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Patents

Karl A. van Bibber, Franck S. Deitrich
Proton Radiography Based on Near-Threshold Cerenkov Radiation
U.S. Patent 6,518,580 B1
February 11, 2003
A Cerenkov imaging system for charged-particle radiography that determines the energy loss of the charged particle beam passing through an object. This energy-loss information provides additional detail on target densities when used with traditional radiographic techniques such as photon or x-ray radiography. In this invention, a probe beam of highly charged (800-megaelectronvolt to 50-gigaelectronvolt) particles traveling at the speed of light is passed through an object to be imaged and then through an imaging magnetic spectrometer to a silicon aerogel Cerenkov radiator, where the charged particles emit Cerenkov light proportional to their velocity. At the same beam focal plane, a particle scintillator produces a light output proportional to the incident beam flux. Optical imaging systems relay the Cerenkov and scintillator information to charge-coupled devices on other measurement equipment. A ratio between the Cerenkov and scintillator is formed, which is directly proportional to the line density of the object for each pixel measured. Rotating the object permits tomographic radiography to be performed. Discrete time-step movies of dynamic objects may be made by applying pulses of beam to the object.

Peter Poulsen
Beam Converter
U.S. Patent 6,560,314 B2
May 6, 2003
An apparatus and method for converting electron energy to irradiative energy. The converter is made of a high-electron-energy material such as, but not limited to, tantalum in the form of foil or foam.

Daniel M. Makowiecki, Alan F. Fankowski
Magnetron Sputtered Boron Films for Increasing Hardness of a Metal Surface
U.S. Patent 6,569,293 B1
May 27, 2003
A method for producing thin boron and titanium–boron films by magnetron sputter deposition. The amorphous boron films, unlike those made with various physical vapor deposition processes, contain no morphological growth features. Magnetron sputter deposition method requires the use of a high-density crystalline boron sputter target, which is prepared by hot isostatic pressing. Thin boron films prepared by this method are useful for producing hardened surfaces and surfacing machine tools and for making ultrathin-band pass filters. They also can be used to produce low-electron-energy elements in low-electron-energy/high-electron-energy optical components, such as mirrors, which enhance reflectivity from grazing to normal incidence.

Mark W. Bowers
Optical Distance Measurement Device and Method Thereof
U.S. Patent 6,570,646 B2
May 27, 2003
A system and method for efficiently obtaining distance measurements of a target. A modulated optical beam may be used to determine the distance to the target. A first beam splitter may be used to split the optical beam, and a second beam splitter may be used to recombine a reference beam with a return ranging beam. An optical mixing detector may be used in a receiver to efficiently detect distance measurement information.

Russel B. Wilcox, Ralph H. Page, Raymond J. Beach, Michael D. Feit, Stephen A. Payne
Antiguided Fiber Ribbon Laser
U.S. Patent 6,570,702 B2
May 27, 2003
A ribbon of an optical material with a plurality of cores that run along its length. The cores include cores doped with lasing impurity spaced alternately with cores doped with index-modifying impurity. The ribbon comprises an index of refraction that is substantially equal to or greater than the indices of refraction of the array of cores doped with lasing impurity. Cores doped with index-increasing impurity promote antiguiding and leaky modes, which provide more robust single supermode operation.

Joseph P. Fitch, Dennis L. Matthews, Karla G. Hagans, Abraham P. Lee, Peter Krulevitch, William J. Benett, Robert E. Clough, Luiz B. DaSilva, Peter M. Celliers
Medical Devices Utilizing Optical Fibers for Simultaneous Power, Communications, and Control
U.S. Patent 6,575,965 B1
June 10, 2003
A medical device in the form of a catheter having a distal end for insertion into and manipulation within a body and a proximal end by which a user can control the manipulation of the distal end within the body. A fiber-optic cable within the catheter connects the distal end to the proximate end of the catheter where it can be coupled to an external source of laser light energy. A converter of laser light to mechanical power is connected to receive light from the distal end of the fiber-optic cable and may include a photovoltaic cell and an electromechanical motor or a heat-sensitive photothermal material. An electronic sensor is connected to receive electrical power from the distal end of the fiber-optic cable, provide signal information about a particular physical environment, and communicate externally through the fiber-optic cable to the proximal end thereof. A mechanical sensor is attached to the distal end of the fiber-optic cable and connected to provide light signal information about a particular physical environment and communicated externally through the fiber-optic cable.

Charles R. Carrigan, John J. Nitao
Hybrid Joule Heating/Electro-Osmosis Process for Extracting Contaminants from Soil Layers
U.S. Patent 6,576,116 B2
June 10, 2003
Joule (ohmic) heating and electro-osmosis are combined in a hybrid process for removal of both water-soluble contaminants and nonaqueous-phase liquids from contaminated, low-permeability soil formations that are saturated. Central to this hybrid process is the partial desaturation of the formation or layer using electro-osmosis to remove a portion of the pore fluids by inducting a groundwater flow to extraction wells. Joule heating is performed on a partially desaturated formation. The joule heating and electro-osmosis operations can be carried out simultaneously or sequentially if the desaturation by electro-osmosis occurs initially. Joule heating of the desaturated formation results in an effective transfer or partitioning of liquid contaminants to the vapor phase. The heating also substantially increases the vapor-phase pressure in the porous formation. As a result, the contaminant-laden vapor phase is forced out into soil layers of a higher permeability where other conventional removal processes, such as steam stripping or groundwater extraction, can be used to capture the contaminants. This hybrid process is more energy efficient than joule heating or steam stripping for cleaning low-permeability formations and can share electrodes to minimize facility costs.

Robin R. Miles, Amy W. Wang, Christopher K. Fuller, Asuncion V. Lemoff, Kerry A. Bettencourt, June Yu
Sample Preparation and Detection Device for Infectious Agents
U.S. Patent 6,576,459 B2
June 10, 2003
A sample preparation and analysis device incorporating both immunoassays and polymerase chain reaction assays in one compact, field-portable microchip. The device provides new capabilities in fluid and particle control, so a fluidic chip can be built with no moving parts, thus decreasing fabrication cost and increasing the robustness of the device. The device can operate in a true continuous (not batch) mode. The device incorporates magnetohydrodynamic pumps to move the fluid through the system, acoustic mixing and fractionation, dielectrophoretic sample concentration and purification, and on-chip optical detection capabilities.

Eddy A. Stappaerts
Optical Electric-Field Pattern Generator
U.S. Patent 6,577,428 B2
June 10, 2003
The amplitude of an input laser beam is modulated by a two-dimensional array of Michelson interferometers composed of a phase spatial light modulator, a mirror, and a 50/50 light beamsplitter. The array of Michelson interferometers is calibrated by adjusting the path length of one of the interferometer arms. The calibration is maintained with the aid of feedback. The amplitude-modulated beam is then directed successively through a field imaging telescope, a polarization beamsplitter, and a quarter-wave plate before impinging a second phase spatial light modulator. The second modulator is adjusted to apply the desired phase profile. The beam, which at this point has the desired amplitude and phase profiles, is again directed through the quarter-wave plate and subsequently reflected off the polarization beamsplitter, out of the apparatus, and into free space.

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