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Patent highlights

27 Aug 2004

The pick of this week's patent applications including an uncooled infrared camera.

•  Title: Apparatus for thermal imaging
Applicant: Mikron Infrared Inc, US
International application number: WO 2004/069547
An infrared camera based on an uncooled focal plane array is the subject of patent application number WO 2004/069547. According to the inventors from US firm Mikron Infrared, wavelengths between 3 and 14 microns can be detected. The camera also contains two filters which pass either a 3 to 8 micron or 8 to 14 micron waveband. Capable of imaging surfaces between - 40°C and 2000°C, the inventors claim their camera works equally well in high temperature environments such as inside furnaces and lower temperature situations including broad daylight.

•  Title: Multi-clad optical fiber laser and their manufacture
Applicant: Ceramoptec Industries, Inc, US
International application number: WO 2004/070431
Ceramoptec of the US has applied to patent an optical fiber that can be used as an active medium in fiber lasers. The fiber comprises a rare-earth-doped silica active core surrounded by a pure or doped silica pump core and an inner cladding. Crucially, the inner cladding's refractive index is lower than that of the pump core. The final layer is a protective polymer coating. "The majority of the high-power pump radiation along with its evanescent field is now conducted in glass," say the applicants. "Because glass has a higher damage threshold than polymers, the fiber can conduct higher optical powers before damage to the fiber is felt."

•  Title: Multiple core microstructured optical fibers and methods using said fibers
Applicant: Corning Incorporated, US
International application number: WO 2004/070444
Corning of the US is trying to patent a series of multiple core microstructred optical fibers and their potential uses. One variation includes a fiber with a photonic bandgap core as well as an index-guided core. Corning believes this could be used to detect discontinuities in the fiber. Another setup uses a fiber with a main core and at least one alignment core. The alignment cores have different optical propagation properties to the main core and are able to guide different wavelengths. The authors say that this design simplifies the initial steps of fiber alignment.

HÜBNER PhotonicsMad City Labs, Inc.LASEROPTIK GmbHBerkeley Nucleonics CorporationLaCroix Precision OpticsABTechFirst Light Imaging
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