Drift Tube Amplifier

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CRANE-97332
The United States Navy utilizes Ion Mobility Spectrometry (IMS) to identify different species of chemical agents, including nerve and blister agents. The IMS technique uses an amplifier to amplify extremely low currents that are produced when ions strike a Faraday Cup, which has the ability to measure the current carried by a beam of particles more precisely. Based on the detected current, a processor determines the existence of chemical agent in the air.

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane), has developed and patented a drift tube amplifier that includes a current-voltage converter for converting extremely low input current to a voltage and a band-pass filter assembly to reduce unwanted noise within the voltage. This technology utilizes a voltage controlled amplifier for adjusting the output voltage level and a logarithmic ratio converter for converting the voltage from linear to LOG scale. The drift tube amplifier increases the dynamics range of the outputs, minimizes saturation, and long negative tails on the signals. In addition, this technology allows a user or computer to adjust system gain remotely.

Advantages:
-Minimizes long negative tails on a signal
-Minimizes saturation of the amplifier
-Remote access
-Increased output range

Potential applications:
-Military
Sep 7, 2005
Utility Patent
United States
7,573,572
Aug 11, 2009
Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization
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