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SPIE Professional April 2009

Security and Sensing Experts Address R&D Issues, Funding

By Beth Kelley

In this time of economic turmoil, everyone wants to know where funds for research and development are headed. For the sensing and security industries, a special session at SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing (DSS) in April will address just that.

U.S. government program experts John M. Pellegrino, Walter F. Jones, and Brendan B. Godfrey from Army, Navy, and Air Force research labs, respectively, will discuss the future direction of U.S. government funding for research and development in this sector. The three panelists will also present information about technical problems that program managers at their labs are trying to solve and how to tie your organizational strategy into potential solutions.

DSS is the largest international symposium for sensing and related technologies for industrial, commercial, and defense applications. It is being held 13-17 April at the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort & Convention Center in Florida.

Industrial and commercial sensing conferences from the former SPIE Optics East join the DSS program this year, providing an even more complete, in-depth look at the latest defense, security and sensing technologies. The addition also reflects synergy among the technologies, as devices and systems developed for the military find applications in industry, and industry-developed sensors are finding applications in defense and security.

Norman R. Augustine, retired CEO from Lockheed Martin Corp., is the symposium-wide plenary speaker with a talk titled “Re-engineering Engineering,” on Tuesday 14 April. The current breakneck pace of change of modern technology means that the engineering profession needs to reinvent itself, from language to technology to brainstorming solutions. Augustine will address these 21st century challenges and possible solutions.

The banquet keynote speaker is Kazuo Hotate of the University of Tokyo (Japan), a Lifetime Achievement awardee, discussing his current photonic sensing research, Fiber Optic Nerve Systems for Safety and Security, on Wednesday 15 April.

Other plenary speakers and their topics are:

• Manfred G. Bester, director of operations at Space Sciences Lab, University of California Berkeley, “Flight Operations at U.C. Berkeley: Earth Orbit and Beyond”

• David Irvin, Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Systems Engineering Division, Space and Missile Systems Center, Air Force Space Command, Los Angeles Air Force Base, “A History of U.S. Infrared Capability in Space”

Air Force personnel protect against computer attacks.

The Hot Topic Session this year focuses on cyber sensing and will be chaired by Stephen Mott of the Air Force Research Lab. Cyber sensing seeks to exploit any part of the electromagnetic spectrum in order to provide the necessary information for that situation, so that the integrity of information assets and the networks that bind them can be better maintained and defended. Invited speakers will discuss recent advances, current challenges, and opportunities within the field.

Conferences Draw Top Experts

Conferences covering unmanned, robotic, and layered systems; imaging, sensors, and displays; homeland security and law enforcement; and chemical biological radiological nuclear and explosives (CBRNE) provide insight into breakthroughs and the latest technologies. A workshop on active and passive signatures Thursday 16 April, will explore how signature science can address the challenges of the changing world of detection and identification of events.

Special sessions in the conference on Infrared Technology and Applications will mark the 50-year anniversary of HgCdTe detector technology. Speakers have been invited from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, Poland, the United States, Israel, Japan, Korea, China, Australia, and India. The conference also includes a session on uncooled FPAs, with papers from BAE systems, L-3, DRS Infrared Technologies, Toshiba, and others.

Crossover of sensor technology between security and industrial applications is the topic of a number of papers in the Fiber Optic Sensors and Applications conference, including an invited presentation by Marc Nikles of Omnisens on “Long-distance fiber optic sensing solutions for pipeline leakage, intrusion, and ground movement detection.” The conference also will include a panel discussion on business and development issues associated with commercialization and deployment of the technology.

The conference on Next-Generation Spectroscopic Technologies includes a session on imaging spectroscopy with papers from a broad range of photonics industry players such as HORIBA Jobin Yvon, Lockheed Martin, OPOTEK, Light Light Solutions, Specim Spectral Imaging, ATK Mission Research, VTT Optical Instruments, and Infotonics Technology.

In the conference on Terahertz Physics, Devices, and Systems, SPIE Fellow Federico Capasso of Harvard University will give a keynote presentation on terahertz quantum cascade lasers, which will be followed by an invited paper on noninvasive mail inspection by Hiromichi Hoshina and others from RIKEN and Nagoya University.

Special Programs, Exhibits

In addition to the roster of technical short courses on topics such as imaging and sensing devices and systems and data processing, three professional development workshops will be offered. A workshop on compliance with ITAR, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, of crucial importance to the defense sector, is featured, as well as classes on product innovation and engineering project leadership. Technical courses are offered at beginning through advanced levels, and discounts are available for SPIE members.

The mobile laboratory was developed to safely analyze hazardous biological and chemical samples. It supports newly developed analytical equipment, including Raman and FTIR.

A germ-free mobile laboratory will be on display at the DSS exhibition as part of The Robotics and Unmanned Systems Displays 14-16 April. The mobile laboratory was developed in collaboration with the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (U.S. Army), and is designed to safely analyze potentially hazardous biological and chemical specimens. The laboratory supports newly developed analytical equipment, including Raman and FTIR. Other robotic and unmanned displays include a DARPA Challenge vehicle, aerial vehicles currently being used in Iraq and Afghanistan, and other real world applications of IR imagers, sensors, and optics.

The DSS exhibition serves as a global shopping center for defense, security, industrial, and environmental technology, with IR imaging equipment, optics, and sensors topping the list and nine of the top 10 global defense contractors.

Qualified buyers are abundant, and the range of exhibitors stretches from the largest defense contractors in the world to highly specialized niche suppliers, such as BAE Systems, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, L-3 Communications, NASA, NIST, Raytheon, Rochester Institute of Technology, QinetiQ, Thales Group, University of Central Florida, The Boeing Company, and the U.S. Army, Air Force and Navy.

A key synergy at DSS is the ability of prime contractors to access potential suppliers; in fact, it’s not uncommon for business relationships to hatch at DSS and then progress across many years and multiple projects.

Other special events include an SPIE Women in Optics presentation and reception Tuesday; SPIEWorks Career Fair Tuesday and Wednesday; a networking social for early career professionals Wednesday evening; and a student Lunch with the Experts on Monday.

Find out more in a DSS press release or at spie.org/dss.

Fast Facts
  • 13-17 April
  • 6,000+ attendees
  • 500 exhibitors
  • 2100+ technical presentations
  • 57 professional development courses and workshops

Student Lunch With the Experts

12:30 Monday 13 April

Enjoy a casual meal with colleagues at this engaging networking opportunity. Hosted by SPIE Student Services, this event features experts willing to share their experience and wisdom on career paths in optics and photonics. Seating is limited, and tickets are required. Students receive one complimentary ticket with registration.

Presentation Explores Various Disciplines in Optics

A SPIE Women in Optics presentation will be held at 4:30 pm Tuesday 14 April, with Frances Ligler, U.S. Navy Senior Scientist for Biosensors and Biomaterials, Naval Research Laboratory, discussing “How to explore the cracks between the disciplines without falling through them.”  Ligler is currently vice chair of the Bioengineering Section of the National Academy of Engineering. She has published over 300 full-length articles in scientific journals and has 24 issued patents; together they have been cited over 5300 times. She performs research in optical biosensors, microfluidics, and nanotechnology. In 2003, she was awarded the Homeland Security Award by the Christopher Columbus Foundation and the Presidential Rank of Distinguished Senior Professional by President Bush.

-Beth Kelley is an SPIE editor.

DOI: 10.1117/2.4200904.15

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