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1. WO1998053357 - A METHOD OF REDUCING THE EFFECT OF A CONTAMINATED ENVIRONMENT

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CLAIMS
1. A method of reducing the effect of a contaminated environment on a rotating optical element of a scanning assembly, the method comprising supplying substantially uncontaminated gas into a region adjacent the rotating optical element thereby causing any contamination in the region to be displaced away from the rotating optical element .
2. A method according to claim 1, wherein the uncontaminated gas is obtained by passing air through a filter to remove contaminants.
3. A method according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the rotating optical element is contained within, but spaced apart from, an open shroud, such that the region into which the substantially uncontaminated gas is supplied is defined by the space between the rotating optical element and the open shroud.
4. A method according to claim 3, wherein the substantially uncontaminated gas is further supplied to an aperture of the shroud.
5. A method according to claim 3 or claim 4, wherein the open shroud is static relative to the rotating optical element .
6. Apparatus for reducing the effect of a contaminated environment on a rotating optical element of a scanning assembly, the apparatus comprising a device for providing a supply of substantially uncontaminated gas, the device being coupled to a delivery system for directing the substantially uncontaminated gas into a region adjacent the rotating optical element.
7. Apparatus according to claim 6, wherein the device for providing a supply of uncontaminated gas comprises a pump for generating compressed air and a filter, wherein the compressed air is passed through the filter to remove the contaminants.
8. Apparatus according to claim 6 or claim 7, wherein the rotating optical element is contained within, but spaced apart from, an open shroud, such that the region into which the substantially uncontaminated gas is supplied is defined by the space between the rotating optical element and the open shroud.
9. Apparatus according to any of claims 6 to 8, wherein the substantially uncontaminated gas is further supplied to an aperture of the shroud.
10. Apparatus according to any of claims 6 to 9, wherein the delivery system comprises at least one hose positioned so as to direct substantially uncontaminated gas into the region.
11. Image scanning assembly comprising a rotating optical element; apparatus according to any of claims 6 to 10 for reducing the effect of a contaminated environment on the element; a modulated radiation beam source for generating a radiation beam modulated with image information; and a record medium support, the rotating optical element being positioned to receive the modulated radiation beam and scan it across a record medium on the support.