Changes in the nature of warfare in today’s high-tech world demand the most advanced tools for soldiers and others in the defense and security sectors. Environmental and health care segments are also evolving … as novel technologies are improving medical care and environmental monitoring. The 2017 SPIE Defense and Commercial Sensing conference and exhibition (DCS) will highlight such innovative advancement from April 9th to the 13th at the Anaheim Convention Center in Southern California. Touted as a leading global event in the photonics industry, this global conference and exhibition offers the opportunity for information exchange, as well as business and professional development. It’s divided into two technical programs: •Defense and Security, which focuses specifically on sensors, imaging and optical technologies for security, law enforcement, avionics and aerospace, and defense and military applications. •Commercial and Scientific Sensing and Imaging, which deals with sensors, imaging and image processing for agriculture, manufacturing, health care, pharmaceutical, transportation, information systems and environmental applications. Three focused topical tracks will cover much ground in unmanned autonomous systems (UAS), agriculture, and fiber optic sensors. The UAS track is held within several subconferences under both the Defense and Security and Commercial and Scientific Sensing and Imaging technical programs. This track focuses on unmanned systems technology, laser radar technology, sensors and systems for space applications, and next generation analysts. In addition, it will deal with Thermosense: Thermal Infrared Applications, and Autonomous Air and Ground Sensing Systems for Agricultural Optimization and Phenotyping. The agriculture track allows exploration of sensing, imaging and related photonics technologies for agricultural and food safety, and quality applications such as hyperspectral imaging, phenotyping and infrared thermography. Such applications will be the focus of several sessions within this track, as well — Photonics and Food: Optical Tools Tackle Food Safety Challenges; Miniaturized and Mobile Spectroscopy and Optical Sensor Applications; and Infrared Applications: ThermoSense XXXIX. Fiber optic sensors is the emphasis of the third track. Experts in this field will discuss the different aspects of fiber optic sensor technology based on conventional and specialty optical fibers, including photonic crystal fibers and metalized fibers, for aerospace, civil structures, defense, medical and environmental applications. A related subconference — Fiber Optic Sensors and Applications XIV — offers sessions that concentrate in these and other related areas. Courses and research presentations led by industry experts and researchers will be offered, along with plenary talks focusing on game-changing technology and valuable insights. These talks will be presented by Thomas J. Burns, director of the Strategic Technology Office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and Parker Abercrombie, the Immersive Visualization Project lead for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Also on tap is the Rising Researchers, a program that enriches further professional growth and provides recognition for early career professionals doing outstanding work in product development or research. Those being recognized work in such fields as defense and security, nanotechnology, electronic imaging and signal processing, optical design and engineering, remote sensing, biomedical optics, and medical imaging. Several SPIE Fellows of 2017 will be acknowledged at DCS, as well, for their significant scientific and technical contributions in the multidisciplinary fields of optics, photonics and imaging, and for their service to SPIE and the greater optics and photonics communities. For more information about DCS, visit photonics.com and SPIE.org.