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1. (WO2008151159) THROUGH-CONTAINER OPTICAL EVALUATION SYSTEM
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CLAIMS
What is claimed is:
1. An apparatus, adapted to interrogate a fluid specimen through the walls of a container in which the fluid is held, said apparatus comprising:
first radiation structure configured and arranged to direct first emitted radiation through said container at a first location for reception of first transmitted radiation by a first
intensity detector to obtain a first transmitted intensity, said first emitted radiation comprising a characteristic first wavelength selected as a reference based upon its substantial lack of attenuation when transmitted through a known fluid composition; second radiation structure configured and arranged to direct second emitted radiation through said container at said first location for reception of second transmitted radiation by said first intensity detector to obtain a second transmitted intensity, said second
emitted radiation comprising a characteristic second wavelength distinguishable from said characteristic first wavelength and selected as a measurement tool based upon its predictive attenuation when transmitted through said known fluid composition; and comparison structure adapted to compare a first intensity ratio, of said first and second
transmitted intensity, against a predetermined value.
2. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein:
said intensity ratio comprises division of said first transmitted intensity by said second
transmitted intensity.
3. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein:
said intensity ratio comprises division of said second transmitted intensity by said first
transmitted intensity.
4. The apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising:
third radiation structure configured and arranged to direct third emitted radiation through said container at a second location effective to obtain a third transmitted intensity, said second location being disposed at a container elevation that is different from said first location;
fourth radiation structure configured and arranged to direct fourth emitted radiation through said container at said second location effective to obtain a fourth transmitted intensity; and wherein said comparison structure is further adapted to compare first data, comprising said second transmitted intensity, to second data, comprising said fourth transmitted
intensity, to indicate presence of a desired fluid level in said container.
5. The apparatus according to claim 4, wherein:
said comparison structure is further adapted to compare said first intensity ratio against a second intensity ratio, of said third and fourth transmitted intensity, to indicate
presence of a desired fluid level in said container.
6. The apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising:
emission-directing structure adapted to move said container relative to said first intensity detector effective to permit detecting radiation transmitted through said container at a second elevation to verify a desired fluid level in said container.
7. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein:
said first radiation structure and said second radiation structure include a first beam splitter in common, said first beam splitter being arranged to cast said first and second emitted radiation onto said first location.
8. The apparatus according to claim 4, wherein:
said third radiation structure and said fourth radiation structure include a second beam splitter in common, said second beam splitter being arranged to cast said third and fourth emitted radiation onto said second location.
9. The apparatus according to claim 4, wherein:
said first emitted radiation and said third emitted radiation share the same characteristic first wavelength; and
said second emitted radiation and said fourth emitted radiation share the same characteristic second wavelength.
10. The apparatus according to claim 4, wherein:
said third and said fourth transmitted radiation are received by a second intensity detector.
11. A method for using the apparatus according to claim 1 , comprising:
disposing said container in position for interrogation by radiation;
separately applying said first emitted radiation and said second emitted radiation, in any
order, to said first location;
obtaining a first numeric value corresponding to said first transmitted radiation and a second numeric value corresponding to said second transmitted radiation;
calculating a first ratio of said first numeric value and said second numeric value; and comparing said first ratio to a predetermined value to make a determination about a fluid characteristic.
12. The method according to claim 11, wherein calculating a first ratio comprises: dividing said first numeric value by said second numeric value.
13. The method according to claim 11, wherein calculating a first ratio comprises: dividing said second numeric value by said first numeric value.
14. A method for using the apparatus according to claim 4, comprising:
disposing said container in position for interrogation by radiation;
separately applying said first emitted radiation and said second emitted radiation, in any
order, to said first location;
obtaining a first numeric value corresponding to said first transmitted radiation and a second numeric value corresponding to said second transmitted radiation;
separately applying said third emitted radiation and said fourth emitted radiation, in any
order, to said second location;
obtaining a third numeric value corresponding to said third transmitted radiation and a fourth numeric value corresponding to said fourth transmitted radiation;
calculating a first ratio of said first numeric value and said second numeric value; and comparing said first ratio to a predetermined value to make a determination about a fluid characteristic.
15. The method according to claim 14, further comprising:
calculating a second ratio of said third numeric value and said fourth numeric value; and comparing said first ratio to said second ratio to make a determination about a fluid characteristic.
16. An apparatus adapted to interrogate a fluid specimen contained inside a closed container, the apparatus comprising:
a first radiation source adapted to emit radiation comprising a reference wavelength, said first radiation source being configured and arranged to direct first emitted radiation
through a first beam splitter effective to cast such radiation through a first location of said container for reception of first transmitted radiation by a first intensity detector to obtain a first transmitted intensity;
a second radiation source adapted to emit radiation comprising a measurement wavelength distinguishable from said reference wavelength, said second radiation source being configured and arranged to direct second emitted radiation through said first beam splitter effective to cast such radiation through said first location on said container for reception of second transmitted radiation by said first intensity detector to obtain a second transmitted intensity; and
comparison structure adapted to compare a first intensity ratio, of said first and second
transmitted intensity, against a predetermined value.
17. The apparatus according to claim 16, wherein:
said intensity ratio comprises division of said first transmitted intensity by said second
transmitted intensity.
18. The apparatus according to claim 16, wherein:
said intensity ratio comprises division of said second transmitted intensity by said first
transmitted intensity.
19. The apparatus according to claim 16, wherein:
said first radiation source is configured and arranged to direct its emitted radiation through a second beam splitter effective to cast such radiation through a second location on said container for reception of third transmitted radiation by a second intensity detector to obtain a third transmitted intensity;
said second radiation source is configured and arranged to direct its emitted radiation through said second beam splitter effective to cast such radiation through said second location on said container for reception of fourth transmitted radiation by said second intensity detector to obtain a fourth transmitted intensity; and
said comparison structure is further adapted to compare said first intensity ratio against a second intensity ratio, of said third and fourth transmitted intensity, to indicate
presence of a desired fluid level in said container.
20. The apparatus according to claim 16, further comprising:
a third radiation source adapted to emit radiation comprising a second reference wavelength, said third radiation source being configured and arranged to direct third emitted
radiation through a second beam splitter effective to cast such radiation through a second location on said container for reception of third transmitted radiation by a second intensity detector to obtain a third transmitted intensity;
a fourth radiation source adapted to emit radiation comprising a second measurement
wavelength distinguishable from said second reference wavelength, said fourth
radiation source being configured and arranged to direct fourth emitted radiation through said second beam splitter effective to cast such radiation through said second location on said container for reception of fourth transmitted radiation by said second intensity detector to obtain a fourth transmitted intensity; wherein:
said comparison structure is further adapted to compare said first intensity ratio against a second intensity ratio, of said third and fourth transmitted intensity, to indicate
presence of a desired fluid level in said container.

21. An apparatus, adapted to interrogate a fluid specimen through the walls of a container in which the fluid is held, said apparatus comprising:
radiation means adapted to direct first emitted radiation and second emitted radiation through said container;
intensity detection means adapted to obtain:
a first value, for a first transmitted intensity resulting from said first emitted radiation passing through said container; and
a second value, for a second transmitted intensity resulting from said second emitted radiation passing through said container;
comparison means adapted to compare a first intensity ratio, of said first value and said
second value, against a standard;
wherein said first emitted radiation comprises a characteristic first wavelength selected as a reference based upon its substantial lack of attenuation when transmitted through a known fluid composition; and
said second emitted radiation comprises a characteristic second wavelength distinguishable from said characteristic first wavelength and selected as a measurement tool based upon its predictive attenuation when transmitted through said known fluid
composition.