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Event news and photos


ERS logo


ESD logo


24-27 September 2012
Edinburgh International Conference Centre

Edinburgh piper

A record-setting week!

The co-located 2012 SPIE Remote Sensing and Security + Defence events are expected to set historical attendance records in Edinburgh, with a sold-out exhibition and more technical attendees than ever in both symposia. Total attendance for the week was approximately 900.

The event enjoyed the sponorship of SELEX Galileo, Thales, and Scottish Enterprise, and support from several cooperating organizations.


Daily reports:

Monday 24 September

Tuesday 25 September


Tuesday 25 September


Exhibition opens strong

A hall filled with 45 exhibiting companies drew good crowds to view displays of the latest in detection, imaging, laser, and other equipment for applications such as chemical and biological sensing, cameras and CCD components, displays, and infrared systems.

ERS-ESD Exhbition

ERS-ESD Exhbition

ERS-ESD Exhbition

ESD exhibition

ERS-ESD Exhbition

Below, the Thales booth featured a screen displaying live images from an infrared camera situated on the roof scanning the city, including this view toward the Edinburgh Castle.

image from Thales IR camera


And now for the weather

Edinburgh weather
On the street outside the Edinburgh Convention Centre, it was easy to see which way the wind was blowing -- and which way it might be tomorrow.


Bora winds, a changing Earth

In a special joint session on Remote Sensing and Natural Disasters, Anna Yur'evna Antonyuk (SCANEX Research and Development Center and Lomonosov Moscow State University) reported on the use of SAR and optical imagery to study the phenomenon of anomalously strong bora winds out of the northeast over the Black Sea during winter and summer. These events have a strong effect on the coastal and marine environments, and on infrastructure and socio-economic life along the region's coast. In the coastal zone, the bora is also known to have multiple surface wind jets associated with the surrounding mountain relief and strong gustiness that has been the focus of many meteorological studies.

In Sensors, Systems, and Next-Generation Satellites, Steven Neeck (NASA) reported on the NASA Earth Science program missions aimed at understanding how the Earth is changing as a result of natural and human-induced influences, and the consequences for life on the planet. A major component of the program is a coordinated series of satellite and airborne missions for long-term global observations of the land surface, biosphere, solid earth, atmosphere, and oceans. This coordinated approach enables an improved understanding of the Earth as an integrated system; below, a slide illustrates current missions.
NASA ESD slide


Scanning bottled liquids

In Optics and Photonics for Counterterrorism, Hideo Itozaki (Osaka University) reported on a near-infrared scanner system developed for use as a bottled liquid scanner for security check points at airports.  The talk included a video of the system being tested on bottles of various liquids to demonstrate its effectiveness.  The system is under evaluation in Europe and the US.
Hideo Itozaki


New technologies, new applications

In Emerging Technologies, a keynote talk by Allan Boardman (University of Salford) covered advances in active and nonlinear metamaterials, including the fundamental principles of metamaterials as well as recent advances and applications, particularly in energy and medicine.
Allan Boardman

Steve Najda (TOP GaN) described his company's work with AlGaInN technology for diode laser applications. They use both MOCVD and MBE growth technologies for manufacturing their low defect GaN substrates and materials. Applications include underwater telecommunications and sensor systems.
Steve Najda

Ian Baker (SELEX Galileo) described recent developments in HgCdTe for passive and active infrared imaging. One commercial application of this technology is in sports. In the example, in cricket it is possible to tell whether the ball has made contact with the bat, as the friction heats the bat which displays on camera image in the IR.  Advances have been made in fast-frame capture as shown by the fact that the cricket ball is frozen in the image.
SELEX Galileo cricket slide


Powerful lasers

The conference on High-Power Lasers continued to draw large audiences large audiences Tuesday.

Adolf Giesen (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt) spoke on the operating principle and scalability of the thin disk laser.  His group currently is working on a 3-stage MOPA architecture that is under construction with a performance goal of 20kW output power.
Adolf Giesen

Jens Limpert (Fredrich-Schiller University) gave an invited paper on coherent combination of high-power fiber amplified femtosecond pulses, in the session on Beam Combining.
Jens Limpert 

Tina Gottwald (TRUMPF) reported on recent commerecial developments of disk lasers, describing recently attained power levels and optical-to-optical efficiencies.
Tina Gottwald


Networking at the Welcome Reception

Conference chairs, events sponsors, and attendees enjoyed a reception in the exhibition hall Tuesday evening after conferences had ended for the day.

Keith Lewis, Paul Holbourn, Eustace Dereniak
SPIE Fellow Keith Lewis (Sciovis), Paul Holbourn (SELEX Galileo), and SPIE President Eustace Dereniak (College of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona).

Robert Afzal, Harro Ackermann, Mark Neice
Robert Afzal (Lockheed Martin Aculight), Harro Ackermann (HELJTO), and Mark Neice (HELJTO)

Eugene Arthurs, Francesca Trotta, Eustace Dereniak
SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs, Francesca Trotta (Electronics, Sensors and Photonics Knowledge Transfer Network), and SPIE President Eustace Dereniak

BaySpec: Eric Bergles, William Yang, Chad Lieber, Paul Vanden Branden
From BaySpec, Eric Bergles, William Yang, Chad Lieber, Paul Vanden Branden

Eustace Dereniak, Stephen McGeoch
Eustace Dereniak and Stephen McGeoch (Thales UK)

Eustace Dereniak , Alan Colquhuon, Chris Gracie, Christopher Dorman, Eugene Arthurs
Eustace Dereniak , Alan Colquhuon (SELEX Galileo), Chris Gracie (Scottish Optoelectronics Association), Christopher Dorman (Coherent Scotland), Eugene Arthurs

Steven Neeck, Eustace Dereniak
Steven Neeck (NASA) and Eustace Dereniak

Eustace Dereniak and Shen-En Qian
Eustace Dereniak and SPIE Fellow Shen-En Qian (Canada Space Agency)


Monday 24 September


Welcome! to the Security + Defence opening session

Fergus Ewing
Opening Monday morning's SPIE Security + Defence plenary session was Fergus Ewing MSP, the devolved Scottish Parliament's Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, who spoke on the historic strength of Scotland in electronics sensors and photonics, citing Thales and SELEX Galileo as examples, as well as on new directions including additive manufacturing.

Ewing complimented Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International  in noting a recent report showing Scotland to be the most successful region in the UK in attracting inward investment. He tied that success -- and the accompanying jobs for Scotland -- to the region's photonics and electronics sensors strength.

Reinhard Ebert, David Titterton, Fergus Ewing, Eustace Dereniak, Eugene Arthurs
From left, Security + Defence Symposium Co-Chair Reinhard Ebert (Fraunhofer IOSB) and Chair David Titterton (Defence Science and Technology Lab) with Fergus Ewing MSP, SPIE President Eustace Dereniak, and SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs.


New Fellow of the Society

Eustace Dereniak, Roberto Zamboni
SPIE President Eustace Dereniak (College of Optics Sciences, University of Arizona), at left, introduces SPIE Fellow Roberto Zamboni (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche). Zamboni is a conference chair for Optical Materials and Biomaterials in Security and Defence Systems Technology.


Security and Defence plenary talks

Mark Neice
In the first Security + Defence plenary talk, Mark Neice (High Energy Laser Joint Technology Office) gave an overview of the formation of the High Energy Laser Joint Technology Office, its current structure and programs, and recent successes of high-energy laser performance with output over 100kW. His talk included videos of successful field demonstrations using high-energy lasers for applications such as tracking mortars, shooting down a UAV, and causing a fire on the engine of a boat in a maritime environment. (Read more in the optics.org coverage of Neice's talk.)

Bill Bardo
The second plenary speaker, Bill Bardo (University College London) discussed several current research topics toward the goal of designing learning, adaptive systems to work with humans, such as decision making, sensor data interpretation, informaiton managemetn, communication, navigation, and power management.


Counteracting turbulence

Douglas Burgess 
Douglas Burgess (Burgess Consulting), above, and Colin Lewis (UK Ministry of Defence) led an all-symposium roundtable discussion on "Counteracting a Turbulent Atmosphere" to explore how and when technology can improve imagery, whether computer developments will change concusions, and related issues. 

Remote Sensing plenary talks

Thomas Usländer
Lead-off Remote Sensing plenary speaker Thomas Usländer (Information Management and Production Control, Fraunhofer IOSB) provided a computer scientist's perspective on how to leverage the potential of an open geospatial service architecture for rapid deployment of Earth observation products for remote sensing applications. Interntional initiatives such as GEOSS and HMA utilize architectures that are successfully used inearly warning systems for geo-hazards. Researchers are studying potential applications that would assess correlate environmental situaions with health impacts.

Mitchell Roffer
The afternoon's second plenary speaker, Mitchell Roffer (Roffer's Ocean Fishing Forecasting Service), illustrated his talk with charts from earth observation satellite images and data from a wide variety of areas around the world, and discussed how data is merged for applications such as fisheries and environmental monitoring.

Mitchell Roffer, Eustace Dereniak, Thomas Usländer, Karin Stein, Charles Bostater
Chatting after the session, from left, were plenary speaker Mitchell Roffer, SPIE President Eustace Dereniak, plenary speaker Thomas Usländer, symposium chair Karin Stein (Fraunhofer-IOSB), and co-chair Charles Bostater (Florida Institute of Technology).


In the conference rooms ...

Kip Kendrick talk
First-day speakers in the conference on High-Power Lasers included Kip Kendrick (US Army Space and Missile Defense Command), on high-energy laser demonstrations for counter-rocket, artillery, mortar and missilie and unmanned Ariel Systems applications.

Keith Lewis, Nibir Dhar
Emerging Technologies conference chair Keith Lewis (Sciovis), at left, questioned Nibir Dhar (DARPA) after Dhar's talk on enabling technologies for advanced imaging.

Markus Jung, Willy Bohn, Harro Ackermann
Speaker Markus Jung (Rheinmetall Waffe Munition), at left, answers a question from High-Power Lasers conference chair Willy Bohn (BohnLaser Consult); standing at far right is fellow conference chair Harro Ackermann (High Energy Laser Joint Technology).

Robert Pawlak
Robert Pawlak (US Naval Surface Warfare Center) gave an update on the LaWS system program's latest results and successes.

 Robert Afzal
Robert Afzal (Lockheed Martin Aculight) talked about the Robust Electric Laser Initiative's high-power fiber laser beam combining results.


... and out and about

John Lincoln, Robert Lamb, Stephen Najda
John Lincoln (Harlin), Robert Lamb (SELEX Galileo), and Stephen Najda (TopGaN) talk during a break.

Andrew Brown, Andrew Scott
SPIE Senior Director for Global Business Development Andrew Brown, at left, talks with Andrew Scott (QinetiQ), a member of the conference program committee for Optics and Photonics for Counterterrorism, Crime Fighting and Defence.


 Edinburgh International Conference Centre
The Edinburgh International Conference Centre is the site of this week's SPIE Remote Sensing and Security + Defence symposia.

Follow the conversation on Twitter: #SPIE_Edinburgh