Patent Number: 6,297,918

Title: Hybrid thermal-defocusing/nonlinear-scattering broadband optical limiter for the protection of eyes and sensors

Abstract: A passive optical limiter for protecting a light-sensitive object from damage due to an incident light beam above a first predetermined value of light intensity is disclosed. The passive optical limiter comprises: a first lens for focusing an incident light beam to a focal point; a protective element disposed near the focal point, the protective element being responsive to a focused incident light beam below the first predetermined intensity level for passing therethrough the focused incident light beam below the first predetermined intensity level, the protective element being responsive to a focused incident light beam between the first predetermined intensity level and a higher second predetermined intensity level for deflecting substantially all of the focused incident light beam into rings of light and passing therethrough only a small portion of the converged incident light beam between the first and second predetermined intensity levels, and the protective element including a scattering element responsive to incident light at or above the second predetermined intensity level for scattering that incident light in all directions to decrease the intensity level of the incident light below a damage threshold of the light sensitive object; and a second lens for focusing substantially all of the light passing through the the protective element and the second lens onto the light-sensitive object.

Inventors: Justus; Brian L. (Springfield, VA), Huston; Alan L. (Springfield, VA), Campillo; Anthony J. (Springfield, VA)

Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy

International Classification: G02B 5/22 (20060101); G02B 005/23 (); F21V 009/00 ()

Expiration Date: 10/02/2018