Dr. Joseph A. Shaw
Distinguished Professor and Director
SPIE Involvement:
Nominating Committee | Board of Directors | Conference Chair | Conference Program Committee | Editor | Author | Instructor | Student Chapter Advisor | Visiting Lecturer | Career Lab Leader | Special Event Speaker
Area of Expertise:
Optical remote sensing system design , polarimetry , Radiometry and sensor calibration , spectral imaging , lidar , optical pheonomena in nature
Profile Summary

I joined the faculty at Montana State University in 2001 after spending 12 years at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) research labs in Boulder, Colorado. I enjoy developing optical remote sensing systems and applying them to understanding the natural world. Photographing and understanding natural optical phenomena is another of my passions (see examples in my book, Optics in the Air). I am a Fellow of SPIE and the OSA.
Publications (90)

SPIE Journal Paper | 29 September 2020
JARS Vol. 14 Issue 03

Proceedings Article | 21 August 2020 Presentation + Paper
Proc. SPIE. 11481, Light in Nature VIII
KEYWORDS: Optical properties, Scattering, Light scattering, Photography, Clouds, Mie scattering, Atmospheric optics

Proceedings Article | 22 April 2020 Presentation + Paper
Proc. SPIE. 11421, Sensing for Agriculture and Food Quality and Safety XII
KEYWORDS: Hyperspectral imaging, Imaging systems, Calibration, Image processing, Reflectivity, Machine learning, Image classification

Proceedings Article | 21 April 2020 Presentation + Paper
Proc. SPIE. 11412, Polarization: Measurement, Analysis, and Remote Sensing XIV
KEYWORDS: Hyperspectral imaging, Polarization, Imaging systems, Calibration, Polarizers

Proceedings Article | 26 November 2019 Presentation
Proc. SPIE. 11197, SPIE Future Sensing Technologies

Showing 5 of 90 publications
Proceedings Volume Editor (18)

SPIE Conference Volume | 16 November 2020

SPIE Conference Volume | 11 September 2020

SPIE Conference Volume | 1 November 2019

SPIE Conference Volume | 4 October 2019

Showing 5 of 18 publications
Conference Committee Involvement (39)
SPIE Future Sensing Technologies
17 November 2021 | Tokyo, Japan
Polarization Science and Remote Sensing X
1 August 2021 | San Diego, California, United States
Tribute to James C. Wyant: The Extraordinaire in Optical Metrology and Optics Education
1 August 2021 | San Diego, California, United States
Light in Nature IX
1 August 2021 | San Diego, California, United States
SPIE Future Sensing Technologies
9 November 2020 | Online Only, Online Only
Showing 5 of 39 Conference Committees
Course Instructor
SC789: Introduction to Optical and Infrared Sensor Systems
This course provides a broad introduction to optical (near UV-visible) and infrared sensor systems, with an emphasis on systems used in defense and security. Topics include both passive imagers and active laser radars (lidar/ladar). We begin with a discussion of radiometry and radiometric calculations to determine how much optical power is captured by a sensor system. We survey atmospheric propagation and phenomenology (absorption, emission, scattering, and turbulence) and explore how these issues affect sensor systems. Finally, we perform signal calculations that consider the source, the atmosphere, and the optical system and detector, to arrive at a signal-to-noise ratio for typical passive and active sensor systems. These principles of optical radiometry, atmospheric propagation, and optical detection are combined in examples of real sensors studied at the block-diagram level. Sensor system examples include passive infrared imagers, polarization imagers, and hyperspectral imaging spectrometers, and active laser radars (lidars or ladars) for sensing distributed or hard targets. The course organization is approximately one third on the radiometric analysis of sensor systems, one third on atmospheric phenomenology and detector parameters, and one third on example calculations and examination of sensor systems at the block-diagram level.
SC567: Introduction to Optical Remote Sensing Systems
This course provides a broad introduction to optical remote sensing systems, including both passive sensors (e.g., radiometers and spectral imagers) and active sensors (e.g., laser radars or LIDARs). A brief review of basic principles of radiometry and atmospheric propagation (absorption, emission, and scattering) is followed by a system-level discussion of a variety of ground-, air-, and space-based remote sensing systems. Key equations are presented for predicting the optical resolution and signal-to-noise performance of passive and active sensing systems. Sensor system examples discussed in the class include solar radiometers, passive spectrometers and hyperspectral imagers, airborne imaging spectrometers, thermal infrared imagers, polarization imagers, and active laser radars (LIDARs and LADARs). The course material is directly relevant to sensing in environmental, civilian, military, astronomical, and solar energy applications.
SC915: Radiometry Revealed
This course explains basic principles and applications of radiometry and photometry. A primary goal of the course is to reveal the logic, systematic order, and methodology behind what sometimes appears to be a confusing branch of optical science and engineering. Examples are taken from the ultraviolet through the long-wave infrared portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Anyone who wants to answer questions such as, "how many watts or photons do I have?" or "how much optical energy or radiation do I need?" will benefit from taking this course.
SC1232: Introduction to LIDAR for Autonomous Vehicles
This course provides an introduction to the exciting and rapidly growing field of light detection and ranging (LIDAR) on autonomous vehicles. The rapid growth of new lasers and detectors, along with miniaturization of computers and high-speed data acquisition systems, is opening many new opportunities for LIDAR systems in applications that require smaller and more portable instruments. Since the invention of LIDAR in the 1960s, systems have evolved from large instruments mounted in unmovable laboratories or on trucks and trailers, to smaller and dramatically more portable instruments. This course reviews the basic principles that govern the design of any LIDAR system, emphasizing how these principles can be used to design and analyze small, portable LIDAR systems uniquely tailored to guiding and performing remote sensing measurements from autonomous vehicles on the road, in the air, and in the water.
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