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Page Updated: 25-Sep-2006
SPS Homepage > News 2003 > Prize 2003

Dr. Leonard John Otten, III

Vice President, Chief Technical Officer Kestrel Corporation, 3815 Osuna Rd. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109, USA

2003 NATO Science Partnership Prize



Institution and Location Degree Field of Study
1969 Georgia Institute of Technology, GA Ph.D. AE
1967 Georgia Institute of Technology, GA M.S. AE
1966 University of New Mexico, NM B.S. ME
1985 United States Naval War College M.A. Int Rel’n and National defence

Positions and Honours

Kestrel Corporation, 1993 - Present. Dr. Otten is Vice President and Chief Technical Officer of Kestrel Corporation. Since co-founding Kestrel Corporation, Dr. Otten has served as Principal Investigator for the design of Kestrel’s Fourier transform hyperspectral imagers and preformed the modelling and collected the field data for these programs. His previous projects at Kestrel included the introduction of the Fourier transform technology into a small spacecraft payload, the first successful hyperspectral imager to be placed in orbit, directing the company’s ultraspectral and LWIR imaging research and investigating applications of a new wave front sensing technology to measuring optical aberrations introduced by the atmosphere.

Over the past five years, Dr. Otten has worked to apply Kestrel’s spectral imaging and wavefront sensing technology to biomedical and remote sensing applications including leading the scientific team that adapted Kestrel’s hyperspectral imaging technology to imaging the human retina. He has served as lead designer of the adaptation of our multispectral and hyperspectral imagers to attach to a standard funduscope and has recently expanded this research to include the introduction of an adaptive optics capability to allow multispectral imaging at the micron level resolution of the retina. This application expands the information collected by the funduscope, increasing its value to medical practitioners. Dr. Otten also has ongoing work in the application of a new wave front sensing technology to cornea characterization.

As the technical leader and key scientist, Dr. Otten led Kestrel in the development of five very different ophthalmic instruments for clinical applications. These instruments include a multi-spectral fundus imager, a hyperspectral fundus imager (based on a Fourier transform imaging interferometer), an optical device for functional imaging of the retina, an adaptive optics fundus imager funded through a NATO Science for Peace grant, and a donor cornea characterization system. These instruments have been tested using human subjects. Dr. Otten has seven US patents, five of which are in ophthalmic applications, and numerous publications and a two reference books on optical propagation.

United States Air Force. 1966-1992 Managed the Air Force’s high energy laser and high resolution optical imaging research and development activities. Principal accomplishments were the consolidation of all Air Force high resolution imaging technology into the Directorate and the creation of the Airborne Laser Program for theater missile defence- the only new technical demonstration start in directed energy weapons to survive the down sizing of the DoD budget. Both of these required the merger of scattered technologies into cohesive, focused activities and the successful movement of programs, financing and personnel.

The results were an increase of $2 Billion in new research for the Directorate over a seven-year period. Transitioned previously classified imaging and atmospheric compensation technologies to open scientific and international communities and established the Laboratory’s first links to international optical and laser application activities. Responsible for the creation of the largest collection of optical capabilities in the Department of defence; the 3.5 m telescope at Starfire Optical Range, the 3.7m Multi-user telescope on the island of Maui and the ARGUS airborne imaging platform. Responsible for an annual budget of over $130 million and the supervision of 300 people. Selected as an Associate Fellow of the America Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Established the experimental basis for modern aero optics and conducted the wind tunnel testing of what proved to be the design of the Airborne Laser Laboratory. Conducted flight tests of optical measurement systems to validate wind tunnel aero optical results that set the scaling relationships. Preformed modelling of gas dynamic laser pre-heater designs. Twice the recipient of the Air Force R&D Award for original work in defining the near field propagation of light from an airframe. Dr. Otten is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, a member of the Optical Society of America, the International Society of Optical Engineering, and the Directed Energy Professional Society.

Dr. Otten is married to Dr. Janet Fender. They have two daughters.

Selected Publications

  • Byers, J., Roggemann, M., Otten, J., Schulz, T., Haven, T., and Brown, W., Experimental estimation of the spatial statistics of turbulence-induced index of refraction fluctuation in the upper atmosphere. Applied Optics, 2003. 42(6): p. 908-921.
  • Otten, L.J., Lane, J., Erry, G., Harrison, P., and Kansky, J. A comparison between a Shack-Hartmann and a Distorted Grating Wavefront Sensor under Scintillated Propagation Conditions in Conference on Optics in Atmospheric Propagation and Adaptive Optics Systems 2002. Crete, Greece: SPIE.
  • Otten, L.J. Measurement of Highly Scintillated Wavefronts with G. Erry, J. Lane, P. Harrison, S. Woods, and M. Roggemann in Proceedings of the 3rd International Workshop on Adaptive Optics for Industry and Medicine 2002. Albuquerque, NM: Ed. S. Restaino and S. Teare, Starline Printing.
  • Yarbrough, S., Caudill, T.R., Osweiler, V., Quarles, R., Arnold, J., Kouba, E.T., Otten. L. J., et al. MightySat II.1 Hyperspectral Imager: Summary of on-orbit performance (Invited Paper) in SPIE Imaging Spectrometry VII. 2001. San Diego, CA.
  • Otten, L.J. "Space Based Hyperspectral Imagery of the Moon and Earth Limb" with A. Jones, A. Edwards, J. Lane in Conference on Next Generation Satellites IV 2001. Toulouce, France.
  • Brown, W.W., Roggemann, M.C., Schulz, T.J., Havens, T.C., Beyer, J.T., and Otten, L.J., "Measurement and data-processing approach for estimating the spatial statistics of turbulence-induced index of refraction fluctuations in the upper atmosphere" Applied Optics, 2001. Vol. 40(No. 12): p. 1863.
  • Otten, L.J. and et. al. "On Board Spectral Imager Data Processor" in SPIE Annual Meeting. 1999. Denver, CO.
  • Otten, L.J., Soliz, P., Greenaway, A.H., Blanchard, M., and Ogawa, G. 3-D Cataract Imaging System in Proc. of 2nd International Workshop of Adaptive Optics for Industry and Medicine. 1999. Durham, UK.
  • Magotra, N., Wu, E., Truitt, P., Meigs, A., Otten, J., and Soliz, P. Chirp-Z Transform for Optimizing the Spectral Information Contents of Hyperspectral Fundus in IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging 1999.
  • Farnath, D.A., Truitt, P.W., Padilla, S., Otten, L.J., and Soliz, P. Characterization of Malignant Eyelid Lesions Using Hyperspectral Imaging in Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) 1999. Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
  • Otten, L.J., Meigs, A.D., Jones, B.A., Prinzing, P., and Fronterhouse, D.S. "Payload Qualification and Optical Performance Test Results for the MightySat II. 1 Hyperspectral Imager" in Sensors, Systems, and Next Generation Satellites II 1998. Barcelona, Spain, SPIE.
  • Otten, L.J. "Interactive Performance Model for Spatially Modulated Fourier Transform Spectrometers," with J. B. Rafert and R.G. Sellar in Conference on Imaging Spectrometry, SPIE Conference. 1995. 2840 Orlando, FL.
  • Otten, L.J. "The Fourier Transform Hyperspectral Imager Payload on MightySat II" in The Small Satellite Conference. 1995. International Space Congress, Bremen, Germany.
  • Gilbert, K., Otten, L., and Rose, W., Aerodynamic Effects, Atmospheric Propagation of Radiation in The Infrared and Electro-optical Systems Handbook 1993, ERIM: Ann Arbor.
  • Gilbert, K. and Otten, L., Aero-Optical Phenomena. Progress in Aeronautic and Astronautics, 1982. 80 (AIAA, New York).
  • Otten, L.J., Roggemann, M.C., Jones, B.A., Lane, J. and Black, D.K., High bandwidth atmospheric data turbulence collection platform. SPIE Proc. 3866, Optics in Atmospheric Propagation and Adaptive Systems V.1999
  • Otten, L.J., Roggemann, M and Consortini, A., Dual beam atmospheric turbulence measurement system performance as a high altitude turbulence scale size sensor. in Optics in Atmospheric Propagation and Adaptive Optics IV. 1998. Barcelona, Spain
  • Erry, G., Otten, L.J., Larichev, A., Irochnikov, N, A High Resolution Adaptive Optics Fundus Image, 4th Conference on Adaptive Optics for Industry and Medicine, Munster Germany, 21-24 Oct 2003.
  • Harrison, P, Erry,G., Fournier, P., Cuevas, D., Otten, L. J., Larichev, A., Comparative Results from Shack-Hartmann and Distorted Grating Wavefront Sensors in Ophthalmic Applications, 4th Conference on Adaptive Optics for Industry and Medicine, Munster Germany, 21-24 Oct 2003.