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Virtual OSA Imaging and Sensing Congresses Reveal Advances in Manufacturing Solutions and More

OSA Communications

The co-located 2021 OSA Imaging and Applied Optics Congress and Optical Sensors and Sensing Congress, held 19 – 23 July, engaged nearly 1,300 registrants from 59 countries. Visionaries in quantum photonics, non-linear umixing on hyperspectral images and environmental and remote sensing were featured plenary speakers and presenters.

“The congresses have a lot of synergies and attendees really appreciate having both in the same event,” said Imaging and Applied Optics Congress Chair Ram Narayanswamy, Teaq Innovations, USA. “I look forward to the joint congress next year and hope to attend in person.”

Jelena Vuckovic, Professor and Leader of the Nanoscale and Quantum Photonics Lab, Stanford University, USA, was among four plenary speakers for the virtual meetings. She discussed new fabrication approaches that allow classical and quantum photonics to be implemented in a variety of photonic materials using machine learning and optimization.

“Photonic optimization is crucial for implementation of scalable and practical classical and quantum photonic systems,” said Vuckovic. “We believe that for implementation of all quantum technologies from quantum sensors to quantum computers and simulators and quantum networks, we can do all of that by using optically interfaced semiconductor spin qubits.”

Paolo Gamba, Professor and Leader of the Telecommunications and Remote Sensing Laboratory, University of Pavia, Italy, presented some of the approaches aimed at improving non-linear unmixing, one of the key operations performed on hyperspectral images. He described an example using the famous hyper-spectral image of the World Trade Center immediately after 9/11. “Here we have the possibility to reconstruct the image using a p-linear mixing model, using a different mixing model (based on) artificial neural network,” he said. “This new approach that is called multiple p-linear mixture model works better than the others.”

The plenaries also featured Abbie Watnik, Head of the Optical Techniques Section in the Optical Sciences Division at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, USA and Demetri Psaltis, Professor of Optics and Director of the Optics Laboratory, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland. In his talk, Psaltis said researchers are using neural networks to design optical systems with physics-based loss functions.

Watnik described techniques and various optical technologies enabling imaging in challenging conditions. “Imaging in adverse environments is an everyday concern,” she noted. “It is estimated that 32% of all accidents at sea worldwide and 40% in the Atlantic ocean occurs in the presence of dense fog," she added.

A panel discussion on “Microplastics in the Environment” featured chemistry experts who examined the problem of environmental pollution by microplastics and the need for need for new sensing technologies. “Optical sensing experts could offer future avenues for novel optical sensing technologies to help solve this extremely important world-wide problem,” said Optical Sensors and Sensing Congress Chair Gerard Wysocki, Princeton University, USA.

The topical meeting committees identified 34 student papers as finalists for the student paper awards. Read the list of the Imaging and Applied Optics Congress finalists and the Optical Sensors and Sensing Congress finalists.

Registrants can access the recorded technical sessions, digest papers, virtual exhibit and e-Poster Gallery on the congress websites through 23 September 2021.

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