With nearly 8 billion people on earth, problems with polluted air and water, global warming, plastic in the oceans, and energy consumption represent unprecedented challenges to our society and planet. A cleaner, safer future is needed, and various technologies, including optical-based solutions, are urgently needed to address and alleviate the continued growth of these problems. Optics and photonics can provide unique, effective means to monitor our world, provide more energy-efficient devices, and solve environmental challenges. We are soliciting proposals that will continue improving the tools and techniques to meet current and future challenges affecting our world.
Proposals of interest could include but are not limited to:
- Improving environmental monitoring capabilities using satellite, airborne imaging and measurement sensors, as well as ground-based measurement technologies (e.g., distributed optical fiber sensing, multispectral, thermal, and hyperspectral imaging, etc.).
- Leveraging technology for active monitoring of water and air pollution.
- Improving the energy efficiency of industrial and private infrastructures through the use of enhanced passive materials such as responsive photochromic window glass.
- Enhancing the technology used on solar farms to reduce greenhouse emissions.
- Supplying cleaner energy through enhanced solar technology or optical sensors to optimize wind turbine efficiency.
- Improving or creating tools to measure, monitor and mitigate climate change.
- Leveraging new energy-efficient consumer devices such as wearables and displays to reduce their energy footprint.
- Discovering how to use artificial light specifically tuned to enhance plant growth combined with light-based sensors to increase production and quality.
- Using optical sources to purify water and develop new approaches that can provide more and cleaner drinking water in the 3rd world
- Developing new sensors and processing algorithms to monitor and optimize the yield of agricultural output.
- Using highly sensitive sensors, including those based on quantum approaches to improve electric systems & environmental monitoring.
- Other proposals exploring innovative, groundbreaking research or technology developments are welcome and encouraged.