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Modified Gregorian Telescope Patented
Apr 2004
VANCOUVER, Canada, April 5 -- fSONA Communications, a provider of optical wireless networking equipment, has been awarded a US patent (6,667,831) for a compact optical system described as a modified Gregorian telescope.

fSONA said the compact telescope involves flipping the secondary mirror over a folding mirror in the middle of the optical path between the primary and secondary mirrors. The primary mirror is constructed with a concentric "double-curved" geometry. The result is a compact Gregorian telescope that can be as short as 1/7th the focal length of the system.

fSONA said it will incorporate the technology into its Sonabeam free-space optical wireless systems, and that a modified version of the telescope is in use at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories for a variety of applications.

The Gregorian telescope was first developed in the 17th century, but a compact version was not possible until techniques for producing diamond-turned mirrors became readily available, fSONA said. The diamond-turning process is what enables the production of a "double-curved" mirror surface, according to the company.

In addition to free-space optics, fSONA said, applications for the compact Gregorian telescope include astronomy, night vision, laser radar, remote sensing, military, space telescopes and microscopy.

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