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SPIE Remote Sensing and Security + Defence 2017 event blog

The week in Warsaw: scan below for a look back at some of the week's events.

 

Hyspex drone demonstration at SPIE Remote Sensing and Security + Defence 2017 SPIE Remote Sensing and Security + Defence 2017 poster session

This year's SPIE Remote Sensing and Security + Defence conferences co-located in Warsaw drew a highly engaged audience of nearly 800 researchers, engineers, product developers, program managers, and supplier representatives from around the world. Conferences, courses, an industry session, and an exhibition of nearly 40 companies contributed to a successful event. See you next year in Berlin, 10-13 September — watch for the call for papers soon.

Scenes from the event, clockwise from upper left: HySpex provided a drone demonstration Wednesday afternoon; the poster session provided high-quality networking time; Poland's Royal Castle served as a beautiful welcome reception venue; the exhibition connected researchers with new technologies and developers with product ideas.

SPIE Security + Defence 2017 exhibition Royal Castle, Warsaw

 


Quantum principles for deeper insights

Bohumil Stoklasa of Palacký University Olomouc described the benefits of analyzing classical imaging and metrology problems using quantum principles, in a talk Thursday morning in the conference on Emerging Imaging and Sensing Technologies (10442-15). Stoklasa demonstrated that recasting classical problems by studying them using quantum concepts can provide deeper understanding and insight into the underlying physics.

The cases of wavefront detector tomography and incoherent point resolution were examined.

In the former, theory indicates that quantum Fisher information is the upper bound for classical Fisher information and that the quantum Fisher information is independent of measurement process. Experimental results for vortex beam reconstruction with a Shack-Hartmann detector was discussed in this context.

In the case of imaging two incoherent beams, proper theoretical treatment of quantum Fisher information was shown to provide the real boundaries for the measurement process, verified experimentally through a digital holographic setup.

SPIE Remote Sensing + Security and Defence 2017

 


Data analysis for forestland classification

In the Remote Sensing for Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Hydrology conference on Thursday afternoon, Emanuele Santi of the Instituto di Fiscia Applicata "Nello Carrara" discussed application of multifrequency SAR data and neural networks in land classification of forest regions in Italy (10426-14).

Time series SAR images from PALSAR (L-band) and ASAR (C-band) were collected for two regions. Multi-polarization and multi-temporal analysis demonstrated that the L-band can be used to discriminate between regions whereas the C-band is better suited to identify various features within a given region. Artificial neural network (ANN) models based on both bands were developed and validated for both regions studied.

Further testing and validation is planned for additional datasets in other regions.

 


SPIE Remote Sensing and Security + Defence 2017 industry session

Speakers from industry provided insights on commercial activities in photonics
in Poland and elsewhere in Europe; from left, Adam Piotrowski, Ana González,
Johannes Koeth, and Thierry Robin, with moderator Stephen Anderson.

Industry speakers detail photonics activity in Poland and beyond

Adam Piotrowski, vice-chair of the Polish Technological Platform on Photonics and CEO of infrared (IR) detector manufacturer Vigo System S.A. painted a bright picture of photonics in Poland in his opening presentation during the industry session Wednesday.

Other speakers in the session were Vigo co-founder Józef Piotrowski; Krzysztof Chrzanowski of Inframet; Thierry Robin of Tematys; Johannes Koeth of nanoplus Nanosystems and Technologies GmbH; Stephen Najda of TopGaN Ltd.; Ana González, Dissemination Manager of the EU's MIRPHAB Pilot Line; and Roland Schwarz of Riegl.

The full-day session was moderated by Stephen Anderson of SPIE.

A more extensive report from the talks is posted at www.spie.org/x127419.xml.

 


Depth imaging with single-photon detection

Gerald Buller

Gerald Buller

Time-of-flight single-photon detection methods are emerging as promising means for depth imaging applications. In a Wednesday morning paper in the conference on Emerging Imaging and Sensing Technologies, Gerald Buller of Heriot-Watt University described recent work demonstrating the rich potential of new imaging schemes in applications of particular interest to the security and defense communities (10438-1).

Time-correlated single-photon counting schemes resulting in hundreds of femtoseconds time resolution and the ability to achieve high depth precision at low-light levels were discussed, as was a scanning single photon system capable of imaging at distances on the order of 9km.

Imaging systems using a mosaic filter and multiple wavelengths successfully reconstructed color depth images of objects.

Underwater imaging is also being explored using a supercontinuum laser source to provide tunability for varying water conditions and environments. A test system has demonstrated acceptable image capture to 8 attenuation lengths and the ability to allow target recognition of partially obscured objects.

 


Monitoring geo-hazards in cultural heritage sites

The use of remote sensing technologies, including interferometric synthethic aperture radar (InSAR) and UAVs, to monitor geo-hazards in cultural heritage sites was described Wednesday morning by Kyriaocos Themistocleous of the Cyprus University of Technology in his update on the PROTHEGO project (10428-25) as part of the Earth Resources and Environmental Remote Sensing/GIS conference.

The test site at Choirokoitia is an important prehistoric site in the eastern Mediterranean, having been occupied by one of the first human societies in the region during the 7th to 4th millennia BCE. The project plans to use InSAR to monitor regions and identify potential hazards after which field studies with laser scanning techniques and UAVs will be used to assess the situation.

The team is working to establish the reflective corners for the persistent scattering InSAR observations and to establish the GNSS network. Early drone flights have provided sufficient data to characterize vegetation.

Much more work is needed to complete the project and to begin ongoing monitoring of the test site. Work completed to date shows the value of fusing modalities of remote sensing technologies for important new applications.

 


At the podium

s Khan, Technische Universität Chemnitz

Owes Khan
),  Frances Bodrucki, University of North Carolina, Charlotte

Frances Bodrucki
Luis Marques, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya

Luis Marques

Among the week's speakers were, from left above, Owes Khan, Technische Universität Chemnitz (10431-29) on on-field mounting position of a LiDAR sensor; Frances Bodrucki, University of North Carolina, Charlotte (10435-20) on anti-aliasing algorithm development; and Luis Marques, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (10431-28) on valorisation of urban elements through 3D models generated from image-matching point clouds and augmented reality visualisation based in mobile platforms.

 


Effects of optical turbulence on ground-based observations

Image quality of ground-based solar telescopes depends in part on turbulence in Earth's atmosphere. Mitigation methods include choosing high-quality sites, using adaptive optics and image restoration algorithms, and minimizing structure-induced optical turbulence.

Oskar von der Lühe of the Kiepenheuer Institute for Solar Physics discussed the impact of local optical turbulence on the performance of the GREGOR solar telescope, in a talk Wednesday afternoon in the conference on Optics in Atmospheric Propagation and Adaptive Systems (10425-11).

Researchers set out to characterize the near-ground optical turbulence as a function of meteorological parameters including wind speed and temperature and to identify the impact of the facility on daytime optical turbulence using anemometric measurements.

Initial results show that local optical turbulence increases by factors of two to one hundred compared to free optical turbulence. Measurements also indicate that the local turbulent layer must be very thin. Conditions vary during the day with noon being the worst-case situation.

It was also noted that the paint on the frontage cladding is deteriorating and may be contributing to some of the effects. A full understanding of the impact of all meteorological parameters as well as the influence of dust is pending but the results to date indicate the subtle and complex nature of optical turbulence and its impact on ground-based observing systems.

 


Technology on display: in the exhibition

SPIE Security and Defence 2017 exhibition

With nearly 40 companies participating, the two-day SPIE Security + Defence exhibition
drew many visitors to booths staffed by industry supplier representatives.
SPIE Security + Defence 2017 exhibition SPIE Security + Defence 2017 exhibition
SPIE Security + Defence 2017 exhibition SPIE Security + Defence 2017 exhibition
SPIE Security + Defence 2017 exhibition SPIE Security + Defence 2017 exhibition

 


New materials for imaging systems, at reduced cost

InGaAs has been the standard material for short wave infrared (SWIR) imaging systems for many years, offering good quantum efficiencies and noise performance over an acceptable wavelength range. InGaAs does present some scaling challenges in terms of both pixel and array size, and so opportunities exist for new materials that address these concerns, particularly those that do so at reduced cost.

Towards this end, Ethan Klem of RTI International described Tuesday morning in the Electro-Optical and Remote Sensing conference the design of detectors based on heterojunctions utilizing colloidal quantum dots and fullerenes, demonstrating that that new material systems do have the potential to fill technology need areas not addressed by current products (10434-16).

The resulting imaging systems compare well to their InGaAs counterparts in many properties although InGaAS still provides higher quantum efficiencies. The researchers demonstrated the use of a prototype camera based on drones as well as in ground-based applications such as chemical detection, maritime imaging, and food sorting.

 


A week of intriguing reports

Divyani Kohli, ITC Universiteit Twente

Divanyi Kohli
Andrey Kanaev, U.S. Naval Research Lab

Andrey Kanaev
Andrew Harvey, University of Glasgow

Andrew Harvey

Among the week's speakers were, from left above, Divyani Kohli, ITC Universiteit Twente (10427-33) on object-based analysis for cadastral mapping using satellite images; Andrey Kanaev, U.S. Naval Research Lab (10433-1) on pulsed holographic system for imaging through spatially extended scattering media; and Andrew Harvey, University of Glasgow (10438-6) on the simplicity, complexity, and benefits of multi-aperture imaging in the thermal infrared.

 


Convolutional neural networking for facial recognition

Although a task easily done by humans, facial recognition is challenging for imaging systems and pattern recognition algorithms. Most automated work to date has been done using imaging systems operating in the visible range.

Thermal imaging provides some unique capabilities given the non-uniformity of such properties as skin emissivity and temperature; however, these opportunities also present challenges since the human body varies skin temperature due to varying ambient conditions.

In the Counterterrorism conference Tuesday morning, Marcin Kowalski of the Military University of Technology Warsaw described his team’s early efforts in applying thermal infrared technology for the purpose of facial recognition (10441-9).

The researchers have investigated three different approaches to analyzing data obtained with thermal imaging systems and, to date, have obtained the best results with convolutional neural network methods. More work is needed to refine the method but the initial results point to encouraging progress in applying thermal imaging techniques for this application.

 


Meeting the authors: the poster session

SPIE Remote Sensing and Security + Defence 2017 poster session

Tuesday's poster session enabled one-on-one discussions with the authors
and provided a relaxed setting to network with colleagues.
SPIE Remote Sensing and Security + Defence 2017 poster session SPIE Remote Sensing and Security + Defence 2017 poster session
SPIE Remote Sensing and Security + Defence 2017 poster session SPIE Remote Sensing and Security + Defence 2017 poster session
SPIE Remote Sensing and Security + Defence 2017 poster session SPIE Remote Sensing and Security + Defence 2017 poster session

 


Remote sensing for crop mapping

Food security continues to be an area of increasing interest and importance in the technical community. Helping to derive better crop maps is one way remote sensing technologies can contribute to improving our understanding of the variables related to this important field.

Azar Zafari of the University of Twente described Tuesday afternoon in the Image and Signal Processing for Remote Sensing conference the integration of two common mapping algorithms, support vector machines (SVM) and random forest (RF), for the goal of improving crop maps (10427-34).

Specifically, a supervised kernel created by the RF method was fed into the SVM classifier with the resulting maps demonstrating comparable and, in some cases, superior results to those obtained using standard methods. The findings represent a novel way to combine existing techniques to drive improvements in this important area of research.

 


An elegant welcome

SPIE Remote Sensing + Security and Defence 2017 welcome reception

The Royal Castle in Warsaw provided an elegant backdrop for Monday
evening's well-attended welcome reception.
SPIE Remote Sensing + Security and Defence 2017 welcome reception SPIE Remote Sensing + Security and Defence 2017 welcome reception

 


SPIE Remote Sensing + Security and Defence 2017 plenary session

Plenary talks highlighted events on Monday afternoon. From left, plenary speaker
Krzysztof Kopczynski, SPIE Past President Malgorzata Kujawinska, Remote Sensing
symposium chair Klaus Schäfer (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology), plenary speaker
Antoni Rogalski, plenary speaker Molly Brown, and Security + Defence
symposium chair Ric Schleijpen (TNO Defence, Security, and Safety).

Krzysztof Kopczynski plenary talk: optoelectronics for security and defence

In the opening talk in the joint Remote Sensing and Security and Defence plenary session Monday morning, Colonel Krzysztof Kopczynski of the Military University of Technology detailed the history of the Optoelectronics Institute at the university, and described the numerous optoelectronic innovations that the institute has transitioned from research into field deployable units. His presentation highlighted multiple decades of photonics innovation in Poland and research into further advancements using photonics technologies in security and defence.

The rich range of technologies and applications includes fire protection systems, precision-guided munitions with proximity fuses, miniaturized range finders, multispectral profilometers, and anti-aircraft and light-armored vehicle missile systems.

Working with local companies such as Vigo and PCO, the institute has deployed optoelectronic modules including thermal sights and IR cameras. Work in biometrics and border protection is also a focus with the institute having demonstrated passport and fingerprint readers.

An area of more recent interest is the detection of chemical and biological hazards for which the institute has developed fluorescence detection systems and has worked on both short- and medium-range detection solutions.

SPIE Remote Sensing + Security and Defence 2017 plenary session

Plenary talks drew a large audience to hear three renowned speakers.

 

Molly Brown plenary talk: remote sensing and food security

Molly Brown of the University of Maryland and 6th Grain Global demonstrated, in Monday's second plenary talk, the complexity of food security and showed how the data provided by remote sensing technologies can play a key role in deepening our understanding of this topic.

Noting that food security is predicated upon an individual's access to food preferences to allow a healthy lifestyle, Brown listed availability, access, and utilization along with stability of those three dynamics as the four elements that drive food security.   Availability is a key factor, given the demand for food will double in the next 25 years, driven by middle-class demand, Brown said.

Indicators of food insecurity have declined since the 1990s with countries experiencing prolonged crises demonstrating the highest percentage of undernourishment. Food affordability is improving but still lagging in developing countries — problematic because local production is critical to food security. Only 16% of the world's food production crosses borders and 85% of food is consumed within 20 miles of where it is grown.

The advantages of technology are needed in order to maintain current production. One process would engage human observers and cell phone technology, utilizing apps to collect real-time data on growing conditions and other issues critical to maintaining and expanding yield.

Brown also discussed the role of seasonality and volatility on price and the subsequent impact on food access, and pointed to the importance of domestic weather for setting prices. In the area of food utilization, Brown noted the connection to nutritional status and the impact of climate on nutrition.

 

Antoni Rogalski plenary talk: infrared detectors

In the final talk of the plenary session, Antoni Rogalski of the Military University of Technology provided a detailed discussion of the gorgeous history and exciting future of infrared detectors, highlighting material systems that have not only contributed to this history but which also drive future developments.

Rogalski covered both thermal detectors which provide the benefit of room temperature operation albeit at slower operation rates, and photon detectors which are operated below room temperature but which can provide speed and sensitivity benefits.

The role of focal plane arrays and their trend towards decreasing pixel size, currently on the order of 10 micron, was described. The advantages of HgCdTe with its widely tailorable bandgap and large absorption coefficient both properties of which have driven its extensive use as a photon detector were detailed as was the onset of quantum well IR detectors in the late '80s, and materials such as InSb, which has found use in astronomy applications.

Third-generation detectors including n-p-n HgCdTe triple heterojunction designs and InAs/GaSb superlattice systems were also discussed. On topic of the future of IR detectors, vanadium oxide and amorphous-silicon systems lead in terms of interest and potential.

 


An award and a welcome

Edgerton Award 2017

The 2017 SPIE Harold G. Edgerton Award
was accepted by recipient Mikhail Schelev's
niece Natalia Bobrova (left). Schelev died in
October 2016, shortly after the award was
announced. SPIE Past President Malgorzata
Kujawinska (right) made the presentation.

welcome from Poland National Centre for Research and Development

Izabela Żmudka welcomed symposium
attendees on behalf of Poland's
National Centre for Research and
Development.

 


Satellite imaging in studying underwater habitats

Meri Koskelainen of SYKE (Finnish Environment Institute) discussed on Monday afternoon in the Electro-Optical Remote Sensing conference the importance of aerial and satellite imaging in understanding underwater habitat, showing the value of remote sensing techniques to provide low-cost analysis of marine ecosystems and opening the door towards studies of marine biodiversity in developing regions of the world (10422-10).

Seagrasses are found around the world surviving in conditions ranging from brackish bay waters to clear tropical waters to salty continental shelves. Serving as food and shelter to a wide variety of marine life, they provide an important measure of marine ecosystem health.

Remote sensing techniques provide a cost-effective and efficient manner by which to study seagrass habitats on a large scale. The authors described recent work analyzing images from the waters off both Hanko, Finland, and Zanzibar, Tanzania. The study made use of the wide-area capture and different spatial resolutions provided by aerial and satellite images to characterize and classify seagrasses in those regions.

 


Introducing the week

Karin Stein, Fraunhofer

Karin Stein
Upendra Singh, NASA

Upendra Singh
Charles Bostater, Florida Institute of Technology

Charles Bostater

Conference chairs opened their sessions Monday morning for the first of the week's 800 talks in 22 conferences. Among the chairs were (above, from left) Karin Stein of the Fraunhofer-Institut Für Optronik (10432 Target and Background Signatures), Upendra Singh of NASA Langley Research Center (10429 LiDAR Technologies, Techniques and Measurements for Atmospheric Remote Sensing), and Charles Bostater of the Florida Institute of Technology (10422 Remote Sensing of the Ocean, Sea Ice, Coastal Waters, and Large Water).

 


3D LiDAR for recognition of hidden objects

Per Jonsson of FOI (Swedish Defence Research Agency) presented Monday morning in the Electro-Optical Remote Sensing conference an investigation of 3D LiDAR imaging based on Geiger-mode avalanche photodiodes for target recognition of hidden objects (10434-4).

Systems based on time-correlated single-photon counting (TCSPC) provide high resolution and large dynamical range with low laser powers - although at the cost of longer integration times and challenges with penetrating obscurants   In evaluating a test system using a 1542nm wavelength laser and a pulse repetition rate of 90kHz, researchers concluded that the maximum return from a target behind a semi-transparent obscuration occurs when the photon detection probability is 0.65-0.75 per pixel and per pulse.

Thus, adaptive control of laser power is needed, to keep the returned signal in the optimal range, and represents an area for further research.

 


In the hallways

networking at SPIE Remote Sensing and Security + Defence

Coffee breaks provide opportunity for networking,
as attendees reconnect and meet new colleagues.

 


LiDAR in detecting and assessing oil spills

Among the week's first papers, Sergey Babichenko of Ocean Visuals AS discussed Monday morning in the conference on Remote Sensing of the Ocean, Sea Ice, Coastal Waters and Large Water Regions the use of hyperspectral laser-induced fluorescence (HLIF) LiDAR for the detection, classification, and quantification of oil spills in marine environments (10422-1).

Currently deployed on ships for testing, HLIF provides single-point spectral pattern recognition capability and superior performance over competing technologies in detecting emulsions as well as in cases where there is icy water or waves. A pilot project with the Norwegian Coastal Administration using a system based on a 308nm wavelength laser, which provides a good fit for generating fluoresence signals, has shown the ability to detect oil and emulsions to 3 m depth.

The next phase of development will investigate deploying a modified version of the unit for use on remotely piloted aircraft to survey icy waters in far north.

 


Preview

Nearly 1,000 expected for SPIE conferences in Warsaw on quantum, remote sensing, security technologies, more (21 June 2017)

 


All photos © SPIE unless otherwise noted.

SPIE Remote Sensing

www.spie.org/RS
SPIE Security and Defence

www.spie.org/SD

 

11 – 14 September 2017
Warsaw, Poland


 

Click below to locate a topic:

Quantum principles for deeper insights

Data analysis for forestland classification

Industry speakers detail photonics activity in Poland and beyond

Depth imaging with single-photon detection

Monitoring geo-hazards in cultural heritage sites

Effects of optical turbulence on ground-based observations

Technology on display: in the exhibition

New materials for imaging systems, at reduced cost

Convolutional neural networking for facial recognition

Meeting the authors: the poster session

Remote sensing for crop mapping

An elegant welcome

Krzysztof Kopczynski plenary talk: optoelectronics for security and defence

Molly Brown plenary talk: remote sensing and food security

Antoni Rogalski plenary talk: infrared detectors

An award and a welcome

Satellite imaging in studying underwater habitats

3D LiDAR for recognition of hidden objects

LiDAR in detecting and assessing oil spills

 


 

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