SPIE Defense & Security Symposium Starts in Orlando


SPIE-The International Society for Optical Engineering today announced the April 17 opening of the Defense & Security Symposium 2006 in Orlando, Florida. The free exhibition runs April 18-20, showcasing new technology and innovative products from over 420 companies serving the defense and homeland security industry. A career fair occurs April 18-19, with recruiters from leading technology organizations. This is the largest assembly in the United States of open conferences, courses and exhibitors in the field of imaging, sensors and optical engineering for defense, military and homeland security applications.

Over 2,200 technical papers will be presented by leading scientists, researchers and engineers who will unveil breakthroughs in optics, sensors, signal processing and infrared imaging. Many of these technologies enable systems and personnel to see the unseen, recognize threats and manage information to improve safety and effectiveness.

Within this field, the SPIE Defense and Security Symposium (DSS) is the largest exhibition in the United States and has been held in Orlando for more than 10 years. Over 420 companies will show the latest innovations (including 120 new products announced at DSS) in technology categories including:

* infrared sources, detectors and systems

* sensors and sensor networks

* electronic imaging

* optics components, filters/coatings and systems

* high-speed imaging

* lasers

* optical design software

* optical detectors

* optical test and measurement equipment

* camera and CCD components

* optoelectronic devices

* fiber lasers

* innovative displays, including night vision systems.

Given the need for continuous learning in the fast changing world of technology, SPIE is offering 55 technical courses on topics including Sensor Networks, Signal and Image Processing, Law Enforcement and Homeland Security, Optical and Optomechanical Engineering, Multisensor Information Fusion, Target Acquisition and Recognition, Modeling and Simulation, GPS Technology, Laser Sensing and Systems, Tactical Sensors and Imagers, Infrared Systems Engineering and Thermosense.

A new "industry perspectives" program runs April 19 and 20 as a forum for business and engineering discussions focused on the future directions of commercial technology. These sessions are free for all attendees, including technical conference attendees, exhibitors and exhibition hall visitors. Executives from DoD, DARPA, civilian agencies and the commercial sector will address the following topics:

* DARPA/MTO Photonics Overview

* The Future of Terahertz Imaging

* The Future of Fiber Lasers

* The Future of Infrared Imaging

* The Future of Hyperspectral Imaging

"Technology leaders from government, academia and industry come to DSS in Orlando to see the latest research and new products that use optics and photonics for defense, security and spin-off applications. Everyone here is working to accelerate discovery, development and distribution of solutions," said Janice Walker, Director of Events at SPIE. "These are the people who push the frontiers of possibility in response to the imaging, sensor and analysis requirements of military and civilian agencies. The presentations, product information and personal networking provide immediate payback for attendees."

DSS technical conferences offer groundbreaking presentations, organized into program tracks such as:

* Technologies for Homeland Security and Law Enforcement

* Infrared (IR) Sensors and Systems Engineering

* Tactical Sensors and Imagers

* Laser Sensors and Systems

* Battlespace Technologies

* Space Technologies and Operations

* Displays including flexible displays, rugged PDAs and head-mounted systems

* Modeling and Simulation

* Intelligent and Unmanned Systems

* Sensor Data Exploitation and Target Recognition

* Information Fusion, Data Mining

* Information Networks Security

* Signal, Image and Neural Net Processing

* Communications and Networking Technologies and Systems

With thousands of presentations at DSS spanning discovery, development and distribution of defense and security technology, this meeting has become recognized as a "must-attend" event for both researchers and industry. "By providing a forum to review requirements and results, we help university, government and industry brainpower push the outer edge of technology and take it to the next level," added Walker.

Specific applications of technology being discussed include imaging systems that can "see through" walls, futuristic robotic vehicles and sensors for border security, new ways to inspect cargo and identify underwater threats in harbors, nonlethal weapons, recognition of chemical plumes, self-lubricating films using nanotechnology, wireless sensor networks, biometric technology for human identification, nanoscale sensors, space applications, helmet-mounted displays and night vision goggles. Many sessions are devoted to information retrieval, data mining, face recognition, new displays and integrated intelligent microsystems that push the limits.

Well over 100 presentations are related to unmanned systems, including Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and robots on the ground for border security, search and rescue, and military operations. Capping presentations on these new R&D achievements is a special evening session Wednesday 19 April called the DARPA Grand Challenge. Larry Stotts, Deputy Director of the DARPA Advanced Technology Office, will review a unique program to accelerate autonomous ground vehicle technology that could be used to someday save lives on the battlefield. DARPA awarded a $2 million prize to a team from Stanford University, who fielded a remote-controlled vehicle that completed a 140-mile course in the Mojave Desert. Possible commercial spin-offs from this type of work include collision avoidance, automated road sign recognition and durable remote control systems. Stotts will provide an insider's view of the Grand Challenge program including goals, results and stories of the innovators who took part in the great race.

Another major theme at DSS is use of spaceborne sensors for both military and civilian applications. According to Program Chair Peter Tchoryk, CEO of Michigan Aerospace Corp., "The idea behind Responsive Space is for the government to be able to launch satellites 'on demand' when the need arises, rather than using today's timelines measured in months or years. Our session is intended to foster an exchange of ideas related to accelerating that process -- from the payload, satellite, and launch perspectives. Topics may include component and systems technology developments, infrastructure, testing, and operational issues that must ultimately be addressed to create responsive space architecture and enhance joint warfighting capability."

Sensing and prediction of natural phenomena is of great general interest, particularly hurricanes. "The majority of media coverage associated with the Federal response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita has focused on what went wrong. The 'Algorithms and Technologies for Multispectral, Hyperspectral, and Ultraspectral Imagery XII Conference' has a special session entitled 'The Use of Civil Remote Sensing in Improving Hurricane Forecasting and Assisting Emergency Responders,'" said Conference Chair Sylvia Shen, The Aerospace Corp. "Here we will show how civilian remote sensing has a leading role in improving our ability to cope with natural disasters such as these. We will tell the story of what went right, highlighting improved prediction of the paths of both hurricanes, as well as the ability to use currently available U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emergency response airborne remote sensing technology to perform rapid needs assessment and mitigate potentially dangerous situations on the ground for regional on-scene commanders and emergency responders."

SPIE conferences are filled with presentations that highlight the innovations and new techniques that will change the world. One example, a Plenary Presentation by Prof. James Franson, Johns Hopkins Univ., is titled "Quantum computing using linear optics and hybrid approaches." According to Eric Donkor, Univ. of Connecticut and Chair of the Quantum Information and Computation Conference, "Quantum computing is a fast emerging technology that is expected to revolutionize computer technology and information delivery across our information-driven society, in areas including health care, banking and commerce, bioinformatics, internet security, cryptosystems, and national security. Articles on quantum computing are increasingly appearing in the print media such as the New York Times, as well as in trade journals. Prof. Franson is one of the world's leading authorities in Quantum Computing and his presentation will shed light on the status and trends on the subject."

SPIE also offers a free SPIEWorks career fair from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 18 and 19 with recruiters from BAE Systems, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Goodrich, Lockeed Martin, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Northrop Grumman, PennState Electo-Optics Center and TEXTRON Systems.

For further information on this or other SPIE events, go to http://spie.org/conferences/programs/06/dss/ with onsite registration available at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center, Orlando, Florida.

About SPIE

SPIE-The International Society for Optical Engineering is a not-for-profit professional society that has become the largest international force for the exchange, collection and dissemination of knowledge in optics, photonics and imaging. Founded in 1955, SPIE organizes technical conferences around the world and publishes journals, books and proceedings, with technical papers available for download via the SPIE Digital Library. See http://spie.org/ for more details.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Peter Hallett 206-280-7475 Email Contact Stacey Crockett 360-676-3290 Email Contact

<<Market Wire -- 04/17/06>>