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  • DSS 2009 Adds Sensing Topics
Mar 2008
ORLANDO, Fla., March 27, 2008 -- SPIE said it will enhance its 2009 Defense+Security Symposium (DSS) by incorporating the sensing topics of its defunct Optics East show.

SPIE DSS 2008, held last week, was well attended, the society said, with exhibitors reporting excellent traffic at their booths. Total attendance was 5705, up six percent over 2007, SPIE said.

"The 2009 Defense, Security, and Sensing meeting will build on the success of this year's program," said incoming symposium chair Ray Johnson of Lockheed Martin in a statement. "In 2009, we will incorporate the former Optics East sensing topics into the DSS meeting to leverage the technical convergence available from the two symposia."

Optics East was last held in Boston in September 2007. The event included 18 conferences on sensor technologies and applications, covering topics such as: advanced environmental, chemical, and biological sensing technologies; chemical and biological sensors for industrial and environmental monitoring; smart biomedical and physiological sensor technology; intelligent robots and computer vision; photonic crystals and photonic crystal fibers for sensing; nanomaterials, nanosensing, fiber optic sensors; and next-generation spectroscopic technologies.

Sensor-related courses available during Optics East 2007 included optical fiber sensing technology for chemical, biomedical and food applications; multispectral and hyperspectral image sensors; and the use of CCD and CMOS sensors in visible imaging applications.

Drawing many DSS 2008 attendees was a plenary presentation by Jay M. Cohen, undersecretary for science and technology in the Department of Homeland Security. Cohen told an overflowing audience that recent federal budget actions have made science and technology programs in the department "a growth industry."

Cohen said that the US is facing a crisis in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education, and urged the audience to help address the problem. "Boys and girls are turning away from science and math, saying they're too hard, and a majority of teachers are not certified in science and math," he said. "So where is the 'To Sir, With Love'? We all had that teacher who inspired us."

Cohen congratulated DSS attendees for providing solutions by developing the technology and applications to meet security needs and continue progress toward technology solutions that detect “hostility of intent” before attacks can be made.

Cohen said the chemical/biological group his department funds is developing forensics capabilities that would detect traces of explosives on subway tickets and quickly alert authorities, calling such novel bioassay techniques “CSI on steroids.”

Other highlights included talks by John Chisholm, chairman of QinetiQ Ltd., who spoke on innovation and the wealth of nations; and Delores Ette, Office of Naval Research Distinguished Chair in Science and Technology, electrical engineering department, US Naval Academy, who said the US is headed for a crisis if it doesn't develop a strong pool of young people trained in science, math, and engineering.

Busy exhibitors from among the 463 participating companies said they made excellent contacts, and the SPIE Works Career Fair gave companies and prospective employees an avenue for discussing shared interests and goals.

"We are very happy with the show," George Woodruff of Geo Systems Inc. told SPIE. "We've had excellent networking and great visibility. This is our favorite show of the year." Geo Systems was among the companies in a Robotics and Unmanned Systems Pavilion in the exhibition, which gave attendees a close-up look at the latest projects.

"We continue to be impressed by the quality of companies represented," Jeff Koch of Umicore Optical Materials told SPIE. "We plan the release of new programs like GASIR and our iDLC coating around this show."

DSS 2009 will be held April 14-16 in Orlando.

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Pertaining to optics and the phenomena of light.
optical fiber
A thin filament of drawn or extruded glass or plastic having a central core and a cladding of lower index material to promote total internal reflection (TIR). It may be used singly to transmit pulsed optical signals (communications fiber) or in bundles to transmit light or images.  
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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