US 3566172 A
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BEG-96.32 $R x12 3256611 1 SEARCH ROOM United Stat V 3,566,172
SUBSTITUTE FOR MISSING XR  lnventors George WilliamTaylor;  Referencesciled A IN 25 SN lflmwmNJ- UNITED STATES PATENTS g May14l968 3,249,302 5/1966 136111165 350/179ux  Patemed mush" 3,399,012 8/1968 Peters 3s0/179x  Assignee RCA Corporation Primary Examiner-Alvin H. Waring 1 Assistant ExaminerMichael Slobasky Allarney-H. Christoflersen  LIGHT DEIFLECTION SYSTEM 13 Claims. 2 Drawing Figs. I  U.S. Cl 340/380;
350/179 ABSTRACT: A display system using a fluid stream as an opti- [5 1] Int. Cl... G08b 5/00, cal fiber carrying a light beam, by total internal reflection, to a G02b 1/06 display panel. The fluid stream is selectively directed to a [50} Field of Search 340/380; transparent character on the display panel, and the light beam 350/179, 180, (Inquired); 40/28C, (inquired); is released from the fluid stream by inducing a sharp bend into 137/815, (lnquired); 235/(lnquired) the fluid stream.
LIGHT DEFLECTION SYSTEM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The use of fluid logic systems has introduced the problem of converting the internal operation of the fluid logic system into a display capable of being read by an operator. Preferably, the (liTPlilY system should be a closed system which maintains the llt-id integrity of the fluid logic apparatus while converting the fluid motions into visible display indicia.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A light-deflecting system using a fluid stream to carry a light beam introduced therein by total internal reflection. In a display system embodiment, the fluid stream is selectively positioned with respect to transparent characters on a display panel. The light beam is released from the fluid stream by impinging the fluid stream on the display panel. A logic tree using a plurality of fluid amplifiers with the final level of fluid amplifiers having their output channels terminate in fluid nozzles is used in one embodiment to position the fluid stream. In other embodiments, an electrostatic deflection apparatus is arranged to produce an X-Y deflection of the fluid stream to select a character from a character matrix on a display panel.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. I is a pictorial illustration of an embodiment of the present invention, and 7 FIG. 2 is an illustration of another embodiment of the present invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION ln FIG. I, there is shown a display system embodying the present invention; A fluid pump I supplies a fluid from a reservoir 2 to the input ofa logic tree 3 having a plurality offluid control devices, e.g., fluid amplifiers. Specifically, the fluid output of the pump I is directed into an input channel of a first, or lowest, level fluid amplifier 5 of the logic tree".3. A second level of logic tree 3 has a pair of fluid amplifiers 7 and 8 with their respective fluid input channels connected to corresponding ones of the fluid output channels of the first level fluid amplifier 5. Similarly, a third level of the logic trcc" 3 has four fluid amplifiers 10,-I I, l2 and 13 with respective fluid input channels connected to corresponding ones of the fluid output channels of the second level fluid amplifiers 7 and 8. Suitable control signals for each of the fluid amplifiers in the logic "tree"' 3 are supplied to respective control signal inputs of the fluid amplifiers 5, 7, 8, and 10 to 13 from any suitable source (not shown). I he output channels of the third level fluid amplifiers 10 to 13 are each terminated by fluid nozzles. For example, fluid amplifier 10 has its fluid output channels connected to corresponding ones of a pair of fluid nozzles 15, I6. Each of the fluid output channels of the fluid amplifiers I0 to I3, also, has a transparent wall section which may include an integral lens system. Thus, fluid amplifier 10 has a transparent wall area 17 in the fluid output channel and a transparent wall area 19 in the fluid output channel 16. A separate light source is posi-, tioned in operative association with each of the transparent wall sections, e.g., a light source 20 is located adjacent to wall section 17 and a light 21 is similarly located adjacent to wall section I8. A display panel 23 having transparent characters 24 on a generally opaque background is located in front of and spaced from the output nozzles of the third level fluid amplifiers 10 to 13. The characters 24 are aligned with respective ones of these Output nozzles. While transparent characters are shown, it is clear that the characters could beformed from phosphorescent material which is excited by the light beam.
in operation, the logic tree" 3 is selectively set" to a desired condition by input signals to the fluid amplifiers,
whereby a fluid path through the logic "tree" 3 is determined.
Thus, the fluid from the pump 1 is routed to a desired one of fluid amplifier I0. The images of the light sources are formed the output nozzles connected to the third level fluid amplifiers I0 to 13. The light from each ofthe light sources is directed by the corresponding transparent wall section and any associated lens system into the interior of the output channel of the corresponding one of the fluid amplifiers 10 to 13. For example, the light from source 20 is directed by the transparent wall section 17 into the interior of the associated output channel of within the corresponding fluid output channels to minimize any illumination of the display panel 23 by a light source when the working fluid is not present in the output channel. Thus, only a minimum of stray, or diffused light is allowed to reach the display panel 23 in the absence of a fluid in the output channel. This diffused light is effective to generally illuminate the display panel 23 without selecting a display character as hereinafter discussed. Alternatively, a single light source could be used to introduce a light beam into the fluid stream at the input of the logic tree 3 to be carried by the fluid to the selected character.
The transparent working fluid used in the system of FIG. 1 is advantageously selected to have a high index of refraction,
medium can be, air or another material of a lower refractive index applied as a coating on the solid fiber. This formula can be applied to the liquid optical fiber of the present invention. 2 In solid fibers, the coating on the optical fiber reduces light losses due to the dirt and scratches and prevents light leakage between adjacent fibers. In the case of the fluid fiber, the sides of the output channel and nozzles form such an optical coating while in free air the need for such a coating is not important since the fluid is continuously moving and there are no adjaccnt fibers.
The light beam is separated from the liquid fiber by impinging the fluid stream on the display panel 23 which produces a sharp bend in the fluid stream. If the radius of the bend is coinparable with the diameter of the liquid stream, then the major part of the light beam arrives at the bend at an angle less than" the critical angle 6. Under these conditions, the beam cannot be totally internally reflected and, hence, is refracted out of the fluid stream. The intense light leaving the fluid stream brightly illuminates a selected character 24 on the panel 23 to distinguish it from the other characters 24 which may be concurrently dimly illuminated by diffused light. The impinging fluid leaving the display plate 23 may be returned to the reservoir 2 by any suitable means (not shown) to provide a constant replenishment of the working fluid.
In FIG. 2, there is shown another display system embodying the present invention. In this embodiment, an electrostatic deflection apparatus is used to deflect the light beam carrying fluid stream. A pump 30 supplies a working fluid from'a reservoir 31 to a nozzle 32. The nozzle 32 has a transparent wall section 33 adjacent to a light source 35. A first pair of spacedapart stream-deflecting plates 37,38 are connected to selectively operable voltage sources 39,40 respectively A second pair of spaced-apart deflection plates 42.43 are located downstream of the first pair of plates 37,38 and arranged in an orthogonal relationship with respect to the first plates 37,38. The second plates 42,43 are connected to selectively operable voltage sources 44,45, respectively. A generally opaque display panel 47 having a matrix of transparent characters 48 thereon lS located downstream of the second pair of plates 42,43. A fluid return system 49 is located-adjacent to the panel 47 to return the working fluid to the reservoir 31.
The operation of the liquid optical fiber of the embodiment shownin FIG. 2 is similar to that discussed above with respect to the embodiment shown in FIG. 1. Thus, the light from the source 35 is introduced into the working fluid through the wall section 33 and is, thereafter, carried by a stream 50of the working fluid issuing from the nozzle 32. The application of a voltageto a selected one of the deflecting plates creates a nonuniform field for the dipoles in the liquid which in the case of a fine stream, i.e., small mass per unit length, produces a deflection of the stream in proportion to the voltage. Typically, with a 0.010 inches-diameter water stream, a deflection is produced by a 200 volt plate signal. The other deflection plate of each pair is left floating, i.e., no signal, since a similar voltage on the other plate would balance the attractive forces and produce no net displacement. Other ways of producing a deflection of the working fluid may be used. For
example, the fluid may be preionized and a uniform electric field used between a pair of electrodes to deflect the stream in proportion to field strength and polarity. Another method would be to use a transparent, high index of refraction, magnetic fluid passing through a magnetic field.
Since the first pair of plates 37, 38 and the second pair of plates 212, 43 are mutually orthogonal, the deflection of the fluid stream 50 is in a combined X and Y direction. Thus, any character 48 in the character matrix on the display plates 47 can be selected by a suitable application of voltages to the deflecting plates 37, 38, 42 and 43. The impinging of the fluid stream on the display panel 47 releases the light beam from the fluid stream 50 to produce an illumination of the selected character. In a normal undeflected position, the stream 50 may be arranged to impinge on an opaque portion of the plate 47 whereby no display character is illuminated.
A modification of the structure shown in FIG. 2 would inelude a plurality of X and Y sets of deflection plates arranged in succession along the fluid path whereby the effect of each successive set of X and Y plates would introduce an additional number of fluid positions, e.g., the number of fluid positions would be 2 n) is the number of sets of X and Y deflection plates.
1. In combination:
a fluid optical fiber comprising a stream of a transparent fluid having a substantially higher index ofrefraction than the. material at its surface so that it totally internally reflects light, and having an input end and a length which is substantially greater than its largest cross-sectional dimension; and 1 means for directing light at said input end at an angle such that said light passes into said fiber, whereby it is conducted along the length of said stream.
2. In combination:
a fluid optical fiber comprising a stream of a transparent fluid having an input end and a length substantially greater than its largest cross-sectional dimension;
means for directing light at said input end at an angle such that the light passes into said fiber and is conducted along the length thereof via internal reflection from the surface that the light passes into said fiber and is conducted along the length thereof via internal reflection from the surface of said stream; and
means along the length of said fiber for distorting the stream sufficiently to cause at least a portion of the light conducted by the fiber to pass out of saidfiber.
4. in combination:
a display device;
a source of fluid which is capable of conducting light;
means for transmitting fluid from said source in a fluid stream to said display device including means for directing said fluid stream to impinge on a desired one of a number of different areas of said display; and
5 means for introducing light into said fluid stream, said fluid stream acting as a fluid fiber optic to transmit the light by total internal reflection from the surface of said fluid stream, the light illuminating the area of said display at which said fluid stream impinges.
5. The combination claimed in claim 4, said means for transmitting comprising n fluid paths, where n is an integer, each such path having a fluid receiving end and a fluid transmitting end, each fluid receiving end being connected to said source of 'fluid and each fluid transmitting end being positioned with respect to saiddisplay such that the fluid stream transmitted by said path impinges on a predetermined area of said display.
6. The combination claimed in claim 5, said means for directing including means for selecting different ones of said fluid paths to transmit said fluid stream. I
7. The combination claim in claim 4,
said means for directing comprising deflection means positioned between said source and said display device such that the path taken by said fluidstream and the area of said display where the fluid impinges is controllable by said deflection means; and
means for applying electrical potentials to said deflection means for directing said fluid stream to different areas of said display device.
8. The combination claimed in claim 4, said means for introducing light comprising means for directing light into one end of said fluid stream.
9. In combination:
a display device;
a source offluid which is capable of conducting light;
n fluid paths, where n is an integer, each having a fluid receiving end and a fluid transmitting end, each such path being connected at the fluid receiving end to said source of fluid;
n fluid output channels each being connected to one of the fluid transmitting ends of said n fluid paths, and each output channel being aligned with a predetermined area of said display device such that fluid transmitted through said channel impinges on said predetermined area;
means for selecting one of said It fluid paths to transmit said fluid; and
means for introducing light into said fluid, the fluid conducting the light through said selected fluid path by internal reflection from the fluid surface, the light illuminating the area of said display at which said fluid impinges.
10. The combination claimed in claim 9, said fluid being transparent.
11. The combination claimed in claim 9, said fluid being translucent.
12. In a dis-play device having an opaque background on which n transparent characters are situated, where n is an integer, the combination comprising: 60 a source of fluid which is capable of conducting light;
a plurality of fluid paths, there being at least the same number of paths as there are characters on said display,
' said fluid paths each having a fluid receiving end and a fluid transmitting end, the fluid receiving end of each path being connected to said source offluid;
a plurality of fluid output channels, there being one such channel per fluid path, the fluid transmittingend of said path being connected to'said output channel, and each output channel being aligned with one of said n characters such that fluid transmitted by said channel strikes said character;
means for selecting one of said plurality of fluid paths to transmit said fluid; and
means for introducing light into said fluid, the fluid transmining the light through said selected fluid path by interdisplay device; and
means for directing light an said input end of said fluid stream and at an angle to cause said light to enter said stream and to be conducted along the length of said stream by internal reflection from the surface defining said stream. the light. upon reaching said display device. exiting from said stream and illuminating the portion of the display device on which it impinges by virtue of the change in direction ofsaid stream.