Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center
Orlando, Florida, United States
15 - 19 April 2018
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Technical Overview

Defense + Security Technical Review 
The topics associated with Defense + Security are mainly covered by two SPIE meetings; the U.S. program on defense, security and sensing, SPIE Defense + Commercial Sensing, and the SPIE Security + Defence program in Europe. The fundamental device technologies are also covered at other meetings. These two meetings cover a broad range of topics including; infrared sensing and imaging, threat detection and countermeasures, laser sensors and systems, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, displays, data and signal processing, target recognition, and information systems and network.

The communities associated with these meetings span the range from research in new technologies and materials to the user community of complete systems. This is particularly true at the U.S. meeting and as such it is supported by a strong exhibit. The advent of autonomous unmanned (air, land and sea) systems has invigorated interest in imaging (IR, visual, MM, LIDAR) and other sensing modalities (hyperspectral) for persistent sensing applications. The need for chemical and biological sensing systems for Homeland Security and Defense environments is driving interest in new spectroscopic techniques and devices (Terahertz, single photon and nanosensors,). All of the data from these systems is producing great interest in automated high performance data processing and analysis which is opening up new transdisciplinary technologies in visualization and decision making. The advance of laser technology to higher delivered energy systems is creating new applications in countermeasures and platform defense.

The activities in Defense and Security are coupled to industrial sensing both through the use of lower cost industrial components for the military as well as new technologies moving from defense to industrial applications. New or expanding topics include the use of geospatial information, cyber security, virtual reality environments, the use of social media and human observers, compressive sensing, and sensor fusion. 

The funding for Defense and Security has leveled off in recent years. The topics in the conferences reflect the key ongoing and newly emerging technologies which comprise the focus of government and industry efforts in the future. 

Sensing + Imaging Technical Review
Sensing and imaging technologies are pervasive topics throughout SPIE’s meetings. These technologies include imaging sensors and systems, non-imaging sensors, spectroscopy, laser metrology systems, electronic imaging systems, scanning systems, and quantum information and computation.

Sensing and imaging systems and techniques can be found in applications that span all modern industries from healthcare to entertainment. The global concerns and needs in security, environment, energy and healthcare are driving the advancement of sensor and imaging technologies. The latest developments in this area are associated with advances in devices and techniques that either open up new wavelength or dimensional ranges or optimize the use of data collected by sensing and imaging systems. Devices such as the quantum cascade laser (QCL) provide access to the terahertz (THz) spectrum.  Nanotechnologies such as plasmonics are producing advances in sensing through surface enhancement effects. Micro technologies, including MEMS, optical trapping and manipulation and microfluidics are shrinking the size and cost of chemical and biomedical sensors producing lab-on-a-chip solutions. Meanwhile, emerging disciplines such as comprehensive ssensing look to optimize the use and analysis of sparse data sets. Computational image processing methods closely couple optical design to post-measurement processing and visualization methods.

The huge growth in imaging sensors is providing low cost imaging solutions for dimensional measurement systems as well as high end imaging systems. As sensor device technologies continue to advance there is more interest in networking sensors and embedding sensors in structures to monitor system health. The resulting proliferation of data introduces new requirements for sensor fusion and data processing.

Advances in unmanned vehicles and robotics are resulting in the need for new sensing technologies and communication schemes for such applications as search and resuce, agricultural and environmental monitoring, and disaster relief. New materials developments such as in graphene, photonic crystals and quantum dots are opening up new possibilities for sensor technologies. The growth in sensor devices and techniques is accompanied by a growing need for data and image analysis tools as well as means to visualize and act on large amounts of data.