Patent Number: 6,310,901

Title: Automated AC filament universal laser power controller in a gas ion lasersystem and method

Abstract: A power supply is provided for use in a laser system including a gas ionlaser tube which requires a filament voltage provided by an output sectionof the power supply. The filament voltage provided should not exceed amaximum AC filament voltage specified for the laser tube. The power supplyis configured to receive AC utility power using one of at least first andsecond AC utility power sources having different first and second intendedfixed magnitudes and which utility sources vary in amplitude from theintended fixed magnitudes over corresponding first and second sourcevoltage ranges. The power supply is configured to include a power controlarrangement which automatically controls the output section to generate anauto-ranging AC filament voltage from either of the first and secondutility sources to be supplied as the filament voltage. For each of thefirst and second AC utility power sources, the auto-ranging AC filamentvoltage is limited to a regulated range extending below, but not exceedingthe maximum AC filament voltage when the first and second voltages arewithin the first and second source voltage ranges, irrespective of whichof the first or second AC utility power sources to which the power supplyis connected. In one feature, the filament voltage is provided to thelaser tube in a way which manages an operating lifetime of the laser tubein view of known lifetime data. In another feature, minimum air coolingrequirements of a laser tube are met when one or more auto-ranging AC fanvoltages are generated by the auto-ranging power supply over the first andsecond AC utility source voltage ranges.

Inventors: Mahmoudi; Mathew (Sunnyvale, CA), Rintala; Warne M. (Cupertino, CA)


International Classification:

Expiration Date: 10/32013