OpTeC sponsors a colloquium throughout the academic year. This is a forum where a wide range of optical science and engineering topics are discussed at a level that can be understood by a broad spectrum of optics students, staff, and faculty. The primary purposes are to train students to give effective scientific talks and to promote cross-disciplinary interactions of students, staff, faculty, and local industry employees. Speakers include MSU students, staff, and faculty, and visitors from external universities, research labs, and companies.

Join our colloquium on

Thursday, June 13, 2024 at 11:00 am.

Norm Asbjornson Hall, Room 337

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Fundamental Calibrations for Remote Sensing Sensors Using Integrating Spheres

Matthew Birkebak, Labsphere


Small-scale satellite and drone optical remote sensing sensors require well-understood characterization and calibration to provide meaningful and interoperable data. With the use of several pieces of equipment, including a calibrated integrating sphere and collimation optics, most onboard cameras and sensors can be calibrated with a known uncertainty budget. This presentation will cover a set of basic components and methods that can be used to calibrate these sensors in a meaningful way.

Biographical Sketch

Matthew Birkebak is an Applications Engineer and Regional Sales Manager for Labsphere in the Western Region. Before this role, Matt held positions as a Product Engineer at Labsphere, developing custom technologies and spectral-matching light sources.

Before joining Labsphere, Matt was a Graduate Student at the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping, focusing on Airborne Lidar Bathymetry. He holds a Master of Science in Ocean Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Hampshire. During his time there, he focused on analyzing the uncertainty contributions of sea-state and ocean turbidity on bathymetric lidar uncertainty.


Past Speakers

Date Speaker Group Summary

Stefan Heinemann

Phix, North America

Packaging technologies of integrated photonics for quantum technology


Allison Barto

Ball Aerospace

Engineering Discovery: Building NASA's James Webb Space Telescope


Thomas Coleman

Silixa, LLC

Fiber optic distributed sensing for environmental and infrastructure monitoring


John Howell

Chapman University

Doppler Gyroscopes: Do we really understand the gyroscope?


Krishna Rupavatharam, Ph.D.

Spectrum  Lab

Perspectives on the evolution of microwave and quantum photonics at Spectrum Lab


John W. Sheppard, Ph.D., FIEE

MSU Gianforte School of Computing

Demystifying machine learning through eXplainable AI


Finland Photonics

Finnish Photonics Cluster

Photonics in Finland


Nicholas Borys. Ph.D.

MSU Physics

An introduction to the MonArk NSF Quantum Foundry


Alex Hills

Carnegie Mellon University

Mitigating LEO-to-GEO satellite interference


Stephen Schultz

Brigham Young University, Electrical & computer Engineering

Dynamic measurement of soft body armor using optical fiber sensing


Bradley Whitaker

MSU Electrical & Computer Engineering

How machine learning can help scientists who shoot fish and insects with lasers


Tom Hausekn


Hot topics in optics and photonics


Jim Webb1 & Scott Wohlstein2 

1 G.L. Services, Hertfordshire, England
2 The Photonics Group,West Chester, OH

Using the LaserSafePC software for laser safety calculations 



Brian D'Urso 

MSU Physics Department

Towards precision pulsed levitated optomechanics in a magneto-gravitational trap


Wataru Nakagawa

MSU ECE Department

Nanophotonics Applications and Sabbatical Exploration



Nathan Kuehl

Bryan Scherrer

MSU Physics and ECE Dep'ts Kuehl: Troubleshooting, repair and calibration of Burleigh WA-1500 Wavemeter.

Scherrer: Model and simulation of wing-beat modulation lidar for making 3D maps of flying insects .

11/19/2020 Dr. Charles Kankelborg MSU Physics Department

Designing a far ultraviolet spectrometer for the sun as a starAbstract

11/12/2020 Dr. Ioannis Roudis MSU ECE Department  Nonlinear noise in coherent optical communications systems    Abstract
4/09/2015 Dr. James G. Wessel Seagate Corporation Hard Disc-Drive Recording
3/19/2015 Dr. Jake Jacobsen Synopsys, Optical Solution Group A review of optical design software at Synopsys
2/05/2015 Dr. Mark A. Wistey ECE Department, University of Notre Dame Paths to record lasers and solar cells--and on cheap silicon
11/24/2014 Dr. Olav Solgaard ECE Department, Stanford University Miniaturized endoscopes and implantable sensors for in-vivo studies of cancer biology
11/6/2014 Dr. Kirk Knobelspiesse NASA Ames Research Center Cloud thermodynamic phase detection with polarimetrically sensitive passive sky radiometers.
10/30/2014 Dr. Kris Merkel President & CEO S2 Corporation, Bozeman, MT S2 Extreme Bandwidth Analyzer and Correlator (EBAC):Updates on Improvements and Demonstrations
11/14/2013 Dr. Upendra Singh NASA Langley Research Center Development of a pulsed 2-micron integrated-path differential absorption lidar for CO2 measurements
10/31/2013 Qing Gu University of California - San Diego Semiconductor nanolasers for dense chip-scale integration
9/16/2013 Dr. Jim Schwiegerling College of Optical Sciences - University of Arizona Leading edge optics for optimizing vision
5/14/2013 Dr. John Egan Advanced Photonic Crystals The benefits of low temperature hydrothermal crystal growth
4/25/2013 Dr. Edwin ("Ted") Heilweil National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Time-resolved terahertz studies of carrier dynamics in P3HT and zinc-phthalocyanine/C60 nanolayered thin films
2/26/2013 Dr. Larry Johnson and Dr. Mark Carroll Newport Corporation Part 1. Overview of laser diode technology and applications; Part 2. Job opportunities and desired skills for graduates at Newport/ILX Lightwave
2/8/2013 Dr. Toralf Scharf Institute of Microtechnology, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland From achromatic microlenses to submicron focusing: physical optics at the micro-scale