Conference on Space Electronics and Photonics

Harnessing its influence as a national center of research in space technology, the University of Arkansas will host the Advanced Microelectronics and Photonics for Space Conference and Small Business Innovation Research Forum this week at the Arkansas Research and Technology Park.

The conference and forum, organized by Space Photonics Inc., a local company closely associated with university researchers, will feature national experts on space electronics and photonics and will focus on the growth of small businesses that develop and produce space-based technology.

“We know about the great work of Space Photonics,” said Phil Stafford, president of the University of Arkansas Technology Development Foundation. “But not many people understand the range of work from a cluster of companies affiliated with the research and technology park. Within these companies is a core of research expertise in developing electronics that can function in extreme environments such as space. Arkansas Power Electronics International, Power Electronic Leveling Solutions and Lynguent are all making valuable technological contributions to NASA's mission. We are very proud to recognize the accomplishments of these companies and others in the research and technology park and their strong impact on the local and state economy.”

Arkansas Lt. Gov. Bill Halter will deliver the event's keynote address, and Linda Nelson, district director of the U.S. Small Business Administration, will discuss the “SBA's Tool Bag for Small Business Growth.” The conference and forum will include presentations from representatives of Boeing, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Other presenters include Derek Sears, director of the Arkansas Center for Space and Planetary Sciences, and Stafford, who will discuss space-related research at the Arkansas Research and Technology Park. The event will include exhibits and presentations from many space-technology companies, including SA Photonics, Opticomp and ADSANTEC, in addition to Space Photonics Inc., which recently received a $1 million award to work on fiberoptic components for use on the International Space Station.

“This conference will specifically target research and development in advanced microelectronic and photonic technologies and their applications to space-based assets,” said Tracie Rebsamen, conference coordinator with Space Photonics Inc. “Special attention will be given to ways in which these technologies can provide innovative solutions in space programs.”

The format of the conference will allow for the dissemination of knowledge among organizations responsible for satellite development. Some meetings will address technical requirements generated through Small Business Innovation Research program offices. The conference will also include networking sessions for technology contractors.

Events will begin at 8 a.m. Tuesday, June 26, with registration and breakfast. Halter is scheduled to address the group at 9:15 a.m. Presentations and exhibits will continue through Wednesday, and the conference will end at noon on Thursday. Speakers will give presentations in the AT&T Conference Room at the Genesis Technology Incubator. Exhibits will be located in the common area of the Innovation Center.

The conference is sponsored by the Arkansas Center for Space and Planetary Sciences, the University of Arkansas Technology Development Foundation and the University of Arkansas.

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