BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA -- A free three-day exhibition of 500 industry suppliers, a diverse educational program for optics and photonics professionals, and a week-long technical program including approximately 2,300 technical talks, workshops, and panel discussions highlight offerings at SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing (DSS) this month. Events will run 29 April through 3 May in the Baltimore Convention Center, and include the largest demonstration of infrared (IR) cameras and imaging systems in the world.
The three-day exhibition (30 April - 2 May) features the industry's leading suppliers of products such as robotic systems, IR detectors, chemical sensors, high-speed imaging systems, lasers, night vision devices, and advanced display technologies.The exhibition will also include three featured technology demonstrations:
- A tethered VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) aircraft system powered by laser power over fiber, presented by LaserMotive
- The Virtusphere simulation platform for safe training for dangerous environments faced by military, law-enforcement, fire-fighting, and counterterrorism personnel
- MARS (Mobile Aerospace Reconnaissance System) mounts to telescopically track and image aircraft, rockets, orbiting spacecraft, hypersonic test vehicles.
A suite of approximately 50 half- and full-day professional development courses includes topics such as IR sensors and systems, optical and optomechanical engineering, imaging and sensing, and laser sensors and systems.
A plenary talk on "DARPA: Driving Technological Surprise" by DARPA Director Arati Prabhakar (at right) and panel discussions on topics such as the challenges of processing big data, sensor needs, and early-stage technology commercialization highlight the technical program.
In addition to 55 conferences covering technical topics such as IR systems, laser technology, ISR (intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance), and display and sensor technologies, unmanned systems and robotics, three new topics are offered this year: Emerging Theory, Analysis, and Design for Optical Space Communications, Flexible Electronics, and Next-Generation Analyst.
Special networking opportunities include a luncheon honoring new Fellows of SPIE, and a banquet featuring presentation of a lifetime achievement award to Letitia Long, director of the U.S. National Geospatial Intelligence Agency.
Kenneth Israel, Major General (USAF Retired), is Symposium Chair, and David Whelan of Boeing Defense, Space, and Security is Symposium Co-Chair.
Driven by the critical role photonic technologies play in today's defense and industrial economies, DSS provides valuable opportunities for developers of advanced technologies and products to meet face-to-face with government and industry customers. The event is sponsored in Baltimore each spring by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.
"While U.S. government budget cuts and sequestration have resulted in some uncertainty in the U.S. defense sector, the global photonics industry is growing, and SPIE is committed to supporting the creative individuals, companies, and organizations that serve this industry nationally and internationally," said Andrew Brown, SPIE Senior Director. "Scientific conferences and exhibitions such as DSS are efficient, effective, and invaluable in bringing together scientists and engineers with system integrators and end users to ensure that the best and newest technologies are available to address the most challenging applications. Not only do interactions lead to the development of new technologies and solutions, but the meeting acts as a catalyst in the economic engine of the photonics industry, with companies securing new business leading to jobs and economic growth."
SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. The Society serves nearly 225,000 constituents from approximately 150 countries, offering conferences, continuing education, books, journals, and a digital library in support of interdisciplinary information exchange, professional networking, and patent precedent. SPIE provided $3.2 million in support of education and outreach programs in 2012.
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