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Smart Cameras, Smart Sensors, Smart Cities

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Some have hailed the smart city trend as the most transformative thing to happen to the metropolis since urban renewal a half century ago. What started as a utopian dream of the future is inching toward reality in many cities including Singapore, Barcelona and London, all of which have made strides in the creative use of technology for smart traffic management, power metering and real-time environmental monitoring.

Smart cities rely on intricate networks of sensors, cameras and wireless devices that report data in real time, allowing officials to respond to circumstances faster, be they spikes in energy use, transportation bottlenecks or environmental threats.

For this, the March issue, we highlight exciting advances in sensors and cameras that may one day help bring the smart city concept closer to achievement.

Sharp Laboratories’ Tim Smeeton and his colleagues have developed a compact laser that is more effective than gas discharge lamps and less expensive than conventional solid-state lasers. It emits in the UVC spectral range, particularly important for chemical, biological and gas sensing, given the strong and specific interaction between these wavelengths and potentially harmful analytes found in air and water. For details, read “Compact UVC Laser Shows Promise for Environmental Sensing,” (read article).

The prospect of developing a smarter camera, one capable of intelligently extracting pixel light intensity information needed for imaging extreme contrast scenarios, has driven Nabeel Riza to create a whole new camera technology. In “CAOS Smart Camera Captures Targets in Extreme Contrast Scenarios,” (read article), Riza shares how this sensor, working in unison with CMOS sensors, can smartly extract scene contrast pixel light intensity information using time-frequency coding of selected agile pixels.

Also in this issue:

• “For Optical Fiber, More Bandwidth Looms,” by Contributing Editor Hank Hogan (read article).

• “New 4G Optics Technology Extends Limits to the Extremes,” (read article), by Nelson Tabiryan and David Roberts of Beam Engineering for Advanced Measurements and researchers from the U.S. Army Natick Soldier RD&E Center.

• “Optical Metrology Techniques Harness Structured Light Beams,” by Carmelo Rosales-Guzmán, University of the Witwatersand; Aniceto Belmonte, Polytechnic University of Catalonia; and Juan P. Torres, ICFO and Polytechnic University of Catalonia (read article).

• “Optical System Optimization: Analyzing the Effects of Stray Light,” by Richard Pfisterer of Photon Engineering LLC (read article).

• “Asia-Pacific Eyes Photonics Market Growth,” by Senior Editor Justine Murphy, is included in this month’s APAC special section (read article).

We hope you enjoy the issue!

Photonics Spectra
Mar 2017
The science of measurement, particularly of lengths and angles.
EditorialmetrologyMichael D. Wheeler

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