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EDITORIAL COMMENT
Latest Issue
Sep 2017

Exploring the Great Beyond

JUSTINE MURPHY, SENIOR EDITOR, justine.murphy@photonics.com


Justine MurphyDecades of space exploration have expanded our view past Earth’s exosphere and even beyond our solar system. Photonics technology plays a significant role in this expansion of knowledge. And in the process, it improves what we know about life here on Earth and the ways we communicate.

The remote sensing satellites that enable space exploration are advancing to keep up with ever-demanding wireless, data and broadband communication needs. The new satellite from U.S.-based spacecraft developer and manufacturer SpaceX, for example, supports wireless communications and television broadcasting, as well as transatlantic data relays. The company sent the Falcon 9 Intelsat 35e into space earlier this year.

The National Space Organization of Taiwan is planning to launch its own remote sensing satellite this year. The FormoSat-5 is a high-resolution optical remote sensing instrument that captures images on a panchromatic spectral band. This satellite will collect images for land use surveying, environmental monitoring, data collection and other security measures.

In “Space Photonics: A Platform Technology for Satellite Systems” (read article), Efstratios Kehayas, vice president of research and development at Gooch & Housego, examines how photonics technology should help advance space-based communications, as the need grows for faster, higher-capacity systems.

This next generation of remote sensing satellites technology is being called upon to deliver larger volumes of data faster and more efficiently. Kehayas says these needs, as well as for high-speed and low-latency downlinking of terrestrial- or space-generated data using low-mass and power-efficient systems, are paving the way for photonics to play a major role in space exploration.

Also in this issue, LED light sources come into view, as CoolLED Ltd. Technical Director Gerard Whoriskey discusses their influence in fluorescence microscopy, as well as their potential as an effective research tool (read article).

Contributing Editor Marie Freebody takes an in-depth look at ultrafast optics technology and how the development of more cost-effective systems will advance it through applications throughout the photonics industry (read article).

And in EPIC Insights, Ana González and Jose Pozo look at how specialty optical fibers are revolutionizing sensing applications industrywide (read article).

Enjoy the issue!
Karen Newman
Group Publisher Karen Newman has had a career in business-to-business and association publishing, much of it spent covering technical, scientific and life sciences subjects.
Mike Wheeler
An award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, Managing Editor Michael D. Wheeler oversees editorial content for Photonics Spectra, EuroPhotonics, BioPhotonics and Industrial Photonics magazines.
Marcia Stamell
Associate Managing Editor Marcia Stamell is the editor of BioPhotonics and Industrial Photonics. She has worked for general interest newspapers, the business press and national magazines as a writer and editor.
 
Justine Murphy
Senior Editor Justine Murphy is an award-winning journalist with nearly 20 years of experience. She serves as editor of EuroPhotonics, host of Light Matters and producer of podcasts. She also leads development of magazine special sections and marketing projects.
Autum Pylant
News Editor Autum C. Pylant is an Air Force Veteran with 10+ years of award-winning broadcast journalism experience. She is responsible for the steady flow of news and new product announcements to web and print and is the producer of the Light Matters video newscast.
Robin Riley
Multimedia/Web Editor Robin Riley has 30+ years of experience in communications and marketing for a range of technical industries. She is a regular contributor to web content and social media, and organizes and produces custom and editorial webinars.
 
Hank Hogan
Contributing editor Hank Hogan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from the University of Texas at Austin. Hogan worked in the semiconductor industry and now writes about science and technology.
Marie Freebody
Contributing editor Marie Freebody is a free-lance science and technology journalist with a master’s degree in physics and a concentration in nuclear astrophysics from the University of Surrey in England.
Valerie Coffey
Science writer Valerie C. Coffey holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s in astronomy. She has covered optics, photonics, physics and astronomy for a variety of industry and academic publications since 2000.
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