Feature Articles

Laser Fluorosensors for Remote Environmental Monitoring

Fluorescence spectroscopy is used in a wide range of disciplines as both a qualitative and a quantitative analytical technique. The development of the laser has now allowed this method to be adapted to the remote-sensing role of monitoring environmental parameters from the air. Many environmental pollutants have been shown to have characteristic fluorescence properties lending them to possible detection and identification by a laser fluorosensor.

by D. M. Rayner and R. O'Neil
Running the Wild Yough

A stalwart band of river rats gathered in the hamlet of Ohiopyle on a misty morning in May. However, this group did not appear to be the typical breed of carefree, devil-may-care adventurers ... or were they? Indeed, the faces (if not the attire) bore vague resemblance to some of the members of the OSA board of directors. In truth, the outing marked a prologue to the annual spring board of directors meeting at Annapolis.

by Valerie F. Olson
Optical Bistability

Recent transmission of 1.32-μm, 5-psec pulses through 1 km of optical fiber without significant dispersional distortion has clearly demonstrated the high-bandwidth capability of using short optical pulses and optical fibers. In addition, propagating optical signals are not easily influenced by external electromagnetic fields. Both facts point to optical communication as an attractive information-transmission medium for the future.

by H. M. Gibbs and S. L. McCall