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Optics and Photonics for Sensing the Environment

22 June 2020 – 26 June 2020 OSA Virtual Event

Optics and Photonics for Sensing the Environment (ES) focuses on using optical sensing to monitor all aspects of the environment, from global and regional scales to point sensors and industrial processes.


Optics and photonics in environment and pollution monitoring

  • Novel laboratory spectroscopic techniques and methodologies for disruptive sensing technology (e.g. frequency combs, novel light sources and detectors, photonic integrated circuit (PIC) sensors, and sensing networks)
  • Optics and photonics for transformative low-cost optical sensors
  • Stand-off and remote sensing techniques to measure trace gases, particulates and aerosols (e.g. LIDAR, DOAS and FTIR)
  • Satellite and aircraft-based monitoring (e.g. regional air quality, greenhouse gas sensing)
  • Photonic sensors for marine environment

Optics and photonics in industrial environments

  • Laser and lidar sensing of surrounding environment, clouds
  • Optical detection of fugitive emissions in the oil and gas supply chain 
  • Novel optical techniques for monitoring industrial emissions and process control 
  • Photonics for increased efficiency and sustainability in agriculture
  • Optics and photonics for renewable (e.g. wind, solar and biofuel) and petrogenic energies



  • Ryan Briggs, Jet Propulsion LaboratoryUnited States
    Laser Spectrometers for in situ Planetary Science and Spacecraft Environmental Monitoring
  • Sean Coburn, LongPath Technologies IncUnited States
    Continuous Observations of Methane Emissions from Oil and Natural Gas Infrastructure Using a Dual Frequency Comb Based Monitoring System
  • Kristinn Gylfason, Kungliga Tekniska HogskolanSweden
    On-chip Spectroscopy of CO2 with MIR Waveguides
  • R. Michael Hardesty, Natl Oceanic and Atmospheric AdminUnited States
    Doppler Wind Lidar: A History of Challenges and Progress Leading to Today’s Aeolus Space-based Mission
  • Nazanin Hoghooghi, University of Colorado at BoulderUnited States
    Mid-infrared Dual-comb Spectroscopy for Wildfire Combustion Analysis
  • Andreas Hugi, IRsweepSwitzerland
    High-resolution and Gapless Dual Comb Spectroscopy with Current-tuned Quantum Cascade Lasers for Environmental Applications
  • Yoshitaka Jin, National Inst for Environmental StudiesJapan
    Dual-wavelength High-spectral-resolution Lidar Using a Scanning Interferometer for Monitoring Aerosol Profiles
  • Anna Michel, Woods Hole Oceanographic InstUnited States
    Laser-based Sensing in Aqueous Environments
  • Javis Nwaboh, Physikalisch Technische BundesanstaltGermany
    Optical Gas Standards for Reactive Gas Species Concentration Measurements Based on dTDLAS
  • Genevieve Plant, University of MichiganUnited States
    Urban Methane Emission Estimates Based on Aircraft and Satellite Observations
  • Benedikt Schwarz, Technische Universität WienAustria
    Mid-infrared Frequency Combs: Towards a Spectrometer-on-a-chip
  • Tatsuo Shiina, Chiba UniversityJapan
    LED Mini-lidar Development for Surface Atmosphere Activity Observation
  • Ulrike Willer, Technische Universität ClausthalGermany
    Gas Sensing Applications Using Miniaturized Optical Sensing Systems
  • Eric Zhang, IBM TJ Watson Research CenterUnited States
    Integrated Photonics for Trace-gas Sensing



  • Dennis Killinger, University of South Florida, United StatesChair
  • Robert Menzies, , United StatesChair
  • Ian Coddington, National Inst of Standards & Technology, United StatesProgram Chair
  • Jana Jágerská, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, NorwayProgram Chair
  • Lukas Emmenegger, EMPA, Switzerland
  • Adam Fleisher, National Inst of Standards & Technology, United States
  • Peter Geiser, NEO Monitors, Norway
  • Jane Hodgkinson, Cranfield University, United Kingdom
  • Caroline Kistner, Nanoplus, Germany
  • Bernhard Lendl, Technische Universität Wien, Austria
  • Boris Mizaikoff, Universitat Ulm, Germany
  • Yasunori Saito, Shinshu University, Japan
  • Vasanthi Sivaprakasam, US Naval Research Laboratory, United States
  • Nobuo Sugimoto, National Inst for Environmental Studies, Japan
  • Juha Toivonen, Tampereen Yliopisto, Finland
  • Rebecca Washenfelder, Natl Oceanic and Atmospheric Admin, United States
  • Eric Zhang, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, United States


Plenary Session

Radislav Potyrailo

GE Research, USA

Journey from natural to fabricated gas sensing photonic nanostructures: unexpected discoveries and societal impact

Existing spectroscopic and material-based gas sensors often degrade their performance in complex backgrounds. Thus, new sensing approaches are required with improved sensor selectivity and accuracy.  In this talk we analyze capabilities of natural and fabricated photonic three-dimensional nanostructures as sensors for detection of different gases. Our performance advances in detection of multiple gases with specific nanostructure designs were achieved by coupling spectral responses of these nanostructures with machine learning (a.k.a. multivariate analysis, chemometrics) tools.  Our new acquired knowledge from studies of natural and fabricated nanostructures allowed us to advance our design rules of sensing nanostructures toward needed gas selectivity for numerous gas monitoring scenarios at room and high temperatures for industrial, environmental, and other applications.

About the Speaker

Dr. Radislav Potyrailo is a Principal Scientist at GE Research, leading the growth of wireless, wearable, and industrial/consumer chemical and biological sensors. He has been leading programs on inventing sensing systems and bringing them from lab feasibility studies, to field validation, and to commercialization. Radislav has been Principal Investigator on programs funded by AFRL, DARPA, DHS, NETL, NIH, NIOSH, and TSWG. Some of these results Radislav summarized in 120 granted US Patents and 150+ publications on transducer technologies, sensing materials, and data analytics describing sensing concepts and their implementations. He has delivered 80+ invited lectures and ten keynote/plenary lectures at national and international conferences. He is the initiator and a co-organizer of the First Gordon Research Conference on Combinatorial and High Throughput Materials Science and other conferences and symposia (ACS, MRS, Pittcon) on sensors and functional materials. His recent recognitions include SPIE Fellow and Prism Award by Photonics Media/SPIE.

Sune Svanberg

South China Academy of Advanced Optoelectronics, South China Normal University, China, and Department of Physics, Lund University, Sweden

Laser Spectroscopic Sensing in Environmental, Ecological, and Biomedical Research

Spectroscopic sensing by laser techniques provides powerful approaches to many areas strongly influencing human daily life. Non-intrusive monitoring can be pursued locally and by remote sensing. Examples from the environmental, ecological, and biomedical fields will be given.

About the Speaker

Sune Svanberg obtained his doctorate from the University of Gothenburg in 1972, and since 1980 has been a professor of physics at Lund University, Lund, Sweden. During 30 years, he was the head of the Atomic Physics Division, and during 15 years he has been the director of the Lund Laser Centre. Since 2011 he has been a distinguished professor at South China Normal University, Guangzhou, China. He holds nine honorary doctor/professor appointments, and is a member of six scientific academies. Dr. Svanberg is a fellow of five learned societies, and received numerous national and international awards. He served on many boards and committees, including a 10-year membership of the Nobel Committee for Physics of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Based on a long career in basic atomic spectroscopy and high-power laser/matter interactions, his current research interests focus on laser spectroscopic applications to the environmental, ecological and biomedical fields.


Special Events

Women of Imaging and Sensing Meet and Greet

Grab your coffee, soda or beverage of your choice and join other women of Sensing & Imaging for an informal virtual get together. Members of each committee will be on hand to answer any questions you may have or simply log in and learn a bit about OSA’s diversity and inclusion efforts and share your ideas on helping ensure our community and this meeting is as welcoming and inclusive as possible.

Volunteer Engagement I – OSA Technical Groups

Join OSA Board of Meetings Technical Group Development Chair Daniel Smalley to learn more about the governing structure and activities of OSA Technical Groups. The session will include a brief overview and time for Q&A.

Introductory Remarks and Plenary Session I (Sensing Congress)

OSA Career Lab: Developing Profitable Technology Products

Developing products that make money is the primary goal of most technology companies, but it’s not an easy task to accomplish. Many factors impact whether a product is ultimately successful or not. Learn an overview of the important fundamentals for developing products that will make money for your company.

Volunteer Engagement II – OSA Meetings

Join members of the Sensing and Imaging committee to discuss the roles, responsibilities and time commitment needed to serve on a meeting committee. The session will include a brief overview and time for Q&A.

Technical Groups: Illumicon

You are invited to join the OSA Display Technology Technical Group for Illumicon, an exclusive members-only event. Building on the declarations established at past Illumicon gatherings, attendees will converge online to discuss and debate emerging trends, technologies and opportunities in advanced 3D displays. Entrance to the online event will be granted to those able to enter the secret password.

Volunteer Engagement III – OSA Publishing

Join Kara Peters, NC State University, USA, Applied Optics Topical Editor and Samuel Thurman, Lockheed Martin Coherent Technologies, USA, JOSA A Topical Editor to learn how to become a reviewer, what editors are looking for in a reviewer, and what makes a good review. The session will include a brief overview and time for Q&A.

Introductory Remarks and Plenary Session II (Imaging Congress)

Student and Early Career Professionals Happy Hour

Join fellow students and early career professionals for an informal virtual get together. Grab your coffee, soda or beverage of choice for a chance to meet other students and early career professionals from across the world and swap stories of life in graduate school and beyond.  Share the joys, trials, challenges, and camaraderie of the hard work


Image for keeping the session alive