Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Analytical Instrumentation, Methods & Materials
Analytical Instrumentation Methods Materials
High-Speed, Swept Frequency Spectroscopic System
WARF: P02233US

Inventors: Scott Sanders

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing a wavelength-agile laser that is particularly well suited to measuring gas absorption in engines.
Gas sensing is important in many industrial applications. In harsh environments like engines, laser absorption spectroscopy can be used to measure gases, provided careful attention is given to light coupling and wavelength scanning. Because gas measurements are also sensitive to high temperatures and pressures, laser parameters such as speed, light losses and scanning bandwidth are important considerations for accurate measurements.
The Invention
A UW-Madison researcher has developed a wavelength-agile laser capable of rapidly scanning through a broad wavelength range, with superior light coupling and reduced light loss. It is particularly well suited to measure gas absorption in engines.

The invention consists of commercially available components that include an ultra-fast laser, a non-linear optical fiber and a frequency-spreading element. When these components are connected in series, the fiber optic cable receives a multi-frequency light pulse and spreads its frequency in time prior to transmitting it into a test cell. This approach significantly reduces losses involved in coupling light to the optic fiber and avoids the measurement of unwanted nonlinear processes. By directing the laser’s output through a test article of interest, the item’s properties can be determined by the recorded transmission spectrum.
  • Gas sensing, particularly gas absorption by engines
Key Benefits
  • Economical -- can be assembled with commercially available equipment
  • Fast -- initial tests provided a laser scan rate of 1200 nm in 3.5 microseconds
  • Broad application -- can be used to measure temperature, pressure, velocity, composition and in stress/strain measurements and testing
  • Shows superior light coupling with reduced light loss
Additional Information
For More Information About the Inventors
For current licensing status, please contact Michael Carey at [javascript protected email address] or 608-960-9867