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Applications of Lasers for Sensing and Free Space Communications (LS&C)

11 December 2022 – 15 December 2022


This conference presents the latest developments in laser-based sensing and free space laser communication. Sophisticated laser systems are increasingly being used in a wide variety of applications including remote imaging and object characterization, sensing for autonomous vehicles, probing of the atmosphere, and high bandwidth free space optical (FSO) communications. These applications spread across a variety of basing platforms, including ground, air, water, and space platforms.  They also encompass a range of laser system implementations. Direct detection measurements can produce 3D point clouds and can incorporate sophisticated detector technologies such as Geiger-mode avalanche photodiodes. Coherent detection systems can make time varying phase measurement and also provide estimates of the wave field that can be used in synthetic aperture imaging.  Both types of systems can find application in probing of the earth and atmosphere as well as in free space optical communications.  However, system requirements continue to demand increased performance from the system itself as well as the various components used to implement these systems. Advances in beam steering, waveform-agile laser and detector schemes, mitigation of atmospheric effects, and development of image and signal processing for information extraction are all significant challenges.  This meeting reports on the multiple applications of lasers in sensing and FSO communications, the sophisticated systems that operate in these applications and the enabling components and processing techniques.  





Applications of Lasers for Sensing and Free Space Communication (LS&C)
  1. Component Technologies for Sensing and Communications
    1. Lasers
    2. Receivers
    3. Wavefront control
  2. Remote Sensing
    1. Non-Imaging
      1. Vibrometry (Doppler, micro-Doppler)
      2. Atmospheric sensing (wind, aerosols and other chemical/biological sensing)
    2. Imaging
      1. Hardware (LiDAR, Time of Flight and Single Photon cameras)
      2. Processing and exploitation of 3D data
    3. Applications
      1. Mapping
      2. LiDAR for autonomous applications
  3. Sensing for HEL Applications
  4. Laser Communications
    1. Space
    2. Atmospheric
    3. Underwater
  5. Quantum Protocols for Sensing & Communication




  • Firooz Aflatouni, University of PennsylvaniaUnited States
    Integrated Optical Phased Arrays for Projection and Sensing
  • Svetlana Avramov-Zamurovic, US Naval AcademyUnited States
    Light Carrying Orbital Angular Momentum PropagationThrough Complex Media
  • Zeb Barber, Montana State University - Spectrum LabUnited States
    FirstLight: FMCW Lidar for Autonomous Vehicles at Aurora
  • Wesley Barnes, USASMDC
    Measurement of the Statistical Distribution of Laser Speckle
  • Cullen Bradley, Exciting Technology LLCUnited States
    1.4km Free Space Optical Communication Bit Error Rate Measurements over a 48 hour period at 10Gbit/s
  • Dale Fried, 3DEO, IncUnited States
    Commercial Geiger-mode Lidar: Capability and Performance Assessments
  • Szymon Gladysz, Fraunhofer IOSBGermany
    Influence of Atmospheric Turbulence on Coherent Free-Space Optical Communications
  • Marcus Hebel, Fraunhofer IOSBGermany
    Mobile Lidar Scanning in Dynamic Urban Environments: Challenges and Applications
  • Sammy Henderson, Beyond PhotonicsUnited States
    Coherent Lidar for Airborne Wind Measurements with High-Percentage Tropospheric Coverage
  • R. Jason Jones, University of ArizonaUnited States
    Dual-Comb Spectroscopy of Laser-Produced Plasmas from the UV to the MIR
  • Matthew Kalensky, NSWCDDUnited States
    Effects of Shock-induced Optical Phase Discontinuities on Wavefront Reconstruction
  • Anthony Klee, Lockheed Martin CorporationUnited States
    Tomographic Wavefront Sensor Using Digital Holography for Enhanced Wind Tunnel Diagnostics
  • Martin Lavery, University of GlasgowUnited Kingdom
    Sensing and Communications in Turbulent Environments with Structured Light
  • Lenore McMackin, Red Leader Technologies IncUnited States
    High-Definition Lidar 3D Sensing System
  • Kelsey Miller, Leiden Observatory
    RATS & CATS: A New State-of-the-Art Deep Turbulence Optical Testbed at AFRL
  • Casey Pellizzari, Air Force Institute of TechnologyUnited States
    Title to be Announced
  • Glen Perram, Air Force Institute of TechnologyUnited States
    Coherence Effects in Pulsed Digital Holography
  • Michael Steinbock, AFRLUnited States
    Demonstration of Laser Ranging to Unaugmented GEO Debris
  • Anna Tabirian, Beam Co.
    Non-mechanical and Light-mechanical Beam Control Systems for Free Space Optical Communications, 3-D Lidars, and Gated Imaging Systems
  • Mohan Vaidyanathan, L3 Harris TechnologiesUnited States
    Title to Be Announced
  • Andreas Velten, University of Wisconsin-MadisonUnited States
    Can Non-Line-of-Sight Cameras outperform Conventional Cameras?
  • Kelvin Wagner, University of Colorado at BoulderUnited States
    Non-Redundant Array of Serpentine Optical Phased Array Beamsteering Tiles for 3-D Computational Lidar Imaging
  • Qing Wang, Naval Postgraduate SchoolUnited States
    Atmospheric Turbulence Sensing for High Energy Laser Beam Propagation
  • Abbie Watnik, US Naval Research LaboratoryUnited States
    Title to be Announced
  • Kevin Webb, Purdue University
    Super-resolution Sensing Using Speckle
  • Denny Wernham, ESA European Space Research & Tech CtrNetherlands
    Title to be Announced
  • Benjamin Witschas, German Aerospace Center (DLR)Germany
    DLR’s Airborne Support of ESA’s Aeolus Mission - from Pre-launch Campaigns to Mission Performance Validation
  • Steven Zuraski, US Air Force Research LaboratoryUnited States
    TARDIS Turbulence Profile Measurement Capability Summary and 2022 Data Collection Update



Plenary Speakers:

Martin Fejer
Stanford University

"Quasi-static” quasi-phasematched nonlinear nanophotonics: How few photons, how few cycles?

Recent progress in fabrication of periodically-poled nanophotonic waveguides in thin-film LiNbO3 (TFLN) enables simultaneous dispersion engineering and quasi-phasematching in a highly nonlinear material. “Quasi-static” ultrafast NLO, with near-zero GVM and GVD, allows femtojoule wavemixing, new routes to octave-spanning continua, and holds promise for few-photon NLO.

Martin Fejer is Professor and Chair of Applied Physics, and was Senior Associate Dean of Humanities and Sciences (2004 – 2009) at Stanford University. He received his B.A. in Physics from Cornell University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Stanford University. His current research interests are in nonlinear optical materials and devices, guided wave optics, micro- and nano-structured ferroelectrics and semiconductors, ultrafast optics, classical and quantum optical signal processing, and materials with low dissipation. He has published over 500 papers in these areas, and holds over 30 patents. He is active in professional society activities; is a fellow of the IEEE and of Optica whose R. W. Wood Prize he was awarded in 1998, and was elected to National Academy of Sciences in 2016.

Dahv Kliner

That Changes Everything: How Lasers are Transforming the Economics of Industrial Production

High-power lasers are capturing an increasing fraction of the nearly $80 billion global tool market.  We’ll review the technological advances driving adoption of lasers into industrial tools, with emphasis on fiber lasers.  We’ll discuss incorporation of functionality into the fiber and highlight recent breakthroughs in productivity, quality, and performance enabled by all-fiber beam-shaping technologies.  We’ll show examples from the key industrial markets of metal cutting, welding, and additive manufacturing.

Dahv Kliner is the Vice President of Fiber Laser Technology at nLIGHT and has been developing fiber laser technology and products for more than 25 years. He obtained a Ph.D. from Stanford University and performed postdoctoral research at the University of Minnesota and at Harvard University. Dahv joined nLIGHT in 2012 to start the Industrial Fiber Lasers business unit, whose high-power fiber lasers provide industry-leading performance, productivity, and reliability. These lasers have garnered several awards, including a Prism Award and two Laser Focus World Gold Innovators Awards. Dahv has co-authored more than 100 publications and 65 issued patents.

Angela Seddon
University of Nottingham

Into the light of a dark black night: mid-infrared fibre-optics for sensing.

The MIR (mid-infrared) spectral region is 3-50 mm wavelength.  Many molecular fundamental vibrational absorptions lie within 3-15 μm wavelength, coinciding with the low-loss window of chalcogenide glass fiber-optics, for a new ‘window of opportunity’ for sensing.  

Professor Angela B. Seddon leads the Mid-Infrared Photonics Group at The University of Nottingham, England, with world-class facilities for fabricating mid-infrared fibreoptics and chips. She was appointed in 2000, when she became the first female Professorial appointment in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Nottingham. Her research vision is to create a new paradigm in real-time mid-infrared sensing and imaging for molecular sensing, including in security/defence, the environment, farm-to-fork, and medicine - for earlier cancer diagnosis. She is author of 290 publications and eight book chapters and has delivered over 100 invited lectures. She is elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Society of Glass Technology, Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and Fellow of SPIE for distinguished and valuable contributions to the field of optics and photonics. In 2020, she became an elected Trustee of the  of the Royal Institution, London.




  • Edward Watson, University of Dayton, United StatesChair
  • Nicolas Riviere, Office Natl d'Etudes Rech Aerospatiales, FranceProgram Chair
  • Miranda van Iersel, University of Dayton , United StatesProgram Chair
  • Farzin Amzajerdian, NASA Langley Research Center, United States
  • Aniceto Belmonte, Univ Politec de Catalunya BarcelonaTech, Spain
  • Jeremy Bos, Michigan Technological University, United States
  • Santasri Bose Pillai, AFIT
  • Nathaniel Ferlic, University of Maryland at College Park, United States
  • Alex Fuerbach, Macquarie University, Australia
  • Hamid Hemmati, Facebook Inc., United States
  • Sammy Henderson, Beyond Photonics, United States
  • Paul McManamon, Exciting Technology LLC, United States
  • Mohammad Umar Piracha, Zoox, Inc. , United States
  • Mark Spencer, Air Force Research Laboratory, United States
  • Maureen Szymanski, Air Force Research Laboratory, United States
  • Linda Thomas, US Naval Research Laboratory, United States
  • Christopher Valenta, Georgia Tech Research Institute



Special Events:

Congress Welcome Reception
Sunday, 11 December 17:30 – 19:00
Room 212, Barcelona International Convention Centre

Whether you are reconnecting with colleagues that you have not seen in a few years or meeting individuals for the first time, the Congress Welcome Reception is your first opportunity to meet fellow attendees in a casual, relaxed setting before the meeting activities begin.

State of the Industry Panel
Monday, 12 December 13:00 – 14:00
Show Floor Theater, Exhibit Hall

Despite ongoing global challenges, the laser industry continues to grow and expand, with increasing applications demanding enhanced performance from state-of-the-art laser systems. Senior leaders in the global laser industry will participate in this panel discussion, which aims to explore the current state of the laser industry in 2022. Through candid and open discussions, the panel will discuss some of the key challenges and emerging opportunities underpinning the industry’s further growth.

Gabrielle Thomas, Business Development Manager, Menlo Systems GmbH, Germany

Scott Christensen, Director of Advanced Applications, IPG Photonics, USA
Florian Emaury, CEO, Menhir Photonics AG, Switzerland
Torsten Mans, Product Management BC Lasers, Trumpf Laser GmbH, Germany
Dirk Müller, Director of Marketing, Coherent, USA

Student and Early Career Networking Happy Hour
Monday, 12 December 18:30 – 20:00
Tibidabo Room, AC Hotel Barcelona Forum

Meet or reconnect with colleagues from around the world. In addition, several Optica Ambassadors will be in attendance to lead discussions on working in industry, navigating academia and other topics of interest.

Optica Laser Systems Technical Group Special Talk & Networking Event
Monday, 12 December 19:00 – 20:30
Rooms 133-134, Barcelona International Convention Centre

Join the Laser Systems Technical Group for a special talk.

Patrick Baer, Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology, Germany
Talk: High Stability Fiber Lasers at 1 and 2 µm for Gravitational Wave Detectors, Sensing- and Quantum Applications

Baer’s talk offers an overview of fiber amplifier development at 1 µm and 2 µm, shows its potential for various applications and presents recent achievements and current challenges. Attendees are invited to stay after the talk to connect with colleagues over refreshments.

Technology Showcase: Customer-Inspired R&D Efforts at Edmund Optics
Tuesday, 13 December 10:15 – 10:35
Show Floor Theater, Exhibit Hall

Olivia Wheeler-Williams, Ultrafast Laser Optics Engineer, Edmund Optics, USA

Edmund Optics works closely with our customers to address their applications, which often inspires full-scale R&D efforts to enhance product quality and fundamental knowledge. Recently, we have focused on adhesion of broadband coatings to semiconductors, variance in group delay dispersion for standard dielectric mirrors and degradation pathways in UV optics.

Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Entrepreneurship (WiSTEE) Lunch
Tuesday, 13 December 12:45 – 14:00
Room 128, Barcelona International Convention Centre

WiSTEE Connect aims to provide concrete support to help women to gain regional connections and global impact in Science, Technology, Engineering and Entrepreneurship (STEE) fields. Information about the WiSTEE lunch will be available prior to the event.

End-User Workshop - Presented by Optica Corporate Membership
Tuesday, 13 December 14:00 – 17:00
Room 120, Barcelona International Convention Centre

Optica Corporate Membership will host a session featuring integrators and end-users of photonics technology to connect optics and lasers suppliers with potential technology integrators to understand their current and future needs. In a highly interactive setting, speakers will present what their companies do, then address points such as the optics and laser technology currently used at Nokia Bell Labs; optics and laser technology needed now or in the near future; and technology challenges that other participants can help solve.

This industry-only event will stimulate discussions to accelerate business opportunities for participants. The event will not be recorded to encourage people to speak freely. 

The program concludes with a networking reception to continue the discussion and explore business opportunities.

Congress Banquet
Wednesday, 14 December 18:30 – 22:00
Sant Pau Recinte Modernista

Enjoy a special banquet dinner with fellow attendees at Sant Pau Recinte Modernista.

Sant Pau is the world’s largest Art Nouveau complex, as well as being the most important work by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, the architect of Modernisme, the Catalan Art Nouveau.

Declared World Heritage by the UNESCO in 1997 for its singularity and artistic beauty, the Art Nouveau Site comprises an architectural complex of 12 pavilions set in green space and interconnected by a kilometre of underground galleries.

Available to Technical Conference registrants with a EUR 25 reservation fee. 

ICFO Tour – The Institute of Photonic Sciences
Friday, 16 December 09:30 – 14:00
ICFO – The Institute of Photonic Sciences

The tour begins with a presentation by Dr. Robert Sewell, Head of Academic Affairs, who offers a brief introduction to ICFO and the research conducted at the institute. Guided tours through laboratories and facilities follow.

The tour is held in conjunction with the annual ICFO Day, which means you can take part in supplemental activities organized through the event. (Information on IFCO Day will be available closer to the event.)

Transportation to and from the tour is included in the tour registration fee. The bus will depart from the AC Marriott Hotel (located next to the convention center) at promptly 09:30. Once the tour concludes, the bus will return to the hotel, arriving approximately at 14:30. There are no other stops scheduled.

If you wish to go to the airport directly after the tour, you may bring your luggage with you to the facility. The trip to Barcelona International Airport is a 10-15 minute car ride from ICFO. 

Note: A registration fee of EUR 65 is required to reserve your spot on the tour.


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