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Transpiration purged optical probe

Imported: 24 Feb '17 | Published: 06 Jan '04

John VanOsdol, Steven Woodruff

USPTO - Utility Patents

Abstract

An optical apparatus for clearly viewing the interior of a containment vessel by applying a transpiration fluid to a volume directly in front of the external surface of the optical element of the optical apparatus. The fluid is provided by an external source and transported by means of an annular tube to a capped end region where the inner tube is perforated. The perforation allows the fluid to stream axially towards the center of the inner tube and then axially away from an optical element which is positioned in the inner tube just prior to the porous sleeve. This arrangement draws any contaminants away from the optical element keeping it free of contaminants. In one of several embodiments, the optical element can be a lens, a viewing port or a laser, and the external source can provide a transpiration fluid having either steady properties or time varying properties.

Description

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawings where:

FIG. 1 depicts an axial cross section of the tip of an optical probe employing a passive optical access.

FIG. 2 depicts an axial cross section of the tip of an optical probe where the optical access is a laser.

Claims

1. An optical probe for improved viewing of the interior of a containment chamber comprising:

2. The apparatus of claim 1 where said end tube coupling system consists of a first tube having said coupling face at one end and a second end face at the other and a second tube having a third face which abuts against said second face of said first tube.

3. The apparatus of claim 2 where said second face and said third face are machined to accept said optical means.

4. The apparatus of claim 3 where said optical means is a lens.

5. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein said optical means is a viewing port.

6. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein said optical means is a laser beam exit port.

7. The apparatus of claim 1 where said porous portion provides for perforations which completely encircle said tube providing for a symmetrical radial flow of said transpiration fluid.

8. The apparatus of claim 1 where said fluid is a gas.

9. The apparatus of claim 1 where said fluid is a liquid.

10. The apparatus of claim 1 where said fluid source provides said fluid at a specified flow rate such that said fluid passes through said length of porous tube or porous sleeve at such a rate and pressure as to keep said optical means free of contamination.

11. The apparatus of claim 10 wherein said fluid source is capable of providing said fluid at a steady fluid flow rate or a time varying flow rate.

12. The apparatus of claim 1 where said fluid source provides said fluid at a specific temperature.