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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
Feb 2018

Detecting Turbulence Before it Hits

MICHAEL D. WHEELER, MANAGING EDITOR, michael.wheeler@photonics.com
Mike WheelerTurbulence. It’s one of the leading causes of concern for anxious flyers. If you’ve ever flown, there’s a good chance you’ve been warned to fasten your seat belt or had a beverage spill as you’ve weathered a bumpy ride.

But what if planes were equipped with a system that could detect turbulence from afar and automatically steer away from air currents ahead?

Such a system, which relies on lidar, has been investigated by Airbus — and the results have been promising.

Along with turbulence, lidar can also discriminate between volcanic ash and run-of-the-mill burning biomass in the atmosphere. While far less frequent than turbulence, volcanic ash can prove especially damaging to an aircraft’s engine. In 2010, the eruptions of the volcano Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland forced the cancellation of scores of flights, with large parts of the European airspace closed to traffic for days on end.

Learn more in our cover story, “Onboard Lidar Detects Turbulence, Volcanic Ash Near and Far,” by Airbus’ Nikolaus Schmitt (read article).

Elsewhere in the magazine:

• Raman spectroscopy is unique in its ability to identify controlled substances and hazardous materials. A new Raman technique — see-through Raman — can measure samples beneath diffusely scattering packaging material. The advance could make it indispensable for hazardous material screening outside a traditional laboratory. See “Raman Spectroscopy Peers Through Packaging,” from B&W Tek (read article).

• Diffractive optical elements are commonly found in medical and aesthetic lasers, as well as projection lighting. Recent enhancements in the manufacturing processes have now reduced undesired orders while simultaneously improving uniformity and achieving higher diffractive efficiencies. “Diffractive Optical Elements: Minimizing Zero Order,” from Holo/Or Ltd. (read article).

• McPherson’s Erik Schoeffel details the use of a spectral test station for assessing diffraction grating efficiency at specific wavelengths in “Measuring Diffraction Grating Efficiency” (read article).

• New findings in quantum superposition and quantum entanglement are leading to what some are calling a second quantum revolution. Contributing Editor Marie Freebody’s “New Frontier for Quantum Sensing” (read article).

Finally, in this month’s special section, “Asia-Pacific: A Powerhouse Region,” Senior Editor Justine Murphy explores the increasing impact of APAC in the photonics market. She interviews Rich Mildren, a Future Fellow of the Australian Research Council and professor at Macquarie University, who shares insights on exciting photonics research in areas as diverse as astrophysics, quantum optics and nanophotonics.

Enjoy the issue!
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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