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13 October 1995 National photonics skills standards for technicians
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Photonics is defined as the generation, manipulation, transport, detection, and use of light information and energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The range of applications of phonics extends from energy generation to detection to communication and information processing. Photonics is at the heart of today's communication systems, from the laser that generates the digital information transported along a fiber- optic cable to the detector that decodes the information. Whether the transmitted information is a phone call from across the street or across the globe, photonics brings it to you. Where your health is concerned, photonics allows physicians to do minimally invasive surgery using fiber-optic endoscopes and lasers. Researches using spectroscopy and microscopy are pushing the frontiers of biotechnology in activities as widespread as diagnosing disease and probing the mysteries of the genetic code. Advanced sensing and imaging techniques monitor the environment, gathering data on crops and forests, analyzing the ocean's currents and contents, and probing the atmosphere of pollutants. Transportation needs are being impacted by photonic sensors and laser rangefinders that will soon monitor and control the traffic on our nation's highways. In our factories, photonics provides machine vision systems that give a level of quality control human inspectors could never achieve. In manufacturing, lasers are replacing a variety of cutting, welding, and marking techniques, while imaging systems teamed with neural networks are producing intelligent robots. In short, photonics is paving our way into the new millennium. The skill standard is intended to define the knowledge and capabilities - the skills - that workers in the phonics industry need. Phonics will be one of the primary battlefields of the world economic conflict, and it is imperative that U.S. photonics technicians be skilled enough to allow the United States to remain competitive in a global marketplace. The focus of this standard is on the skills necessary for employment as a phonics technician and is not intended to be an analysis of those skills that are important for workers in all occupational areas. A comprehensive treatment of the skills necessary for all workers has been the subject of a number of studies, most notably, the work of the Secretary's Commission on the Achievement of Necessary Skills (SCANS). It is our hope at CORD that the work presented in the standard lends more detail and rational for the accomplishment of the broader skills that should be obtained by all students.
© (1995) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Darrell M. Hull "National photonics skills standards for technicians", Proc. SPIE 2525, 1995 International Conference on Education in Optics, (13 October 1995);


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