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Sensor, Imaging Technologies Advanced at SPIE Defense and Commercial Sensing

The latest in drone technology was among applications on display in the 2017 SPIE Defense and Commerical Expo.

It was amazing to see such a wide range of transformative innovations that will improve the security and welfare of our daily lives.

The impressively wide range of photonics technologies for sensing, imaging, and related applications were the focus of researchers, engineers, product developers, and industry suppliers gathered last week for SPIE Defense and Commercial Sensing 2017 in Anaheim.

Sponsored by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, the event drew nearly 4,600 participants from 53 countries and ran 9-13 April. The technical program included approximately 1,800 presentations, and 370 companies participated in a three-day exhibition. Industry-focused sessions and an extensive course program rounded out the week’s activities.

Conferences in Defense and Security covered topics such as infrared technologies, ISR, advanced optics, and multisensory integration and networking. Applications included explosives detection, target recognition, ocean monitoring, and cybersecurity.

Commercial and Scientific conferences presented imaging and sensing technologies for data visualization, fiber optics, and next-generation spectroscopic technologies, with applications in agriculture and food safety assessment, healthcare, and more.

Plenary speakers early in the week shared strategies and applications with a capacity crowd.

Tom Burns of DARPA’s Strategic Technology Office outlined the U.S. approach to “mastering and imposing the complexity of systems of systems.”

Parker Abercrombie of the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab took the audience on a virtual tour of Mars, with a demonstration of several virtual reality applications for augmenting exploration.

Cross-over and dual-use applications were a frequent theme, including in a high-quality all-day workshop on big-data trends organized by the Bahram Jalali lab at the University of California, Los Angeles, and technical sessions on artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

“We saw exciting advances in technologies that are addressing growing needs in both the defense and commercial imaging markets,” said Commercial and Scientific Sensing and Imaging symposium co-chair Robert Fiete, Chief Technologist and Harris Fellow at Harris Corporation. “It was amazing to see in conference sessions and the exhibition hall such a wide range of transformative innovations that will improve the security and welfare of our daily lives — advances in SmallSats, drones, big data analytics, augmented reality, next-generation sensor systems, and more.”

Among technical talks:


  •     Ali Javey, University of…

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