SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing (DSS) has relocated to Baltimore for its 2012 symposium 23–27 April. The move from Orlando closer to the larger industry hub for these technologies has created stronger opportunities for experts in the fields of homeland security, defense, and environmental sensing to gain visibility for their work and products and receive face-to-face feedback from their peers.
New conferences on cyber sensing, compressive sensing, and full-motion video workflows and technologies for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and situational awareness have been added. The expanded symposium is expected to draw more than 6000 attendees.
“We are excited about the new opportunities created by the fresh new location in the Baltimore Inner Harbor, close to the U.S. federal government and many of the largest defense and security contractors and aerospace companies in the United States,” says symposium chair Kevin Meiners of the Office of Secretary of Defense.
“We expect more key funders and decision-makers than ever to join us at SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing.”
Bruce Carlson, director of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), will deliver the symposium-wide plenary presentation 23 April on “Transforming U.S. Defense R&D to meet 21st Century Challenges.”
Conference attendees recognize common pursuits
“There’s always exciting technology going on at DSS,” says SPIE Fellow Michael Eismann of the U.S. Air Force Research Lab. “Solving very challenging problems that our nation has in security can become quite complicated. But this venue is where it all comes together.”
With more than 2400 presentations spread over 60 conferences, researchers and developers from outside the defense industry also see the advantage of attending.
Zhong Lin Wang, Regents’ professor at Georgia Institute of Technology (USA), says he benefits every time he attends DSS. “I meet defense industry people, and they tell us what they need,” he says.
“People like us work in a lab. When we develop something, we don’t always know what it can be used for. They come and say, OK, this can be used for this application and this can be used for that. It immediately opens our eyes when we know the importance of all our research,” he says. “At the same time, we tell them what we do. Through partnerships, we can move on to some true collaborations and technology transfer and then possible future product development.”
Symposium Co-chair Ken Israel of Lockheed Martin Corp. has also observed the positive interactions that often occur.
“This exchange of information, and the impeccable chemistry that comes from people who are united in the common pursuit of a technical area, is something that can’t be replicated anyplace else,” Israel says.
IR and terahertz technologies on display
Events at DSS will include a showcase for the latest advances in technologies such as IR and THz. During the three-day exhibition, StingRay Optics will host the 2nd annual IR Imaging Gallery. Images in the gallery will range from those depicting professional industrial applications to artistic and creative imaging.
Among the 55 courses offered will be “Terahertz Wave Technology and Applications” taught by SPIE member Xi-Cheng Zhang, director of the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics. Examples of homeland security and defense-related projects will be featured to illustrate advances of THz research and development from the academic and industrial sectors.
“We expect technological development targeted at increasing the imaging speed and performance of these THz imaging systems for a variety of applications, including in biomedical testing and clinical trials,” says Zhang. “The trend of accelerated technological progress in THz instrumentation indicates that the gap between application needs and performance and functionality is getting narrower as time advances.” (See related article in this issue.)
SPIE Fellow Manijeh Razeghi of Northwestern University (USA), a leading scientist in the field of semiconductor science and technology, will give a keynote presentation, “Recent Advances in Room Temperature Semiconductor Terahertz Sources.”
“The terahertz spectral range offers promising applications in science, industry, and military,” Razeghi says. “THz penetration through nonconductors such as fabrics, wood, or plastic enables a more efficient way of performing security checks as illegal drugs and explosives could be detected.”
Urgent need for monitoring technologies
Advanced sensing technologies are rapidly expanding into new applications such as healthcare and environmental monitoring. For instance, there is an urgent need for mobile wireless sensors in global healthcare, military medicine, and disaster response. Some of the fastest growing technologies include pathogen microarrays, biomarkers, nanotechnology, multiplexed assay platforms, hand-held devices, multi-parametric sensing, sensor fusion, and bioinformatics.
Two popular program tracks cover these growing technologies. Sensing for Industry, Environment, and Health will feature two strong conferences, “Sensing Technologies for Global Health, Military Medicine, Disaster Response and Environmental Monitoring II” and “Ocean Sensing and Monitoring IV.” The emerging technologies track includes two notable conferences, “Micro-Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems and Applications” and “Scanning Microscopies 2012: Advanced Microscopy Technologies for Defense, Homeland Security, Forensic, Life, Environmental, and Industrial Sciences.” This track will also feature “Microscopy for STEM Educators” (see below).
SPIE lifetime achievement award for Paul Kaminski
Paul G. Kaminski, chairman and CEO of Technovation, Inc., a consulting company for the aerospace and defense sectors, will receive the Defense, Security, and Sensing Lifetime Achievement Award during a banquet and awards ceremony during the week.
He will also give the keynote address at the banquet, discussing “Technology Transition, and Transformation,” a look at current and future technologies pertaining to defense, security, and sensing.
Kaminski, recognized by the NRO as a Pioneer of National Reconnaissance and a Pioneer of Stealth, has worked in advanced technology in both the private and public sectors, serving as a consultant and advisor to a variety of government agencies and as chairman, director, or trustee of several defense- and technology-oriented companies.
He served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years where he also was director for Low Observables Technology and responsible for overseeing the development, production, and fielding of major stealth systems. He also led the initial development of an NRO space system and related sensor technology. Early in his career, he was responsible for the testing and evaluation of inertial guidance components for the Minuteman missile and terminal guidance systems for the U.S.’s first precision-guided munitions.
Professional development events
The speaker at the SPIE Women in Optics reception on Tuesday 24 April will be Alison Flatau, professor of aerospace engineering and associate dean of research at the Clark School of Engineering, University of Maryland College Park (USA).
Flatau previously served as a National Science Foundation (NSF) program manager and will talk about her experiences at the NSF, student mentoring, faculty mentoring, and her own research on magnetostrictive materials.
A panel discussion on hiring and employment in the defense, security, and sensing industries will also be held on Tuesday for attendees.
Angelique X. Irvin, president and CEO of Clear Align, will be the speaker at the SPIE Fellows luncheon on Monday, 23 April. She will discuss the process of taking a concept to commercialization and how to improve your odds dramatically with simple techniques learned from working at Bell Laboratories.
Top employers in the defense, environmental monitoring, and security industries will be at the SPIE Job Fair 24-25 April to interview and hire candidates. Whether you're looking for a better job, re-entering the workforce or just starting out, plan to visit the free-admission Job Fair, and be prepared to discuss your skills and talents with industry leaders from companies like Zygo, Goodrich, Headwall Photonics, Raytheon, and Edmund Optics.
Also at the event, seven of the 75 new SPIE Fellows will be recognized:
New events for students in Baltimore
Tuesday, 24 April has been officially designated Student Day at SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing. A full schedule of student events features networking tips, guest speakers, and panel discussions.
"Getting the most out of your conference experience" offers information for those who want tips on how to maximize the benefits of attending DSS.
"Lunch with the Experts" offers a unique networking opportunity. Hosted by SPIE Student Services, this event features a casual lunch with experts willing to share their experience and wisdom on career paths in optics and photonics. Seating is limited, so come early.
A panel discussion on optics and photonics careers in defense offers information and tips on "Getting Hired in 2012 and Beyond."
Student Day will conclude with a social event at Camden Yards for a Major League Baseball game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Toronto Blue Jays.
For more information on these events, contact Benjamyn Lockwood at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Forum on microscopy for science educators
SPIE Fellow Michael Postek of the National Institute of Standards and Technology will offer a special session at SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing to assist educators in dealing with the challenges of preparing the next generation of innovators in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
“Microscopy for STEM Educators” will be a general interest forum featuring several invited speakers discussing their successful programs that implement microscopy in science, technology, engineering and math education to foster student interest and excitement.
A hands-on session with tabletop scanning electron microscopes will be held at the end of the presentations, and attendees are encouraged to bring samples of interest and operate the instruments.
STEM educators will receive one-day reduced registration fees and will be able to visit the DSS exhibition where microscopes and other devices are on display.
Defense and security funding session
The U.S. government funding session on 25 April at SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing will feature four speakers in significant government positions speaking on the future needs of their organizations.
SPIE Fellow Paul McManamon, founder of Exciting Technology, LLC (USA) and a former SPIE president, will moderate the session.
Presenters will be Anthony S. Lombardo (Department of Defense), Donald Woodbury (Strategic Technology Office, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), A. Fenner Milton (Army Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate), and Richard S. Matlock (Missile Defense Agency).
The purpose of this session is to assist those in the optics and photonics industry in determining potentially profitable areas where they might develop technology of interest to government funding agencies.
For more information on SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing, go to: spie.org/dss
Papers from DSS will be published in the SPIE Digital Library as soon as manuscripts are approved by conference chairs.
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