SDL, Utah State to Host Calibration Conference

April 22, 2002

LOGAN — The Space Dynamics Laboratory (SDL) and Utah State University (USU) get set to host the Eleventh Annual Calibration Conference Apr. 29 - May 2 at the Eccles Conference Center on the USU campus.

The Conference, which is expected to draw 100 attendees, includes informational sessions on characterization and radiometric calibration for remote sensing. Keynote speaker is Al Parr, PhD of the National Institute of Standards Technology (NIST).

"Calibration is a critical component of space and ground-based sensors," said Paul Huber, conference coordinator and manager of support services at SDL. "This conference offers a unique opportunity for government and industry to compare technology and notes on calibration techniques.

Joe Tansock, conference chair and calibration engineer at SDL, explained that as dependence on sensors increases, precision measurements and therefore, instrument calibration, is becoming more and more critical. He likened the criticalness of calibration to driving an automobile.

"The purpose of calibration is to understand the output of your instrument," said Tansock. "For example, if your speedometer is out of calibration by 10 miles per hour, you might get a ticket for speeding. If the calibration is wrong on an instrument, it will give incorrect data to scientists."

Along with SDL and USU, sponsors include NIST, and the U.S. Department of Defense's Missile Defense Agency. Cosponsors include the Aerospace Corporation, NASA, GNU, Working Group on Calibration and Validation/Committee on Earth Observation Satellites, the University of Alabama-Huntsville and the University of Arizona Optical Sciences Center.