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  • Latest Defense Products, Trends on Agenda
Mar 2007
ORLANDO, Fla., March 7, 2007 -- The latest developments in detectors, sensors, cameras and imaging equipment will be revealed to more than 6000 engineers, military personnel, technical managers and scientists at the 2007 SPIE Defense & Security Symposium, being held April 9-13 at the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort and Convention Center.

The SPIE Defense & Security Symposium is the largest unclassified international symposium related to sensors and sensor networks and is considered the must-attend event for anyone working in the security and defense industries, as it provides opportunity to interact face-to-face with people shaping the industry, both in technical conferences and during the exhibition featuring 400 vendors.

The symposium will include the presentation of 1800 papers on the latest developments in infrared (IR), sensors, imagers and signal processing, and offers 55 technical training courses. The exhibition and technical papers provide an unprecedented view of new and emerging technologies, giving attendees the opportunity to find out what's going to be "hot" five, 10, even 15 years from now.

Conference sessions on state-of-the-art applications and techniques, as well as issues developing as a result of alternative technologies, are organized under the broader topics of Technologies for Homeland Security and Law Enforcement, IR Sensors and Systems Engineering, Laser Sensors and Systems, Battlespace Technologies, Intelligent and Unmanned Systems, and Communications and Networking Technologies and Systems, among others.

As part of the technical conference, plenary sessions will be held covering the topics of Signal Image and Neural Net Processing, Tactical Sensors and Imagers, and Display.

Making the Signal Image and Neural Net Processing plenary presentation on Wednesday, April 11, at 9 a.m. will be Harvard University's John M. Myers, co-inventor of a quantum light receiver and a member of the BBN Technologies team that fielded a working prototype of quantum key distribution -- the DARPA Quantum Network. He will speak on sensing in the language of quantum mechanics.

Currently there is interest in the possibility of using quantum-mechanically entangled light to enhance the spatial resolution of remote sensors. In response to this interest, Myer's talk reviews some applications of equations in quantum-mechanical form to the design of sensors and related systems. He will distinguish mathematical models as mathematical formulas, whether quantum-mechanical or classical, from experiments with devices such as lasers and light detectors.

In the Tactical Sensors and Imagers plenary presentation on April 11 at 11:40 a.m., Xi-Cheng Zhang of the Center for Terahertz Research, School of Science, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, will speak on broadband terahertz-wave photonics for defense and security applications.

Terahertz (THz) radiation offers innovative sensing and imaging technologies that can provide information unavailable through conventional methods such as microwave and x-ray techniques. With the advancement of THz technologies, THz-wave sensing and imaging will impact a broad range of interdisciplinary fields, in particular, the opportunity for transformational advances in defense and security. In recent work, THz technologies have shown promise regarding the standoff detection and identification of explosives and their related compounds. Handheld broadband THz spectrometry with real-time detection capability in short distance for defense and security applications is available.

Zhang's talk will report on an all-air THz photonic system which uses ambient air as a broadband emitter and sensor with a commercial pulsed laser as an optical source. By transmitting and focusing optical beams in close proximity to the target(s), broadband far-infrared/THz waves can be generated and detected locally. This process reduces the far-infrared/THz wave beam path in order to minimize the water vapor attenuation in the far-infrared region. Preliminary results on the generation, manipulation, enhancement, amplification and detection of highly directional far-IR/THz waves through the use of ambient air as an emitter, modulator, amplifier, and sensor medium will be presented by Zhang, a professor of physics and electrical engineering and the Eric Jonsson Professor of Science at Rensselaer.

The final plenary presentation at 2 p.m. on April 11 is called "Pixels, People, Perception, Pet Peeves and Possibilities: A Look at Displays" and will be given by H. Lee Task of Task Consulting, a provider of technical consulting services to the Air Force Research Laboratory Visual Display Systems Branch, Ball Aerospace, Motorola, Northrop Grumman and the Department of Justice.

Task's presentation includes the basic building block of any display -- the pixel -- and also touches on future possibilities and directions for displays and display technology and will also address a few issues and pet peeves collected over the past 35+ years in display and display-related areas.

An Executive Forum on Tuesday, April 10, at 6 p.m., offered for an additional fee, begins with a talk by Mark Mills, an author, venture capitalist and co-founder and board chairman of ICx Technologies Inc. He will address "The Next Tech Boom -- Innovation, Megatrends and Money Flow" and will be followed by an interactive panel session with representatives from the DoD, DHS, industry and academia, all of whom will share their insights and predictions.

The panel discussion will be moderated by John Carrano, vice president, research and development, Luminex Corp, and former program manager at DARPA. Panelists include: Major General Steve Reeves, joint program executive officer for chemical and biological defense, Department of Defense; Lynne Zydowsky, president and managing principle, Zydowsky Consultants; Allen Northrup, founder, president and CEO, MicroFluidic Systems Inc.; and C. Kumar Patel, CEO and board chairman of Pranalytica Inc., who invented the carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and Spin-Flip Raman lasers and is affiliated with the Dept of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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1. A generic term for detector. 2. A complete optical/mechanical/electronic system that contains some form of radiation detector.
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