A recent U.S. National Research Council report defines research priorities that would lead to advances in optics and photonics, highlighting five challenges facing the nation that can be addressed with such advances.
First, optics and photonics technologies have to produce a factor-of-100 cost-effective capacity increases in optical networks.
Second, the optics and photonics community needs to integrate these technologies as a mainstream platform for low-cost fabrication and packaging systems on a chip for communications, sensing, medical, energy, and defense applications.
The U.S. military also needs to develop optical technologies to support platforms capable of wide-area surveillance, object identification and improved image resolution, high-bandwidth free-space communication, laser strike, and defense against missiles.
U.S. energy stakeholders should try to achieve cost parity across the nation's electric grid for solar power instead of new fossil fuel-powered electric plants by the year 2020.
Finally, the U.S. optics and photonics community should develop optical resources and imaging tools to support an order of magnitude or more of increased resolution in manufacturing.
From Network World
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