Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Project Description

Submitted to the Maker Faire:

I’m building a modified light pipe using a sun-tracking parabolic reflector and mounted mirror that focuses light into optical fibers. These fibers will be coupled to 1/4”-thick acrylic pane. Light is released from an acrylic pane--effectively a waveguide--via scratches on the surface.

Now, in more than 50 words...

The problem is this: the living room in my San Francisco doesn't get much sunlight due to one window being completely blocked by the neighboring building, and the other window being mostly occluded. At sometime near noon, a shaft of light beams through the partially occluded window, only to vanish 20 minutes later.

My plan is to mount the reflector on the roof of the apartment so that it can track sun all day. It will focus light into about 40 feet of fiber--which actually consists of 8 bundled fibers-- that I will pipe into my living room the same way I do with the cable coax. Once the bundle is in the living room, I'll separate the smaller fiber lines and individually connect them to the acrylic panes, which will mounted on the living room wall. The panes will have scratches on the surface so light scatters out. Hopefully this will brighten the living room during the day!

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