Issuance of U.S. Patent Number 8963082 to Rapiscan Systems, Inc.
24 Feb, 2015

On February 24, 2015 , the USPTO issued U.S. Patent Number 8963082 to Rapiscan Systems, Inc which was successfully prosecuted by Novel IP.

The '082 patent  is directed towards utilizing the combination of a unique electronic ion injection control circuit in conjunction with a particularly designed drift cell construction, the instantly disclosed ion mobility spectrometer achieves increased levels of sensitivity, while achieving significant reductions in size and weight. The instant IMS is of a much simpler and easy to manufacture design, rugged and hermetically sealed, capable of operation at high temperatures to at least 250° C., and is uniquely sensitive, particularly to explosive chemicals.

Independent Claim 1 describes " The ion mobility spectrometer (IMS) for sampling a gaseous stream to detect trace chemicals therein comprising: a housing; a drift cell of hermetic construction, wherein said drift cell comprises a plurality of rings; an ion injection control circuit, wherein said ion injection control circuit: is programmed to increase a voltage of a ring in order to create no more than one ion reservoir, is programmed to decrease a voltage of a ring in order to release ions from the ion reservoir and through a drift tube portion of said drift cell, wherein a magnitude of said voltage increase and decrease is greater than 100V, wherein the voltage increase and decrease is driven by a trigger pulse having a pulse width in a range of 1 to 20 msec, and wherein said voltage increase and decrease is effective to establish an ion reservoir, includes a resistive bridge circuit electrically coupled to a high voltage transistor, and includes a means for providing a low voltage trigger timing pulse effective for tripping an opto-isolator, wherein said trigger pulse to said opto-isolator causes voltage to the high voltage transistor to vary with said pulse, whereby said transistor provides a sharp square wave voltage pulse to a ring effective to produce said voltage decrease which causes ions in the ion reservoir to be injected into the drift tube portion of the drift cell; an electrometer; an ion detection circuit having signal processing, spectra generation and manipulation and digital readout capability; an ion generation and detection assembly, including therein an ionization source and ion reservoir in electrical communication with an electronic ion injection control circuit; and a viewing screen; whereby sampling of a gaseous stream is performed and any contaminants contained therein are determined and reported and whereby said ionization source is 20 microcuries or less".