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SPIE Professional July 2012

Research at US Defense Meeting Focuses on Biosurveillance, IR Sensors

Logo for SPIE DSSThe debut of SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing in Baltimore in April set new records with 2,450 technical presentations on defense, homeland security, and environmental sensing applications and growing conferences on multispectral and hyperspectral systems, signal processing, data fusion, and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive (CBRNE) sensing.

Keynote and plenary talks as well as panel discussions and other special events focused on new IR sensors, cyber security, biosurveillance, nonlethal weapons, geospatial information fusion, night vision, global health, scintillation detectors, terahertz applications, automatic target recognition, and the challenges of acquiring, launching, and maintaining the United States’ overhead reconnaissance constellation.

Presentations accepted for publication in the proceedings from the symposium are available at SPIEDigitalLibrary.org. 

Technologies for counting people from space

Thomas Kemper of the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) presented a new methodology for automated detection of refugees and other displaced persons via remote sensing.

Kemper and colleagues have tested a new technique for the automated extraction of features from satellite images based on differential morphological decomposition segmentation. Their analysis of the number of dwellings at a camp in Darfur, Sudan, used an interactive image information tool and images from the WorldView-2 satellite, with good results obtained by using all eight spectral bands from the WorldView-2 sensor.

The DigitalGlobe satellite operates at an altitude of 770 kilometers and provides 46 cm panchromatic resolution and 1.85 meter multispectral resolution. WorldView-2 has an average revisit time of 1.1 days and is capable of collecting up to 785,000 square kilometers (303,000 square miles) of 8-band imagery per day.

Another paper about the JRC’s work in remote sensing was presented by Georgios Ouzounis. See more about their work at spie.org/JRC.

Collaboration on biosurveillance and sensing

The 13th CBRNE Sensing Conference at the annual symposium was far from unlucky as the quality and numbers of papers remained high.

Augustus Way Fountain IIIChaired by Augustus Way Fountain III, acting director of Research and Technology at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, this conference is an important forum for sharing work on chemical and biological detection capabilities for communities as diverse as defense, medical, law enforcement, explosive ordinance disposal, environmental protection, industrial and critical infrastructure protection, and food processing.

Franca Jones, assistant director of Chemical and Biological Countermeasures at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, presented a keynote address on the future of biosurveillance and biosensing, highlighting the need for collaborative R&D to promote global health as well as security.

“Budgets for collaborative research are shrinking, and projects need to work on as many common goals as possible,” Jones said. “The work of building small, lightweight detectors is best served by collaborating on the core technology, and then spinning our own specific requirements on top of those technologies independently where needed. That approach will be a big focus.” She also stressed the need for efficient analysis and dissemination of research results.

Indeed, contributed papers in this conference showed shifts in funded research over the past few years, particularly away from developing LIDAR-based stand-off biological detection to more disease monitoring and point-of-care diagnosis.

Novel biodetection, chemical and explosives sensing, and nuclear and radiological detection technologies and methods were presented over four days. Laser-based techniques for chemical detection included new Long-Wavelength Infrared instrumentation and methods and photothermal IR devices.

Gregory Nusinovich, senior research scientist at the Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics at the University of Maryland (USA), introduced a novel gyrotron using high-power THz electromagnetic waves for the breakdown of ionizing radiation, and basic research efforts and commercial, off-the-shelf technologies were presented for the detection of explosives at point, proximal, and standoff distances.

Lensless cell phone microscope from UCLA

SPIE Senior Member Aydogan Ozcan of the University of California, Los Angeles (USA), reviewed recent progress on the use of a cell phone as a microscope and telemedicine platform. A lensless microscope utilizes the imaging array of a cell phone with a shadow imaging technique. Small biological samples such as a drop of blood or water containing cells or parasites are placed on a sample bed just above the imaging sensor. Incoherent illumination produces a phase shadow image as the objects of interest are transparent.

The collected data is transmitted, via cell phone, to a mainframe computer where computational microscopy algorithms are used to reconstruct the object.

The results are high-resolution images which can be used to determine the health of a patient or the potability of water. This device has multiple uses in the field, particularly in areas with poor access to medical diagnostics.

SPIE Newsroom visited Ozcan’s lab at UCLA last year. He introduces some of his devices in the video: spie.org/ozcan.

  Aydogan Ozcan holds LUCAS, the lensless microscope.
Courtesy Aydogan Ozcan, UCLA

Top defense papers in SPIE Digital Library

The SPIE Digital Library compiles a monthly list of the most frequently downloaded papers in 14 technical areas in photonics, including defense and security.

Top proceedings and journal articles in the defense and security area as of press time cover subjects such as laser radar, cooled and uncooled infrared detectors, automatic target acquisition, and color night vision.

Progress in color night vision” by SPIE Fellow Alexander Toet and SPIE Senior Member Maarten A. Hogervorst (Netherlands) is an overview of recent progress and current state-of-the-art techniques of color image fusion for night vision applications.

Shavit Nadav (Israel)and co-authors present a review of new system demonstrations harnessing uncooled IR sensors technology in “Uncooled infrared sensor technology for hostile fire indication systems.”

See more top downloads from the SPIE Digital Library.

Logo for SPIE TVVideos from April meetings

SPIE.tv has several videos from interviews and presentations at SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing as well as SPIE Photonics Europe, both held in April.

Top scientists and industry leaders discuss the importance of photonics in Europe’s research and innovation programs, breakthroughs in nonlinear optics and photoacoustic tomography, and using remote sensing for humanitarian efforts.

Keynote, plenary, and other presentations from several other SPIE symposia are also available.

More information: SPIE.tv


Have a question or comment about this article? Write to us at spieprofessional@spie.org.


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DOI: 10.1117/2.4201207.08

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