World-class optics at core of SPIEs Annual Meeting

New developments in optical science, engineering, and instrumentation will be presented at SPIE`s 43rd Annual Meeting July 19-24 in San Diego, CA, USA. The Annual Meeting is the venue for presentations defining world standards in optics research, and this year`s event in cludes 65 technical conferences encompassing 2300 presentations, an educational program, working group meetings, a 250-company exhibit, awards banquet, and SPIE membership activities. Organizers anticipate approximately 5000 att

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World-class optics at core of SPIE`s Annual Meeting

Amy Nelson

New developments in optical science, engineering, and instrumentation will be presented at SPIE`s 43rd Annual Meeting July 19-24 in San Diego, CA, USA. The Annual Meeting is the venue for presentations defining world standards in optics research, and this year`s event in cludes 65 technical conferences encompassing 2300 presentations, an educational program, working group meetings, a 250-company exhibit, awards banquet, and SPIE membership activities. Organizers anticipate approximately 5000 attendees from throughout the world.

Topical areas: Optical Design; Infrared, Sensors, and Propagation; Earth-Observing Systems; Astronomical Sensors and Missions; Synchrotron Radiation Optics; Mathematical Imaging; Signal and Image Processing; Microwave Photonics; Photonics for Computing; Organic Materials for Photonics; Interferometry and Metrology; Superconductivity.

Plenary session: Astrobiology for the New Millennium. Speakers are Gerald Soffen, NASA Headquarters, discussing the new NASA Astrobiology Institute; Kenneth Nealson, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, on genomic methods used in investigating ancient micro-organisms and distinguishing life from nonlife; and David McKay, NASA Johnson Space Center, on using biomarkers--so-called "fingerprints of life"--to discern clues to the presence of life in ancient rocks and astromaterials.

Conference highlights

Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology (Conference 3441) includes reports such as an update on activities of the European Space Agency (3441-01), Russian research on viable micro-organisms in the ice sheet of Central Antarctica (3441-10; see photo), and the search for viable microbes of extraterrestrial origin (3441-33).

X-Ray Optics, Instruments, and Missions (Conference 3444) includes sessions on the Advanced X-Ray Astrophysics Facility (AXAF), XMM Observatory, and ABRIXAS Imaging All-Sky Satellite, and papers such as multilayer optics (3444-72) and x-ray calibration of telescopes on board the ASTRO-E satellite (3444-61), from researchers at Nagoya and Kobe universities and the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science in Japan and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Missions to the Sun (Conference 3442) includes reports on solar missions such as the HESSI explorer (3442-01), as well as such topics as in-orbit performances of the EIT instrument on-board SOHO (3442-15) from the University of Liege (Belgium), Naval Research Laboratory (USA), and Royal Observatory of Belgium.

Conferences in Mathematical Imaging have been part of SPIE`s Annual Meeting for six years, and they continue to grow. Eight conferences are being held this year, in image processing, geophysical imaging, wavelet applications, image coding and compression, vision geometry, computer vision, Bayesian inference, and neural and fuzzy systems.

Materials to be used in future development of organic diode lasers will be discussed in Organic Light-Emitting Materials and Devices (Conference 3476). Highlights include reports on advances in organic lasers and LED arrays from the Optical Sciences Center/University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (3476-01), resonators and materials for organic lasers from Lucent Technologies/Bell Lab, Murray Hill, New Jersey (3476-02), photonic nanostructured polymers in the control of morphology from the University of Gröningen, The Netherlands (3476-06), and color molecular organic QVGA display devices (3476-36) from NEC Corp., Japan.

Far- and Near-Field Optics: Physics and Information Processing (Conference 3467) includes presentations on integrated probes for high-resolution imaging of surfaces (3467-12), fields associated with the solid immersion lens (3467-17), progress of near-field optics research in China from Beijing University and China Da Heng Corp., Beijing (3467-26), and near-field optical guidance and manipulation of atoms (3467-31).

The infrared detector continues to occupy center stage in Infrared Technology and Applications (Conference 3436). Reports discuss such topics as large-area focal-plane arrays of up to 2048 ¥ 2048 elements, in some of which researchers have achieved the theoretical BLIP performance with subelectron read-out noise; a bimaterial concept for an uncooled focal-plane array with the potential for a near-theoretical sensitivity of about 5 mK; and thermal imagers using cooled or uncooled detectors.

Characteristics and Consequences of Space Debris and Near Earth Objects (Conference 3434B) begins with a keynote address by David Lynch of The Aerospace Corp. (El Segundo, CA, USA) on Leonid Meteoroid impacts on satellites.

Airborne Reconnaissance (Conference 3431) includes sessions on emerging technologies such as foliage penetration radar, IFSAR and rapid terrain visualization, airborne video surveillance technology, image compression, and manned and unmanned reconnaissance systems.

Courses/Workshop

Fundamental and advanced courses on optical design and other topics will be offered as usual. They are joined this year by a new series of instructional sessions on Optical Components for Product Manufacturing.

Also offered this year is an Optics Cluster workshop, at which attendees will learn how to create innovative joint ventures and partnerships. The workshop is targeted toward executives of growth-oriented optics and photonics companies, public sector economic development officers, and vendors serving those companies and agencies. o

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

Full technical program, exhibit, education program, and attendee information is available from SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering (Bellingham, WA, USA), at (1) 360/676-3290; www.spie.org.

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Skeletal remains of diatomic algae found in ancient horizons of the Central Antarctic glacier are being studied by researchers from the Russian Academy of Sciences, Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, and St. Petersburg Mining Institute. (Conference 3441-10; report to be published in Proc. SPIE 3441, July 1998; image courtesy SPIE)

AMY NELSON is with SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering, Bellingham, WA, USA; www.spie.org.

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