Toulouse attracts photonics experts to discuss defence and remote sensing

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More than 700 delegates attended the co-located Security and Defence, and Remote Sensing conferences in Toulouse in September, with topics of discussion ranging from fighting crime and terrorism to monitoring volcanic eruptions.

Among technical session highlights were a standing-room-only crowd for the conference on Military Applications in Hyperspectral Imaging and High Spatial Resolution Sensing, and a session on lidar measurements taken during the eruptions early this year of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano.

A roundtable discussion on Optics and Photonics for Counterterrorism and Crime Fighting resulted in a lively debate among its international audience of technology experts.

The sold-out exhibition opened Tuesday with a record number of companies displaying products and technologies to the conference participants.

'Local companies such as ONERA, Airbus, Thales, CNES, and EADS Astrium contribute to the Toulouse region being recognised as a leading centre of research, development and manufacturing in aerospace, defence, security and remote sensing,' said Andrew Brown, SPIE senior director for global business development. 'The record number of attendees and the energy throughout the conference indicate the value participants find in networking, exposure to new technologies and markets, and interacting with key suppliers at the exhibition.'