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Electro-optic voltage sensor head

United States Patent

5,939,711
August 17, 1999
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Idaho National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office Website
The invention is an electro-optic voltage sensor head designed for integration with existing types of high voltage transmission and distribution apparatus. The sensor head contains a transducer, which comprises a transducing material in which the Pockels electro-optic effect is observed. In the practice of the invention at least one beam of electromagnetic radiation is routed into the transducing material of the transducer in the sensor head. The beam undergoes an electro-optic effect in the sensor head when the transducing material is subjected to an E-field. The electro-optic effect is observed as a differential phase a shift, also called differential phase modulation, of the beam components in orthogonal planes of the electromagnetic radiation. In the preferred embodiment the beam is routed through the transducer along an initial axis and then reflected by a retro-reflector back substantially parallel to the initial axis, making a double pass through the transducer for increased measurement sensitivity. The preferred embodiment of the sensor head also includes a polarization state rotator and at least one beam splitter for orienting the beam along major and minor axes and for splitting the beam components into two signals which are independent converse amplitude-modulated signals carrying E-field magnitude and hence voltage information from the sensor head by way of optic fibers.
Crawford; Thomas M. (Idaho Falls, ID), Davidson; James R. (Idaho Falls, ID), Woods; Gregory K. (Cornelius, OR)
Lockheed Martin Idaho Technologies Company (Idaho Falls, ID)
08/ 988,247
December 10, 1997
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION The United States has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC07-94ID13223 between the U.S. Department of Energy and Lockheed Martin Idaho Technologies Company.