This class provides for all types of communication systems in which optical signals are used to transmit modulated carrier wave information between points. Such communication includes transmitting an intelligence-bearing signal from one point to another in the form of variations in a characteristic of the light wave. The communication may be through free space, fibers or waveguides. These are used to transfer the information with an optical beam, and this beam can be used in various communication schemes to enable the most effective or desired method of moving the information, including optical multiplexing when plural information signals or plural transmitters and receivers are utilized.
(1) Note. "Light" includes infrared and ultraviolet radiation. (2) Note. The characteristic which is varied may include, e.g., amplitude, frequency, phase, polarity, or color. (3) Note. This subclass includes subject matter that communicates data or information from one location to another via some optical system. (4) Note. Apparatus having a source of light signal containing information to be conveyed to a light source via an optical link are classified in this and indented subclasses regardless of the source being controlled by a different form of energy (e.g., electrical or electromagnetic field) or the optical output of the sensor being converted to a different form of energy. (5) Note. Optical communication to objects only within a predetermined location (i.e., direction) from the source would be classified in this or indented subclasses since the prime objective is to communicate information and the actual location is only a factor to ensure that the message goes there. The detection of range, direction, etc., of the object, without any data communication to that object, would not be classified herein. See Search note below for such device communication.. (6) Note. Optical switching to perform a specified function would be classified with the function. Optical switching in an optical communication system, where data is moved from one location to another, is classified in this or indented subclasses. Optical switching, per se, is excluded from this class. See Search note below for such device. (7) Note. The optical communication systems of this and indented subclasses transfer optical data from one location to another via a data link but no specific sensor is set forth in the claims. The optical telemetry includes the combination of an optical communication system, as in this class or the indents thereunder, combined with a specified claimed sensor is excluded from this class. See Search not below for such subject matter. Well bore telemetry using any type of energy (i.e., radio, acoustic, magnetic, optic, etc.) is also excluded from this class. See Search note below for such device. (8) Note. Optical communication by turning the light on and off without any modulation of the transmitted light is not classified in this class. See Search note below for such subject matter. (9) Note. Optical communication system in combination with electrical communication system is excluded from this class. See Search note below for such combination.