Kelly Krause (Littell) ('08) took Physical Optics as part of her Physics Minor while at Southern and has since started graduate studies in mathematics at the University of Alabama at Huntsville. She finished her Master's degree with a minor in Optics in December 2010. Her optics courses came in handy when she applied for a research position at Radiance Technologies, Inc. Last December the defense contractor hired her to help develop optical systems.
Kelly is on the algorithm team for the Weapon Watch program for Radiance Technologies. This program was built to detect and then track (or follow) any type of enemy fire, including everything from bullets to RPGs. Normally, acoustic sensors are used, so the user is made aware of a shot when the sound of the blast is detected. At Radiance, researchers use camera systems sensitive to both the infrared and visual spectrum of light, so the weapon is detected and can be responded to before the sound of the enemy weapon even reaches the user. In an effort to make the systems more efficient and even smaller (a typical Weapon Watch sensor box is about the size of a computer tower), Radiance is researching different camera lens types and enhancing the algorithms used in their image processing. Kelly was hired on for the optics skills she would be able to contribute to her team, as well as her ability to think analytically about situations.