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Wales to host SPIE Europe Remote Sensing and SPIE Europe Security and Defence

UK – Optoelectronics-rich Wales, home to numerous industry and research facilities specializing in those technologies, will provide a fitting setting for the co-located SPIE Europe Remote Sensing and SPIE Europe Security and Defence conferences to be held in Cardiff September 15-18.

Wales’ First Minister and Assembly Member Rhodri Morgan will open the conferences with a talk on the region’s thriving private- and public-sector optics and photonics community. The area’s 90-plus companies collectively are responsible for over £717 million a year in revenues, and Wales-based businesses and consortia will receive a sizeable portion of the UK Ministry of Defence’s £7.5 billion capital budget for 2007-2008.

The Welsh Opto-Electronics Forum, a consortium of Welsh companies, university research groups, users, and support organizations is another important contributor to the industry. The forum’s facility OpTIC (Opto-electronics Technology and Incubation Centre) supports start-up business activities, and the forum organizes seminars and other training and communication activities.

Co-locating the Remote Sensing and Security and Defence events enables closer collaboration between the two communities. Participants in either program will have access to the oral and poster presentations in both.

An exhibition featuring applications and technology for both symposia will include 20 companies showing products detectors, sensors, lasers, and imaging equipment for the security and defense community along with products for the remote sensing audience.

Plenary presentations will be given by:

  • Frances Saunders, CEO of the UK Defence Science and Technology Lab., on “Science on the Front Line and on the Home Front”;
  • Jim Ironside, chief scientist of General Dynamics UK Ltd., on “Reconciling the Interests of Industry and Government in Research and Development”; and
  • Waleed Abdalati, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr., on “The Secrets of Polar Change through the Lens of Remote Sensing.”