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Security Takes Center Stage
Mar 2009
ORLANDO, Fla., March 25, 2009 – Although the world economy appears bleak, SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing 2009 will offer attendees access to more than 500 exhibiting companies, 2100 technical presentations and 57 professional development courses and workshops, all in one place, to help make industrywide success more obtainable and affordable during this economic downturn. The five-day conference and exhibition will take place April 13-17 at the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort and Convention Center.

Considered the No. 1 show for infrared imaging, optics and sensors, and the largest international unclassified defense-related symposium, the event will feature technical program presentations in three sectors of the industry: technologies for defense, industrial and commercial applications; sensing and systems; and sensor and data analysis. Leaders from government agencies, universities, laboratories and commercial organizations will be in attendance. Also available is the Robotics and Unmanned Systems Pavilion, where attendees can see UAVs, DARPA Challenge vehicles and more.

DSS2009Plenary.jpgTechnologies for defense, industrial and commercial application presentations will include topics for emerging technologies: unmanned, robotic and layered systems; displays; and space technologies and operations. The sensing and systems sector of the program will address imaging, including IR, radar, passive millimeter wave and terahertz. Chemical, biological, radiological /nuclear and explosive incidents will be discussed, along with biometrics, lasers, fiber optics, nanosensors, biomimetics and sensor platforms. Image and data processing, visual analytics, situation management, and information systems and networks all will be featured in the sensor and data analysis portion of the program.

The program will feature a symposiumwide plenary speaker April 14 at 9 a.m. Norman R. Augustine, retired chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corp., will present “Re-engineering Engineering.” The event will discuss the changes that modern technology has made in the engineering industry and how it must reinvent itself to excel. Augustine was presented the National Medal of Technology by former President Clinton in 1997 and has received the Joint Chiefs of Staff Distinguished Public Service Award. He also has received the Distinguished Service Medal, the Department of Defense’s highest civilian decoration, five times, and has co-authored The Defense Revolution and Shakespeare in Chicago. He also has authored Augustine’s Laws and Augustine’s Travels.

Two other symposia also will be held. The first, “Space Technologies and Operations Track Plenary I,” will take place April 14 at 10:30 a.m. “Flight Operations at UC Berkeley: Earth Orbit and Beyond” will be presented by Manfred G. Bester, director of operations at the Space Sciences Lab at the University of California, Berkeley. Bester joined the laboratory, where he established the Mission and Science Operations Center and the Berkeley Ground Station, in 1986.

In his current position, he has led the Operations and Ground Systems group that conducted on-orbit operation of eight NASA-funded spacecraft. While serving as the mission operations manager, he led the postlaunch commissioning, navigation and science operations activities of THEMIS. Currently, he oversees the planning and implementation of operations for the extended THEMIS mission that involves transfer of two of the five spacecraft from Earth to lunar orbits. He also founded Bester Tracking System, a company that provides software development and consulting services to the aerospace community.

“Space Technologies and Operations Track Plenary II,” the second symposium, will be held April 15 at 8:10 a.m. by David J. Irvin, chief of the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Systems Engineering Div. of the Space and Missile Systems Center at the Air Force Space Command in Los Angeles. He will present “A History of US Infrared Capability in Space.”

Irvin is responsible for managing the technical resources necessary to plan and direct cross-discipline activities to ensure that the integrated, tested and deployed $10 billion SBIRS meets user requirements. A graduate of the Air Force Academy with a bachelor’s in astronautical engineering, he was first assigned to the 5th Space Launch Squadron as a mechanical engineer on the Centaur cryogenic upper stage for the Titan IV program. He earned his master’s degree and doctorate from the Air Force Institute of Technology, and he has served as both project engineer and executive officer at the Air Force Research Laboratory, Munitions Directorate.

SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing also will feature more than 50 conferences covering the latest enabling technologies and applications in IR, sensors, image analysis and other topics. Attendees can get the latest technical training, choosing from 54 half- and full-day courses in topics including thermosense, laser sensing, unmanned systems and target acquisition. Other program tracks include optical and optomechanical engineering; business and professional development; defense, homeland security and law enforcement; displays; unmanned, robotic and layered systems; and signal, image and neural net processing.

A host of forums and events will be offered, including a banquet, industry forums, hot topics, social and networking events, and student events. Technical events will include a poster session, vendor presentation and a reception. An invited panel discussion will take place to discuss issues and challenges in robust methods in tracking, fusion and decision making, and sensor bias estimation and data fusion with applications to real-world problems. The future direction in US government funding also will be addressed by John M. Pellegrino, chairman of the US Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Sensors Technical Focus Team and director of the Sensors and Electron Devices Directorate of the US Army Research Laboratory; Walter F. Jones, executive director for the Office of Naval Research; and Brendan B. Godfrey, director of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

Also included as part of the technical events will be special sessions on the 50-year anniversary of HdCgTe (mercury cadmium telluride), hosted by speakers from around the world who will present a global summary of the status of this detector technology. The hot topic for SPIE 2009 will be on cybersensing, and workshops on active and passive signatures also will be included.

Social and networking events for 2009 will include a “Women in Optics” presentation and reception, a banquet and awards presentation, an all-symposium welcome reception, an early-career networking social and a poster session. The “Women in Optics” program, to be held April 14, will be presented by Frances Ligler, US Navy senior scientist for biosensors and biomaterials at the Naval Research Laboratory. She will deliver the talk, “How to explore the cracks between the disciplines without falling through them.” Other professional development events featured include a SPIEWorks Career Fair and “Essential Skills for Engineering Project Leaders.” Hosted by SPIE Student Services, a luncheon with the experts will be held April 13 to give students the opportunity to network with experts.

SPIE will host more than 500 exhibitors, who will present the latest hardware, systems and services across a range of technology in defense, security and sensing. Technology will encompass infrared sources, detectors and systems, cameras and CCD components, displays, fiber optic components, equipment and systems, high-speed imaging and sensing, nanotechnology, law enforcement technologies and optics manufacturing.

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