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1. WO2000013033 - ELECTRO-OPTIC VOLTAGE SENSOR

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[ EN ]

WE CLAIM:
1. An electro-optic voltage sensor for sensing an E-field produced by an energized conductor comprising:
a sensor body configured for disposition in the E-field and having an input configured for receiving a source beam of electro-magnetic radiation within the sensor body, the sensor body also having first and second outputs;
polarization beam displacer means disposed in the sensor body and configured for separating the source beam into a first beam having substantially a first linear polarization orientation and a second beam having substantially a second linear polarization orientation, and for directing the first beam along a first path and the second beam along a different second path;
polarization altering means disposed in the sensor body and configured for rotating the first polarization of the first beam to a rotated polarization having major and minor axes;
sensing means disposed in the sensor body and configured for inducing a differential phase shift on the major and minor axes of the rotated polarization of the first beam in response to the E-field; and
redirecting means disposed in the sensor body and configured for redirecting the first beam back through at least the polarization altering means and polarization beam displacer means; and
wherein the polarization altering means is configured for rotating the major and minor axes of the first beam; and
the polarization beam displacer means is configured for separating the first beam into a third beam representing the major axis of the polarized first beam and a fourth beam representing the minor axis of the polarized first beam, the polarization beam displacer being configured to direct the third beam along a third direction towards the first output and the fourth beam along a different fourth direction towards the second output.

2. The sensor of claim 1, wherein the redirecting means converts the rotated polarization of the first beam to circular or elliptical polarization and further directs the first beam back through the polarization altering means; and wherein the polarization altering means is configured for rotating the major and minor axes of the circular or elliptical polarization of the first beam before the first beam enters the polarization beam displacer means.

3. The sensor of claim 1, further comprising:
collimator means disposed in the sensor body configured for collimating the source beam before the source beam enters the polarization beam displacer means.

4. The sensor of claim 1, further comprising:
collector means disposed in the sensor body for collecting the third and fourth beams.

5. The sensor of claim 1, further comprising:
a collimator device disposed in the sensor body at the input for collimating the source beam, the collimator device having a sleeve, a fiber ferrule disposed in the sleeve, and a graded index lens disposed in the sleeve in contact with the fiber ferrule.

6. The sensor of claim 1, further comprising:
a collector device disposed in the sensor body at either the first or second output for collecting either the third or fourth beams, the collector device having a sleeve, a fiber ferrule disposed in the sleeve, and a graded index lens disposed in the sleeve in contact with the fiber ferrule.

7. The sensor of claim 1 , wherein the third beam and the fourth beam define a separation angle therebetween, and wherein the separation angle is less than 90 degrees.

8. The sensor of claim 1 , wherein the polarization beam displacer means has opposite first and second surfaces, and wherein the polarization beam displacer means is configured for receiving the source beam at the first surface and passing the first beam through the second surface, and for receiving the first beam back at the second surface and passing the third and fourth beams at the first surface.

9. The sensor of claim 1, wherein the sensor body configured for disposition in the E-field produced between a conductor and a grounded conductor without contacting the conductor.

10. An electro-optic voltage sensor for sensing an E-field produced by an energized conductor comprising:
a sensor body configured for being disposed in the E-field without contacting the conductor and having an input configured for receiving a source beam of electro-magnetic radiation and first and second outputs;
collimator means disposed in the sensor body and configured for collimating the source beam;
polarization beam displacer means disposed in the sensor body and configured for separating the source beam into a first beam of substantially a first polarization orientation and a second beam of substantially a second orthogonal polarization, and for directing the first beam along a first direction and the second beam along a different second direction;
polarization altering means disposed in the sensor body and configured for rotating the first polarization of the first beam to a rotated polarization;
sensing means disposed in the sensor body and configured for inducing a differential phase shift on the major and minor axes of the rotated polarization of the first beam in response to the E-field;
redirecting means disposed in the sensor body and configured for redirecting the first beam back through the sensing means, polarization altering means, and polarization beam displacer means, and for converting the rotated polarization of the first beam to circular or elliptical polarization; and wherein the sensing means is configured for inducing a differential phase shift on the major and minor axes of the circular or elliptical polarization of the first beam;
the polarization altering means is configured for rotating the major and minor axes of the circular or elliptical polarization of the first beam; and
the polarization beam displacer means is configured for separating the first beam into a third beam representing the major axis of the first beam and a fourth beam representing the minor axis of the first beam, and for directing the third beam along a third direction towards the first output and the fourth beam along a different fourth direction towards the second output.

11. The sensor of claim 10, further comprising:
first collector means disposed at the first output and second collector means disposed at the second output, the first and second collector means being configured for collecting the third and fourth beams respectively.

12. The sensor of claim 11, wherein the first and second collector means each comprise a sleeve, a fiber ferrule disposed in the sleeve, and a graded index lens disposed in the sleeve in contact with the fiber ferrule.

13. The sensor of claim 10, wherein the collimator means comprises a sleeve, a fiber ferrule disposed in the sleeve, and a graded index lens disposed in the sleeve in contact with the fiber ferrule.

14. The sensor of claim 10, wherein the third beam and the fourth beam define a separation angle therebetween, and wherein the separation angle is less than 90 degrees.

15. The sensor of claim 10, wherein the polarization beam displacer has opposite first and second surfaces, and wherein the polarization beam displacer means is configured for receiving the source beam at the first surface and passing the first beam through the second surface, and for receiving the first beam back at the second surface and passing the third and fourth beams at the first surface.

16. An electro-optic, voltage sensor system comprising:
a conductor and a grounded conductor configured for producing an E-field therebetween when the conductor is energized;
an elongated sensor body disposed in the E-fϊeld between the conductor and the grounded conductor without contacting the conductor, the sensor body having first and second ends, the sensor body also having an input and first and second outputs disposed at the first end of the sensor body;
a transmission source optically coupled to the sensor body configured for producing a source beam of electro-magnetic radiation, components of the source beam passing through the sensor body defining a primary optical path, components of the source beam passing from the first end to the second end defining an initial pass, and from the second end to the first end defining a return pass;

a first fiber optic cable having a first end coupled to the transmission source and a second end coupled to the input of the sensor body for optically communicating the source beam from the transmission source to the sensor body;
a graded index lens disposed in the sensor body at the first end and optically coupled to the first fiber optic configured for collimating the source beam as it passes through the lens on the initial pass;
a polarization beam displacer disposed in the sensor body and optically coupled to the graded index lens configured for separating the source beam into a first beam of substantially a first polarization orientation and a second beam of substantially a second orthogonal polarization, and for directing the first beam along a first direction and the second beam along a different second direction as the source beam passes therethrough on the initial pass, the first beam defining the primary optical path;
a wave plate disposed in the sensor body and optically coupled to the polarization beam displacer configured for rotating the first polarization of the first beam to a rotated polarization as the first beam passes therethrough on the initial pass;
a tranducer disposed in the sensor body and optically coupled to the wave plate configured for inducing a differential phase shift on the major and minor axes of the rotated polarization of the first beam in proportion to the magnitude of the E-field as the first beam passes therethrough on the initial pass;
a reflecting prism disposed in the sensor body generally at the second end and optically coupled to the transducer configured for reflecting the first beam back to the first end of the sensor body defining the return pass and for converting the rotated polarization of the first beam to circular or elliptical polarization; and
wherein the transducer is configured for inducing a differential phase shift on the major and minor axes of the circular or elliptical polarization of the first beam as the first beam passes therethrough on the return pass;
the wave plate is configured for rotating the major and minor axes of the circular or elliptical polarization of the first beam as the first beam passes therethrough on the return pass;
the polarization beam displacer is configured for separating the first beam into a third beam representing the major axis of the first beam and a fourth beam representing the minor axis of the first beam, and for directing the third beam along a third direction towards the first output and the fourth beam along a different fourth direction towards the second output as the first beam passes therethrough on the return pass; and
further comprising a second graded index lens disposed at the first output and a third graded index lens disposed at the second output, the second and third graded index lenses collecting the third and fourth beams respectively.

17. The system of claim 16, wherein the polarization beam displacer if configured for separating and directing the first and second beams with a first separation angle therebetween, the first separation angle being sized such that the second beam is directed towards a side of the sensor body before reaching the reflecting prism.

18. The system of claim 16, wherein the polarization beam displacer is configured for separating and directing the third and fourth beams with a second separation angle therebetween, the second separation angle being less than 90 degrees.

19. The system of claim 16, wherein the polarization beam displacer has opposite first and second surfaces and wherein the source beam enters the polarization beam displacer at the first surface, the first beam exits at the second surface on the initial pass and enters at the second surface on the return pass, and the third and fourth beams exit at the first surface.

20. The system of claim 16, further comprising:
a detector optically coupled to the sensor body by second and third fiber optics coupled between the detector and the first and second outputs, respectively, the detector comprising a first photodetector optically coupled to the first fiber optic and a second phototdetector optically coupled to the second fiber optic, for converting the third and fourth beams to electrical signals, the detector further comprising a signal processor for determining a desired E-field
characteristic based on the electrical signals.

21. The system of claim 16, wherein the transducer is a Pockels crystal.

22. The system of claim 16, wherein the transducer a material, and wherein the material is MgO-doped LiNbO3.