I've met with more key people today than I have met during all three days at other shows. The proximity to decision makers is a huge benefit!"
Charles Gough (above), Davidson Optronics, had this to say about the 2012 exhibition, "We've made over 30 good contacts, solid prospects, for likely sales and interest in our new products.The move to Baltimore has been all for the good."
Top employers come together
People looking for a better job, re-entering the workforce, or just starting out, visited the Job Fair at Defense, Security, and Sensing -- prepared to discuss their skills and talents with industries leaders.
Government working with industry
Nearly 150 attendees listened to a panel of inluential government officials discuss ways to assist industry in determining potentially profitable areas where they might invest to develop technology of interest to government funding agencies. Industry leaders gained insights in future interests and directions for the various agencies represented. Moderated by Paul McManamon, Exciting Technologies LLC, the governmental prominent panel included, above, from left: Richard S. Matlock, Program Executive for Advanced Technology, Missile Defense Agency; Fenner Milton, Director, Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate Communications-Electronics Research, Development & Engineering Center U.S. Army Research, Development & Engineering Command Fort Belvoir, Virginia; Brent Appleby, Deputy Director, Strategic Technology Office, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA); and Anthony S. Lombardo, Deputy Director, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Programs, Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, Portfolio, Programs & Resources, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, Pentagon.
A lifetime of achievement
Banquet speaker Paul Kaminski (at left) of Technovision was presented with the SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing Lifetime Achievement Award by SPIE President Eustace Dereniak (center) and symposium co-chair Ken Israel. Kaminski spoke on the changing realties of national security over the course of his career, and noted that cybersecurity currently is "the number one security concern."
Symposium chair Kevin Meiners (at left above) led a toast to those who have served national security as fighters in the battlefield.
Tuesday 24 April
Bigger than ever!
With more than 540 companies on the floor and 12% more exhibit visitors than last year, the SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing exhibition is bigger than ever. Exhibitors saw steady traffic throughout the day in the spacious hall, and reported satisfaction with the quality of leads. Photos below show some of the action; look for more in the event photo gallery. The three-day event features several product demonstrations each day as well as industry panels on early-stage commericialization and government funding sources.
Celebrating science and technology R&D
The opening day crowd waiting for the exhibition to open heard words of welcome from Maryland Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, who was on hand to cut the ribbon to open the show (at left below, with SPIE President Eustace Dereniak). Bartlett -- one of only three scientists currently serving in Congress -- thanked the crowd for their dedication to science and the field of optics and photonics. He called for a "cultural shift" that makes the field more attractive for young people, and supports the goal of increasing the number of science graduates.
"R&D in technology is like seed corn in agriculture," said Bartlett, who serves chairman of the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, and sits on the Small Business and Science, Space and Technology committee. "Tomorrow's capabilities are determined by today's R&D."
The future of photonics
To maximize student benefit, a full day of student activities began with SPIE Student Services presenting a session on "Getting the most out of your conference experience," which explained how to navigate the conference and make the most of their networking opportunities.
Above, the popular Student Lunch with the Experts paired up-and-coming scientists with established mentors.
With the move to Baltimore, SPIE welcomed many new students to DSS this year; many of whom were also new to SPIE. A panel discussion on optics and photonics careers in the defense sector attracted ambitious students, who Learned about getting hired and working with defense contractors directly from human resource professionals.
A panel discussion on "Standards: The Foundation of the Future," moderated by Donnie Self, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (right), included (from left) Scott Randall, Booz Allen Hamilton; Jim Antonisse, Booz Allen Hamilton; and Randy Richard, Defense Information Systems Agency.
Chris Tillery (left), Office of Science and Technology at the National Insititute of Technology, was awarded the Eric A. Lehrfeld Award by Sensors, and Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) Technologies for Homeland Security and Homeland Defense XI Conference Chair Edward Carapezza, General Atomics (right). The Lehrfeld award recognizes outstanding contributions to homeland security, commemorating the victims of the 9/11 attacks on America, reminding and stimulating us all to apply our technology to better secure our homeland.
Do good, help the community
Alison Flatau (University of Maryland, College Park), at right above, chatted with attendees before her talk at the Women in Optics reception. Flatau told about her experience as a "rotator" program manager for NSF (National Science Foundation), saying that the position is an opportunity to "do good by serving the community" through helping to decide which grant applications to fund. She said the position also provided an opportunity to develop a big-picture perspective on the field -- "to look at the forest instead of the trees" -- and can be a springboard to new career directions.
Flatau, who has participated for many years at the SPIE Smart Structures and Nondestructive Evaluation including serving as symposium chair, also described her work with magnetorestrictive materials.
A well-attended poster reception offered the opportunity for authors such as Eric Flynn (University of Connecticut), above left, to discuss his work with other attendees (see more photos in the event photo gallery.)
Monday 23 April
Off to a record-breaking week in Baltimore!
The registration hall was bustling on opening morning as SPIE Defense, Security + Sensing debuted in Baltimore. Conference attendees are able to manage event scheules using the SPIE Conferences app for iPhone and Android smartphones.
Busy conference week ahead
With more than 2,450 technical papers, the Baltimore debut for SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing includes the largest program ever for the event. A sample of the presentations on opening day includes:
In paper 8373-01, Jeffrey Rogers (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency [DARPA]) noted that mesoscopic devices operate in a (small) size regime where surface effects start to dominate over bulk properties. These surface effects imbue devices with unique electrical (and in some cases optical) properties such as lower coherence, increased gain, and increased electrical conductivity.
Four areas are under study by the DARPA program: coupled group dynamics, information transduction, coherent feedback control and fluctuations and non-linarites. The programs involve multiple universities including Purdue, Stanford, and Princeton as well as companies such as IBM.
The subject of paper 8371A-01 by Aydogan Ozcan (Univ. of California, Los Angeles) is the use of a cell phone as a microscope and telemedicine platform. A lensless microscope utilizes the imaging array of a cell phone with a shadow imaging technique. Small biological samples such as a drop of blood or water containing cells or parasites are placed on a sample bed just above the imaging sensor. Incoherent illumination produces a phase shadow image as the objects of interest are transparent.
The collected data is transmitted, via the cell phone, to a mainframe computer where computational microscopy algorithms are used to reconstruct the object. The results are high resolution images which can be used to determine the health of the patient or the potability of the water. This device has multiple uses in the field, particularly in areas with poor access to medical diagnostics.
Jennifer Ricklin, Air Force Research Lab, (below) gave the keynote presentation in the conference on Automatic Target Recognition.
Ask the panel
The Monday morning panel discussion on Motion Imagery Overview and Strategies was the first of several panels scheduled this week. Panel moderator Donnie Self, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, led discussions on "the Air Force vision for full motion video exploitation," with Samuel Oliver, U.S. Air Force; "optimizing video quality for battlespace awareness" with Kevin West, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence; and "use of motion imagery sensing systems in overseas contingency operations" with Brad Van Cleve (above).
West said that over the past decade, the Department of Defense (DoD) has increasingly relied on information gleaned from motion video for all aspects of battlespace awareness. The number of platforms with video sensors has grown significantly, with over 8,600 aircraft, 40 imaging platforms, and 25 varieties of full-motion video sensors the agency has collected over 30 million minutes of video. The task is to extract the information from the data.
Thr panel discussed architectures, systems and standards necessary to address the issues in workflow, analysis, presentation and ultimately decision making based on this vast amount of data.
New Fellows honored
Six new 2012 Fellows were on-hand to receive their plaques and pins at the SPIE Fellows Luncheon (see more photos in the event photo gallery).
In the luncheon talk on effectively managing the process of commercializing inventions, speaker Angelique Irvin (above), President & CEO of Clear Align, made the case for bringing in customer perspectives from the beginning stages, testing "early and often," rewarding risk takers, and maintaining honest and constructive communication among peers. Irvin noted that approximately 70-80 perecent of new products fail, at a cost of $75-135 billion each year.
New products announced
Monica Lopez Saenz (above) describes the new cameras being introduced by IRCAM. Brief presentations from hardware and software vendors on what is new in their product lines that impact thermal imaging applications and practices were debuted on Monday. The Vendors Session was started eight years ago and has been a popular, well-attended success. It allows the busy technical conference attendees to better prioritize their time when visiting the exhibits.
NRO: the premier constellation
The National Reconnaissance Office operates the world's premier constellation of reconnaissance satellites, providing a vital data source for efforts to protect against the threats of terrorism, weapons proliferation, and cyber attacks, NRO Director Bruce Carlson (shown in the screen above) told the audience of approximately 1,100 who gathered for the all-symposium plenary talk.
Carlson illustrated the precision engineering employed in the satellites with a look at past and current launches. Looking ahead, he said that the NRO is incorporating carbon nanotube technology into satellite design.
While Carlson said that the NRO has been able to absorb some of the most recent budget cuts mandated for the Department of Defense and intelligence projects, he said that the NRO "has no more fat" and further cuts could not be implemented without a negative impact on the evolution of the NRO's capabilities.
Evening at the museum
SPIE Defense, Security + Sensing attendees packed the three-level Maryland Science Center in Baltimore Inner Harbor to enjoy a menu of local specialties, good company, and the museum's engaging hands-on exhibits ranging from dinosaurs (above) to the human body and outer space.