CONFERENCE PREVIEW: Southwest hosts second SPIE regional meeting

Albuquerque, NM, is the site of the second in a series of SPIE conferences aimed at promoting a region from an optics standpoint, while providing a forum for technical dialog, professional networking, and exhibition of products.

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Albuquerque, NM, is the site of the second in a series of SPIE conferences aimed at promoting a region from an optics standpoint, while providing a forum for technical dialog, professional networking, and exhibition of products. The OPTO-Southwest regional meeting on optoelectronics, photonics, and imaging—scheduled for the Albuquerque Convention Center April 10-11—will focus on the science and business of optics technology in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah.

"Unlike other scientific meetings that focus purely on narrow research," said Symposium Chair Arthur Guenther of the Center for High Technology Materials at the University of New Mexico (Albuquerque), "OPTO-Southwest will provide a comprehensive picture that displays the growth and importance of critical optics-related technologies across the region."

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Conference technical presentations, short courses, and exhibits explore themes such as astronomical and space optics, laser sciences, optical sciences, optics education, and business development. For instance, the meeting will highlight astronomical research ranging from electron-gun-controlled thin-film mirrors for remote-sensing applications to advances in composite mirrors for space telescopes. In another presentation, researchers will discuss imaging R&D related to topics such as membrane mirrors and real-time holography, nonlinear multidisciplinary modeling of optical satellites, and laser guide stars for space-based wide-field-of-view earth-viewing optical systems. Eight short courses are offered, with topics including optical alignment techniques, charge-coupled devices for imaging systems, fiberoptic transmission engineering, diffractive optics, white-light surface metrology, basic optics for engineers, optical and electro-optical systems, and diode lasers, LEDs, and detectors.

The keynote address will be given by Milton Chang, chairman of New Focus (Santa Clara, CA), who will share his experience in starting high-tech companies using a low-risk startup model. Plenary speaker Janet Fender, chief scientist of the Space vehicles Directorate at the Air Force Research Lab (Kirtland Air Force Base, NM), will discuss optical sensing and high-resolution imaging technology on the horizon, including hyperspectral sensing and how it will add a new dimension to reconnaissance and chemical identification.

Another plenary speaker, Marlan Scully, director of the Center for Theoretical Physics at Texas A&M University (College Station, TX), will discuss atomic coherence effects in quantum optics from lasing without inversion to ultraslow light with group velocity of only tens of meters per second. Scully will also consider how to cancel spontaneous emission by "locking" atoms in an excited state via laser-induced quantum interference. Topics to be covered by other plenary speakers range from passive devices for advanced wavelength-division multiplexing systems to ways to attract young people to the field of optics.

The next SPIE regional meeting—OPTO-Southeast—is scheduled for Sept. 18-19 in Charlotte, NC. For more information on it or OPTO-Southwest, visit www.spie.org/info/sw/ or contact Bonnie Peterson at (360) 676-3290, ext. 406, or [email protected]

Paula Noaker Powell

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