SDL Hosts 15th Calibration Conference at Utah State

By Karen Wolfe
Space Dynamics Laboratory
September 25, 2006

Logan, Utah — October 2-5 marks the 15th year of the CALCON Technical Conference held on the Utah State University campus. Sponsored in part by the Space Dynamics Laboratory, the conference brings together members of the international scientific and engineering communities to discuss the increasingly more challenging issues of calibrating remote sensing instrumentation.

Remote sensing is used for a variety of applications from environmental to national security. Accurate calibration of space-based sensors is essential to gathering data to help scientists understand global climate change as well as providing the military with the tools necessary for national defense.

The Conference will host Dr. Katharine B. Gebbie, Director of the Physics Laboratory of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, as the keynote speaker on October 3rd. Dr. Gebbie has worked extensively on the physics of the solar and stellar atmosphere and is an esteemed member of several professional societies. Dr. Gebbie has received numerous awards including the Department of Commerce Gold Medal and the Women in Science and Engineering Lifetime Achievement Award.

The first conference was held in 1990 specifically to address calibration issues of the Spatial Infrared Imaging Telescope, or SPIRIT III, which was developed by SDL and successfully launched in April 1996. The success of the first conference led to the current conference format which more generally addresses the calibration concerns of all infrared sensors.

“I believe CALCON will continue to grow in the years to come, especially as it addresses how to make accurate measurements of global climate change,“ said Allan Steed, former director of SDL.

Other sponsors of CALCON include the Missile Defense Agency, National Institute of Standards and Technology and NOAA’s National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System.

SDL has deep expertise in sensor calibration, and representatives from SDL will chair several of the technical sessions. For more information on CALCON, including session information and the agenda for technical presentations, visit