Security conscious

April 1, 2013
According to the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), an industry group, the economic benefits of integrating unmanned aerial systems into the US national airspace will be substantial.
Conard Holton2

According to the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), an industry group, the economic benefits of integrating unmanned aerial systems into the US national airspace will be substantial. Applications include law enforcement and search and rescue, but will be primarily agricultural—as they have been since 1990 in Japan. Although a federal law enacted last year paved the way for such drones to be used in the US, the idea of large or small drones with camera-bearing payloads in civilian airspace leaves many people with privacy concerns.

Our cover story by Chris Johnston at HoodTech Vision looks at this topic from an engineering perspective—specifically, how to design imaging payloads that meet the new federal guidelines for small unmanned aerial vehicles (see page 29). Weight limitations are the biggest challenge to creating a payload that contains both visible and infrared imaging systems.

This issue also looks at defense and security technology in the form of green laser "dazzlers," which, as contributing editor Jeff Hecht writes, are part of an arsenal of nonlethal weapons that could reduce civilian casualties in combat zones and block attacks on checkpoints, convoys, and ships (see page 45). More articles on defense and security can be found on our web site in our new Defense & Security topic center. The articles appearing in this topic center include many stories on electro-optics news and technology shared by our sister publication Military & Aerospace Electronics.

Finally, considering the importance of healthcare to personal and societal security, we have an article on breath analysis from Daylight Solutions (see page 35). As the article makes clear, clinicians now have reason to be excited by the new photonics-based breath-analysis instruments coming to market. These tools can identify the hundreds of different molecular species in exhaled breath, which can indicate disease and provide a new measure of security for all of us.

About the Author

Conard Holton | Editor at Large

Conard Holton has 25 years of science and technology editing and writing experience. He was formerly a staff member and consultant for government agencies such as the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the International Atomic Energy Agency, and engineering companies such as Bechtel. He joined Laser Focus World in 1997 as senior editor, becoming editor in chief of WDM Solutions, which he founded in 1999. In 2003 he joined Vision Systems Design as editor in chief, while continuing as contributing editor at Laser Focus World. Conard became editor in chief of Laser Focus World in August 2011, a role in which he served through August 2018. He then served as Editor at Large for Laser Focus World and Co-Chair of the Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar from August 2018 through January 2022. He received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, with additional studies at the Colorado School of Mines and Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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