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Photonics Spectra
Since 1967, Photonics Spectra magazine has defined the science and industry of photonics, providing both technical and practical information for every aspect of the global industry and promoting an international dialogue among the engineers, scientists and end users who develop, commercialize and buy photonics products. Stay current with a FREE subscription to the digital or print edition.

EDITORIAL COMMENT
Latest Issue
Apr 2018

Speed-Of-Light Defense

MICHAEL D. WHEELER, MANAGING EDITOR, michael.wheeler@photonics.com
Mike WheelerThe last few decades have seen the laser assume a pivotal and unique role on the battlefield, from aiding the precise delivery of munitions to jamming optical trackers and countering IR-guided missiles.

The rise of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is putting renewed focus on the laser, given its precision and capacity for quick response. As chronicled in this month’s cover story, “Lasers Adapt to Changing Threat Landscape,” Boeing’s Compact Laser Weapon System, for instance, has been integrated into ground-based Stryker combat vehicles, providing a much-needed first defense against low, slow UAVs flying above.

That’s not all. The military has awarded contracts to Lockheed Martin to design, develop and produce a high-power fiber laser to be tested on tactical fighter jets by 2021. The story, authored by Contributing Editor Marie Freebody (read article).

Elsewhere in the magazine:

• From boosting crop yields to optimizing wind farms, lidar and hyperspectral imaging are helping transform agriculture, energy and research. Don’t miss Contributing Editor Hank Hogan’s “Getting the Total Picture, Remotely,” (read article).

• Since its inception, laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy, or LIBS, has been largely confined to use in research circles. Thanks to innovations in equipment and calibration models, LIBS is now finding uses in applications as varied as mineral extraction and forensics. Avantes’ Benno Oderkerk and Janel Kane’s “Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy Beyond the Lab” (read article).

• Chalcogenide glass boasts superior performance for use in IR imaging systems. Perhaps most important, it can be fabricated using precision glass-molding methods. “Germanium Alternative Gaining Momentum for IR Optics” by FISBA’s Erick Koontz and Wallace Latimer (read article).

• Misalignment between optical components in today’s silicon photonic devices is measured in nanometers. Manufacturers must determine the right serial positioning architecture to ensure success. Don’t miss “Maximizing Optical Alignment” from Aerotech’s RJ Hardt (read article).

• Researchers from VIT University examine how a cavity formed in a photonic crystal can create optical logic gates, making it possible to realize an optical microprocessor. “All-Optical Logic Gates Show Promise for Optical Computing” (read article).

Finally, Senior Editor Justine Murphy previews DCS 2018 in Orlando, Fla., this month. In addition to the two technical tracks — Defense + Security, and Commercial + Scientific Sensing and Imaging — this year’s program honors a group of early career professionals as part of SPIE’s Rising Researchers program (read article).

See you in Orlando!
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.
Karen Newman
Karen Newman, Publisher/Books & Courses for Photonics Media Press, has had a career in business-to-business and association publishing, much of it spent covering technical, scientific and life sciences subjects.
 
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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