(19)
(11)EP 3 362 856 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
11.03.2020 Bulletin 2020/11

(21)Application number: 16866686.5

(22)Date of filing:  18.11.2016
(51)Int. Cl.: 
G03G 15/04  (2006.01)
G02B 26/10  (2006.01)
G02B 3/00  (2006.01)
H04N 1/028  (2006.01)
H04N 1/29  (2006.01)
G03G 15/01  (2006.01)
G02B 27/18  (2006.01)
G02B 27/30  (2006.01)
H04N 1/06  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/KR2016/013332
(87)International publication number:
WO 2017/086734 (26.05.2017 Gazette  2017/21)

(54)

LIGHT SCANNING UNIT AND IMAGE FORMING APPARATUS HAVING THE SAME

LICHTABTASTEINHEIT UND BILDERZEUGUNGSVORRICHTUNG DAMIT

UNITÉ DE BALAYAGE DE LUMIÈRE ET APPAREIL DE FORMATION D'IMAGE LA COMPRENANT


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 20.11.2015 KR 20150163530

(43)Date of publication of application:
22.08.2018 Bulletin 2018/34

(73)Proprietor: Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.
Spring, TX 77389 (US)

(72)Inventor:
  • KU, Jong-Wuk
    Suwon-si Gyeonggi-do 16543 (KR)

(74)Representative: Appleyard Lees IP LLP 
15 Clare Road
Halifax HX1 2HY
Halifax HX1 2HY (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
JP-A- 2001 264 655
JP-A- 2011 180 222
US-A1- 2005 219 672
US-A1- 2007 058 231
US-A1- 2014 225 974
JP-A- 2006 171 446
JP-A- 2013 076 995
US-A1- 2006 017 996
US-A1- 2013 141 509
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description


    [0001] Embodiments of the disclosure relate to a light scanning unit (LSU) and an image forming apparatus including the same, and more particularly, to an LSU capable of improving the quality of an image and an image forming apparatus including the same.

    [Background Art]



    [0002] An electrophotographic image forming apparatus forms an image by forming an electrostatic latent image by scanning light beams on photosensitive bodies using a light scanning unit (LSU), generating a developed image from the electrostatic latent image using a developer such as toner, transferring the developed image onto a print medium, and fixing the developed image on the print medium.

    [0003] In general, an LSU employed in devices, such as a laser printer, a digital copying machine, a barcode reader, and a fax machine, forms a latent image on a surface to be exposed by main-scanning using a beam deflector and sub-scanning using rotation of photosensitive drums. In particular, a tandem type image-forming apparatus having a plurality of objects which are to be exposed and correspond to various color components has been used to obtain a multi-color image. A color laser printer is one example of the tandem type image-forming apparatus. The tandem type image-forming apparatus employs a tandem type LSU which forms an image of light on photosensitive drums corresponding to various color components, e.g., yellow, magenta, cyan, and black.

    [0004] The tandem type LSU includes a beam deflector arranged in a light path to deflect a beam. When the beam deflector is installed commonly for a plurality of light beams, the number of components of an optical element may be decreased and the structure thereof may be simplified. Thus, an image forming apparatus including the LSU may be manufactured in a compact size and at lower costs. Recently, because of these advantages, research has been actively conducted on the tandem type LSU having a structure in which a beam deflector is commonly used with respect to a plurality of light beams. In order to independently scan a plurality of light beams on photosensitive drums corresponding thereto, the plurality of light beams should be emitted to a beam deflector rotated at a high speed, and spatially separated from one another after they are deflected. To this end, the light beams may be spatially separated by controlling light beams emitted from different light sources to be obliquely incident on the beam deflector, which is rotatively driven, in a diagonal direction. US 2014/225974 A1, US2013/141509 A1, US 2006/017996 A1, US 2005/219672 A1 each discloses a light scanning unit including a light deflector and a plurality of reflective members

    Disclosure of Invention


    Technical Problem



    [0005] In such an oblique incident-light system, scan lines are not formed linearly but may distort in a curved shape, such as a bow, on the photosensitive drums. Thus, pitches between scan lines are not maintained constant, thereby degrading the quality of an image. In particular, in a color-image forming apparatus which forms a color image by overlapping different single-color images with each other, images may be overlapped crisscross and thus desired colors and a desired image cannot be achieved.

    Solution to Problem



    [0006] The invention is set out in the appended claims.

    [0007] It is an aspect of the disclosure to provide a light scanning unit (LSU) capable of improving the quality of an image degraded due to bent scan lines, and an image forming apparatus having the same.

    [0008] It is another aspect of the disclosure to provide an LSU which may be manufactured in a compact size, and an image forming apparatus having the same.

    [0009] Additional aspects and/or advantages of the disclosure will be set forth in part in the description which follows and, in part, will be apparent from the description, or may be learned by practice of the disclosure.

    Advantageous Effects of Invention



    [0010] As is apparent from the above description, in an LSU and an image forming apparatus having the same in accordance with the disclosure, the structure of the LSU may be improved to enhance the quality of an image.

    [0011] By changing the arrangement of a plurality of reflective members, the degree of freedom of layout of a light path may be increased.

    [0012] Furthermore, scan lines of the LSU may be controlled to be bent in the same direction, thereby improving the registration of a plurality of colors.

    [0013] In addition, since the number of internal components of the LSU may be decreased, the cost of materials may be reduced and the LSU may be manufactured in a compact size.

    Brief Description of Drawings



    [0014] These and/or other aspects of the disclosure will become apparent and more readily appreciated from the following description of the embodiments, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings of which:

    FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of an image forming apparatus in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure.

    FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of an LSU in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure.

    FIGS. 3 and 4 are diagrams schematically illustrating examples of an optical arrangement of an LSU in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure.

    FIG. 5 is a diagram illustrating directions in which scan lines formed on a plurality of surfaces, which are to be scanned, by an LSU are bent, in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure.

    FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of an LSU in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure.

    FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of an LSU in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure.

    FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of an LSU in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure.

    FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of an LSU in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure.


    Best Mode for Carrying out the Invention



    [0015] Reference will now be made in detail to example embodiments of the disclosure, the examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals refer to like elements throughout. The embodiments are described below to explain the disclosure by referring to the figures.

    [0016] The embodiments set forth herein and the structures illustrated in the drawings are merely examples of the disclosure, and various modified examples thereof would have been made at the filing date of the application.

    [0017] The same reference numerals or signs illustrated in the drawings represent components or elements performing substantially same functions.

    [0018] The terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only and is not intended to be limiting of the disclosure. As used herein, the singular forms 'a', 'an' and 'the' are intended to include the plural forms as well, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. It will be further understood that the terms 'comprise' and/or 'comprising,' when used in this specification, specify the presence of stated features, integers, steps, operations, elements, and/or components, but do not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, integers, steps, operations, elements, components, and/or groups thereof.

    [0019] It will be understood that, although the terms 'first', 'second', 'third', etc., may be used herein to describe various elements, these elements should not be limited by these terms. These terms are only used to distinguish one element from another element. Thus, a first element discussed below could be termed a second element without departing from the teachings of the disclosure. The term 'and/or' includes any and all combinations of one or more of the associated listed items.

    [0020] Hereinafter, embodiments of the disclosure will be described in detail with reference to the appended drawings.

    [0021] FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of an image forming apparatus in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure.

    [0022] As illustrated in FIG. 1, an image forming apparatus 1 may include a main body 10, a print-medium supply device 20, a printing device 30, a fixing device 90, and a print-medium discharge device 70.

    [0023] The main body 10 forms the exterior of the image forming apparatus 1 and supports various elements installed in the image forming apparatus 1. The main body 10 may include a cover 12 provided to close/open a portion thereof, and a main-body frame (not shown) provided in the main body 10 to support or fix these elements.

    [0024] The print-medium supply device 20 supplies a print medium S to the printing device 30. The print-medium supply device 20 may include a tray 22 on which print media S are stacked, and a pickup roller 24 which picks up one sheet of the print media S stacked on the tray 22 at a time. A print medium S picked up by the pickup roller 24 is transferred toward the printing device 30 by a feed roller 26.

    [0025] The printing device 30 may include a light scanning unit (LSU) 100, a developing device 50, and a transfer device 60.

    [0026] The LSU 100 may include an optical system (not shown), and scans light corresponding to information regarding a yellow (Y) image, light corresponding to information regarding a magenta (M) image, light corresponding to information regarding a cyan (C) image, and light corresponding to information regarding a black (K) image on the developing device 50 according to a print signal, as will be described in detail below.

    [0027] The developing device 50 forms a toner image according to image information input from an external device such as a computer. The image forming apparatus 1 in accordance with the embodiment is a color-image forming apparatus, and thus the developing device 50 may include four developing machines 50Y, 50M, 50C, and 50K respectively containing different color toners, e.g., yellow (Y), magenta (M), cyan (C), and black (K) toners.

    [0028] The developing machines 50Y, 50M, 50C, and 50K may respectively include photosensitive bodies 81, 82, 83, and 84 on a surface of each of which an electrostatic latent image is formed by the LSU 100, and each may include a charge roller 54 which charges the corresponding photosensitive body among the photosensitive bodies 81, 82, 83, and 84, a developing roller 56 which supplies a toner image to the electrostatic latent image formed on the corresponding photosensitive body, and a feeder roller 58 which supplies toner to the developing roller 56.

    [0029] The transfer device 60 transfers the toner images formed on the photosensitive bodies 81, 82, 83, and 84 to the print medium S. The transfer device 60 may include a transfer belt 62 which is driven in a circular motion while being in contact with the photosensitive bodies 81, 82, 83, and 84, a transfer-belt drive roller 64 which drives the transfer belt 62, a tension roller 66 which maintains a tensile force applied to the transfer belt 62 constant, and four transfer rollers 68 which transfer toner images developed on the photosensitive bodies 81, 82, 83, and 84 to the print medium S.

    [0030] The print medium S is transferred at a speed which is the same as a driving speed of the transfer belt 62 while being attached to the transfer belt 62. In this case, a voltage of a polarity opposite to that of toner attached to each of the photosensitive bodies 81, 82, 83, and 84 is applied to each of the transfer rollers 68. Thus, the toner images on the photosensitive bodies 81, 82, 83, and 84 are transferred to the print medium S.

    [0031] The fixing device 90 fixes the toner images, which are transferred to the print medium S by the transfer device 60, onto the print medium S.

    [0032] The print-medium discharge device 70 discharges the print medium S to the outside of the main body 10. The print-medium discharge device 70 may include a discharge roller 72, and a pinch roller 74 installed opposite to the discharge roller 72.

    [0033] FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of an LSU in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure. FIGS. 3 and 4 are diagrams schematically illustrating examples of an optical arrangement of an LSU in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure. FIG. 5 is a diagram illustrating directions in which scan lines formed on a plurality of surfaces, which are to be scanned, by an LSU are bent, in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure.

    [0034] An LSU which forms an electrostatic latent image on photosensitive bodies 81, 82, 83, and 84 by scanning light on the photosensitive bodies 81, 82, 83, and 84 will be described below. The term "surface to be scanned" is a concept including a photosensitive body. For convenience of explanation, it is described in the embodiment that a surface to be scanned refers to a photosensitive body.

    [0035] Before describing the LSU, a main scan direction (an X-axis) means a direction in which a light beam is scanned on a photosensitive body by an optical deflector 130, and corresponds to a direction of a scan line on the photosensitive body. A sub-scan direction (a Y-axis) refers to a direction in which a photosensitive drum is rotated.

    [0036] The LSU 100 may include a housing 102, and a light window 104 which is formed on the housing 102 and through which light passes.

    [0037] In the housing 102, elements which will be described below, such as a light source 110, an incident-light system 120, an optical imaging system 140, etc., may be arranged. The housing 102 is provided to protect these elements from the outside. The light window 104 is formed on the housing 102, and provided through which light is scanned from the inside of the housing 102 to the outside of the housing 102. A plurality of light windows 104 may be provided to correspond to a plurality of surfaces to be scanned.

    [0038] The LSU 100 may include the light source 110, the incident-light system 120, and the optical imaging system 140.

    [0039] The light source 110 may be provided to emit light beams L. The light source 110 may be a laser diode which emits laser beams. The light source 110 may include first to fourth light sources 111, 112, 113, and 114. The first to fourth light sources 111, 112, 113, and 114 may emit first to fourth light beams L1, L2, L3, and L4 modulated according to image information. The first and second light sources 111 and 112 may be arranged to appear overlapped with each other in a direction of the axis of rotation (an R-axis) as illustrated in FIG. 3. Similarly, the third and fourth light sources 113 and 114 may be arranged in parallel in the axis of rotation (the R-axis) such that they appear overlapped with each other as illustrated in FIG. 3. The light beams L1, L2, L3, and L4 emitted from the first to fourth light sources 111, 112, 113, and 114 are incident on the optical deflector 130, reflected by the optical deflector 130, and scanned on the surfaces 81, 82, 83, and 84 corresponding to various color components.

    [0040] The incident-light system 120 may be arranged between the light source 110 and the optical deflector 130 of the optical imaging system 140. The incident-light system 120 may include a collimating lens 122 and a cylindrical lens 124. The collimating lens 122 is provided in a light path between the light source 110 and the optical deflector 130, and configured to make light beams emitted from the light source 110 to be parallel beams or beams which are substantially the same as parallel beams.

    [0041] The cylindrical lens 124 may be arranged between the collimating lens 122 and the optical deflector 130. The cylindrical lens 124 focuses light beams passing through the collimating lens 122 in a direction corresponding to a main scan direction and/or a sub-scan direction. In some cases, the cylindrical lens 124 may be arranged between the light source 110 and the collimating lens 122 so that light beams passing through the cylindrical lens 124 may be incident on the collimating lens 122.

    [0042] The optical deflector 130 is configured to deflect and scan light beams emitted from the light source 110. The optical deflector 130 may be provided to be rotatable. The light beams may be deflected and reflected from a reflective surface of the optical deflector 130 which is being rotated and be then scanned on a surface to be scanned.

    [0043] The optical deflector 130 may include a rotational member 132 which is rotational, and a polygonal rotating mirror 134 provided to be rotatable when a turning force is applied thereto from the rotational member 132. Light beams incident on the polygonal rotating mirror 134 are emitted at a regular speed in the main scan direction through deflection reflective surfaces 131a and 131b which are being rotated at a high speed. The deflection reflective surfaces 131a and 131b on which light from the light source 110 is deflected and reflected may be changed through rotation of the optical deflector 130. The rotational member 132 has the axis of rotation (the R-axis) and is provided to be rotatable. The rotational member 132 may be provided to rotate the polygonal rotating mirror 134. The rotational member 132 may include a motor which generates a turning force to be applied to the polygonal rotating mirror 134.

    [0044] The optical imaging system 140 may be arranged in a light path of a light beam between the optical deflector 130 and a surface to be scanned. The optical imaging system 140 may include a first optical imaging system 141 which supplies scanning beams to the first and second surfaces 81 and 82, and a second optical imaging system 142 which supplies scanning beams to the third and fourth surfaces 83 and 84. In the embodiment, the first and second optical imaging systems 141 and 142 are provided to be asymmetrical with respect to the optical deflector 130.

    [0045] The optical imaging system 140 may include at least one optical imaging device 170 and at least one reflective member.

    [0046] The at least one optical imaging device 170 may be an F-theta lens capable of performing scanning at a constant velocity in the main scan direction (the X-axis) while forming images of the light beams L1, L2, L3, and L4 deflected by the optical deflector 130 on the plurality of surfaces 81, 82, 83, and 84. The F-theta lens may be formed to include plastic. The at least one reflective member may be provided to fold a light path of light beams, thereby minimizing an internal space of the LSU 100. Furthermore, the at least one reflective member may change a direction in which a scan line is bent.

    [0047] In the embodiment, the plurality of surfaces 81, 82, 83, and 84 to be scanned should be understood to include photosensitive bodies as described above. An electrostatic latent image may be formed on a photosensitive body by scanning a light beam on the photosensitive body. The number of surfaces to be scanned is not limited, and four surfaces to be scanned are provided in the embodiment. In detail, four photosensitive bodies corresponding to yellow, magenta, cyan, and black are provided.

    [0048] Characteristics of elements in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure will be described with reference to FIGS. 2 to 5 below.

    [0049] In FIG. 3, reference numerals are assigned to elements through which the first and third light sources 111 and 113 pass, and reference numerals are assigned in parentheses to elements through which the second and fourth light sources 112 and 114 pass. In FIG. 4, reference numerals are assigned to elements of the first optical imaging system 141, and reference numerals are assigned in parentheses to elements of the second optical imaging system 142.

    [0050] The first and second light sources 111 and 112 emit light beams L1 and L2 in a direction of a diagonal line inclined at a predetermined angle. The light beams L1 and L2 are emitted at an included angle α such that they become adjacent to each other in a direction in which light travels. To this end, the first and second light sources 111 and 112 spaced from each other in the direction of the axis of rotation (the R-axis) may be tilted and installed to have a predetermined angle with respect to a plane P. In order to simultaneously deflect and scan different light beams by a common beam deflector, the light beams should be divided and scanned on photosensitive bodies corresponding thereto after the light beams are deflected. Thus, the light beams are obliquely incident on the optical deflector 130 to spatially divide the light beams.

    [0051] The light beams L1 and L2 incident on the optical deflector 130 are incident on the deflection reflective surface 131a such that the light beams L1 and L2 become adjacent to each other in a direction in which light travels. The light beams L1 and L2 cross each other or are adjacent to each other on the deflection reflective surface 131a. An effective reflective surface of the optical deflector 130 may be reduced in size by limiting positions at which images of the light beams L1 and L2 are formed to be within a predetermined range as described above. Thus, costs incurred to manufacture and drive the optical deflector 130 may be reduced. The light beams L1 and L2 reflected from the deflection reflective surface 131a are dispersed as they travel to be distant from each other and then travel toward photosensitive bodies corresponding thereto.

    [0052] The collimating lens 122 and the cylindrical lens 124 may be sequentially arranged in a light path between the light sources 111 and 112 and the optical deflector 130. Through an action of the collimating lens 122, the light beams L1 and L2 emitted in a radial form from the light source 110 are converted into parallel beams or beams substantially the same as parallel beams, focused in the sub-scan direction (the Y-axis) while passing through the cylindrical lens 124 having refractive power in the sub-scan direction (the Y-axis), and then concentrated on the optical deflector 130. Thus, images of the light beams L1 and L2 are formed on the deflection reflective surface 131a of the optical deflector 130 in the form of a line extending to be long in the main scan direction (the X-axis). The collimating lens 122 and the cylindrical lens 124 may be sequentially arranged in a light path between the third and fourth light sources 113 and 114 and the optical deflector 130, and a detailed description thereof is substantially the same as the above description.

    [0053] Light beams reflected from the optical deflector 130 are incident on the at least one optical imaging device 170. The at least one optical imaging device 170 may be an F-theta lens. The at least one optical imaging device 170 may include different F-theta lenses arranged in forward and backward directions of a light path. A first F-theta lens arranged at a side of the optical deflector 130 may be commonly formed with respect to different light beams divided in the sub-scan direction. A second F-theta lens arranged at a side of a photosensitive body may be provided separately in a light path of each of different respective light beams.

    [0054] The optical imaging system 140 may be arranged in a light path between the optical deflector 130 and the surfaces 81, 82, 83, and 84. In the optical imaging system 140, the first optical imaging system 141 and the second optical imaging system 142 may be formed to be asymmetrical with respect to the optical deflector 130. During a scanning process, scan lines may be bent. Thus, when the optical imaging system 140 has an asymmetrical structure as described above, scan lines formed on a plurality of surfaces to be scanned may be bent in the same direction as illustrated in FIG. 5. Thus, although the scan lines are bent, color registration may be appropriately performed and the efficiency of forming an image may be improved. Furthermore, the number of elements of the at least one reflective member may be decreased and the structure thereof may be improved.

    [0055] For convenience of explanation, a plurality of reflective members will be described with respect to first to sixth reflective members 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, and 156 on the basis of FIG. 2. Similarly, for convenience of explanation, a plurality of surfaces to be scanned will be described with respect to the first to fourth surfaces 81, 82, 83, and 84 in a direction from the left to the right on the basis of FIG. 2. The first reflective member 151 corresponds to the first surface 81. The second and fifth reflective members 152 and 155 correspond to the second surface 82. The third and sixth reflective members 153 and 156 correspond to the third surface 83. The fourth reflective member 154 corresponds to the fourth surface 84.

    [0056] Here, light deflected and reflected by the optical deflector 130 is transmitted to the first to fourth reflective members 151, 152, 153, and 154. The fifth and sixth reflective members 155 and 156 are provided to reflect light reflected from the second and third reflective members 152 and 153 to the second and third surfaces 82 and 83. Thus, the first to fourth reflective members 151, 152, 153, and 154 may be referred to as primary reflective members 161, and the fifth and sixth reflective members 155 and 156 may be referred to as secondary reflective members 162.

    [0057] The plurality of surfaces to be scanned may include the second surface 82 adjacent to the optical deflector 130, and the third surface 83 adjacent to another surface of the second surface 82 with respect to the axis of rotation of the optical deflector 130.

    [0058] The plurality of reflective members may include the second reflective member 152 arranged in a light path between the optical deflector 130 and the second surface 82 and configured to reflect light from the optical deflector 130, and the third reflective member 153 arranged in a light path between the optical deflector 130 and the third surface 83 and configured to reflect light from the optical deflector 130. The third reflective member 153 may be arranged to be spaced from the first reflective member 151 in a direction of the axis of rotation (the R-axis) of the optical deflector 130.

    [0059] The second reflective member 152 may be located above a plane P (see FIG. 2) which passes through the optical deflector 130 and which is perpendicular to the axis of rotation of the optical deflector 130, and the third reflective member 153 may be located below the plane P. That is, light beams emitted from the second and third light sources 112 and 113 and deflected by the optical deflector 130 may respectively arrive at the second reflective member 152 above the plane P and the third reflective member 153 below the plane P. In detail, a reflection point on a reflective surface of the second reflective member 152 and a reflection point on a reflective surface of the third reflective member 153 may be respectively located above and below the plane P. Through the above structure, the second reflective member 152 is provided to reflect light emitted upward from the second light source 112 and the third reflective member 153 is provided to reflect light emitted downward from the third light source 113.

    [0060] The second light beam L2 reflected by the second reflective member 152 is reflected by the fifth reflective member 155 and scanned on the second surface 82. The third light beam L3 reflected by the third reflective member 153 is reflected by the sixth reflective member 156 and scanned on the third surface 83.

    [0061] The first and fourth reflective members 151 and 154 are more distant from the optical deflector 130 than the second and third reflective members 152 and 153, and reflect the first and fourth light beams L1 and L4 to be respectively scanned on the first and fourth surfaces 81 and 84.

    [0062] The first reflective member 151 is located below the plane P, and the fourth reflective member 154 is located above the plane P. That is, light beams emitted from the first and fourth light sources 111 to 114 and deflected by the optical deflector 130 may respectively arrive at the first reflective member 151 below the plane P and the fourth reflective member 154 above the plane P. In detail, a reflection point on a reflective surface of the first reflective member 151 and a reflection point on a reflective surface of the fourth reflective members 154 may be respectively located below and above the plane P. Through the above structure, the first reflective member 151 is provided to reflect light emitted downward from the first light source 111 and the fourth reflective member 154 is provided to reflect light emitted upward from the fourth light source 114.

    [0063] The first to fourth reflective members 151, 152, 153, and 154, i.e., the plurality of primary reflective members 161, may be arranged to correspond to the first to fourth surfaces 81, 82, 83, and 84, and arranged in an alternate pattern with respect to the plane P which passes through the optical deflector 130 and is perpendicular to the axis of rotation of the optical deflector 130. For example, the reflection points on the reflective surfaces of the first and third reflective members 151 and 153 may be located below the plane P, and the reflection points on the reflective surfaces of the second and fourth reflective members 152 and 154 may be located above the plane P. By arranging the first to fourth reflective members 151, 152, 153, and 154 to be asymmetrical with respect to the optical deflector 130 as described above, scan lines scanned on the plurality of surfaces 81, 82, 83, and 84 may be bent in the same direction. Furthermore, the second and third reflective members 152 and 153 may be formed to be spaced the same distance from each other in a direction perpendicular to the axis of rotation of the optical deflector 130. Similarly, the first and fourth reflective members 151 and 154 may be formed to be spaced the same distance from each other in a direction perpendicular to the axis of rotation of the optical deflector 130. Through the above structure, interference between the at least one optical imaging device 170 and a light path may be minimized to improve the degree of freedom of layout in the LSU 100.

    [0064] The first reflective member 151 and the fourth reflective member 154 may be arranged to be spaced a first distance d1 from each other in the direction of the axis of rotation of the optical deflector 130. Furthermore, the first surface 81 adjacent to the plane P passing through the optical deflector 130 and the fourth surface 84 farthest from the plane P may be arranged to be spaced the first distance d1 in the axis of rotation of the optical deflector 130. The second and third surfaces 82 and 83 may be obliquely arranged at a certain angle and in parallel between the first and fourth surfaces 81 and 84. As described above, as the plurality of reflective members 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, and 156 are arranged to be asymmetrical with respect to the optical deflector 130, a change in the length of a light path to the first to fourth surfaces 81, 82, 83, and 84 may be compensated for.

    [0065] The arrangement of the plurality of reflective members described above will be described with respect to a plurality of light sources 110 below. The light source 110 may include the first to fourth light sources 111, 112, 113, and 114 as described above. The first and second light sources 111 and 112 may be arranged above and below the plane P in the direction of the axis of rotation (the R-axis). Similarly, the third and fourth light sources 113 and 114 may be arranged above and below the plane P in the direction of the axis of rotation (the R-axis).

    [0066] The second light source 112 may emit light, which is to be scanned on the second reflective member 152, to be obliquely incident on the optical deflector 130, and be provided below the plane P. That is, the second light source 112 is provided to emit light upward toward the second reflective member 152. In contrast, the third light source 113 may emit light, which is to be scanned on the third reflective member 153, to be obliquely incident on the optical deflector 130, and be provided above the plane P. That is, the third light source 113 is provided to emit light downward toward the third reflective member 153. The second and third light sources 112 and 113 emit light to be incident on different deflection reflective surfaces 131a and 131b of the optical deflector 130 and thus the second and third light beams L2 and L3 are deflected in different directions. However, when the light sources 112 and 113 are set to scan light in opposite directions as described above, scan lines on the second and third surfaces 82 and 83 may be bent in the same direction.

    [0067] Similarly, the first light source 111 may emit light, which is to be scanned on the first reflective member 151, to be obliquely incident on the optical deflector 130, and be provided above the plane P. That is, the first light source 111 is provided to emit light downward toward the first reflective member 151. In contrast, the fourth light source 114 may emit light, which is to be scanned on the fourth reflective member 154, to be obliquely incident on the optical deflector 130, and be provided below the plane P. That is, the fourth light source 114 is provided to emit light upward toward the fourth reflective member 154.

    [0068] It is described in the embodiment that the plurality of primary reflective members 161 include the first to fourth reflective members 151, 152, 153, and 154 and the plurality of secondary reflective members 162 include the fifth and sixth reflective members 155 and 156. However, the plurality of primary and secondary reflective members 161 and 162 are not limited thereto.

    [0069] The plurality of secondary reflective members 162 are provided to correspond to the plurality of primary reflective members 161 to reflect light beams reflected from the plurality of primary reflective members 161 to the plurality of surfaces 81, 82, 83, and 84, so that the same number of secondary reflective members 162 are arranged for the primary reflective members 161 in opposite directions with respect to the axis of rotation of the optical deflector 130.

    [0070] The number of secondary reflective members 162 corresponding to each of the primary reflective members 161 adjacent to the optical deflector 130 among the primary reflective members 161 may be odd-number times greater than that of secondary reflective members 162 corresponding to each of the other primary reflective members 161 arranged farther from the optical deflector 130.

    [0071] That is, in the embodiment, the fifth and sixth reflective members 155 and 156 respectively correspond to the second and third reflective members 152 and 153 which are the primary reflective members 161 adjacent to the optical deflector 130. No secondary reflective members 162 correspond to the first and fourth reflective members 151 and 154 farther from the optical deflector 130 than the second and third reflective members 152 and 153.

    [0072] As described above, the number of the secondary reflective members 162 corresponding to each of the primary reflective members 161 adjacent to the optical deflector 130 is odd-number times greater than that of the secondary reflective members 162 corresponding to each of the other primary reflective members. Thus, scan lines on a plurality of surfaces to be scanned may be bent in the same direction.

    [0073] A plurality of optical imaging devices 170 may include at least one first optical imaging device 171 between the first, fourth, fifth, and sixth reflective members 151, 154, 155, and 156 and the optical deflector 130 before a plurality of surfaces to be scanned.

    [0074] At least one optical imaging device 170 may be also provided in a light path to the first and second reflective members 151 and 152 from the optical deflector 130. That is, the plurality of optical imaging devices 170 may include a second optical imaging device 172 commonly provided in a pair of light paths in which light deflected by the optical deflector 130 arrives at the first and second reflective members 151 and 152.

    [0075] Similarly, at least one optical imaging device 170 may be provided in a light path from the optical deflector 130 to the third and fourth reflective members 153 and 154. The plurality of optical imaging devices 170 may include a third optical imaging device 173 commonly provided in a pair of light paths in which light deflected by the optical deflector 130 arrives at the third and fourth reflective members 153 and 154.

    [0076] An LSU and an image forming apparatus including the same in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure will be described below.

    [0077] FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of an LSU 200 in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure.

    [0078] In the embodiment, the arrangement of optical imaging devices is different from that in the embodiment of FIG. 2.

    [0079] A plurality of optical imaging devices may include first and second optical imaging devices 271 and 272.

    [0080] The first and second optical imaging devices 271 and 272 may be commonly provided in a pair of light paths in which light deflected by an optical deflector 130 arrives at first and second reflective members 151 and 152. The first and second optical imaging devices 271 and 272 are provided commonly for a light path in which light beams L1 and L2 arriving at first and second surfaces 81 and 82 which are to be scanned travel.

    [0081] The plurality of optical imaging devices may include third and fourth optical imaging devices 273 and 274.

    [0082] The third and fourth optical imaging devices 273 and 274 may be commonly provided in a pair of light paths in which light deflected by the optical deflector 130 arrives at third and fourth reflective members 153 and 154. The third and fourth optical imaging devices 273 and 274 may be commonly provided in a light path in which light beams L3 and L4 arriving at third and fourth surfaces 83 and 84 which are to be scanned travel.

    [0083] In the embodiment, a pair of optical imaging devices are commonly provided in a light path in which light beams arriving at the first and second surfaces 81 and 82 travel and a pair of optical imaging devices are commonly provided in a light path in which light beams arriving at the third and fourth surfaces 83 and 84 travel, but the number of these optical imaging devices is not limited.

    [0084] An LSU and an image forming apparatus including the same in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure will be described below.

    [0085] FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of an LSU in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure.

    [0086] In the LSU 300 in accordance with the embodiment, the arrangement of a plurality of reflective members 351, 352, 353, 354, 355, and 356 is the same as that in the embodiment of FIG. 2. Furthermore, the arrangement of primary reflective members 361 and secondary reflective members 362 are the same as that in the embodiment of FIG. 2.

    [0087] In the embodiment, a path of light reflected from the fifth and sixth reflective members 355 and 356 is provided to travel toward second and third surfaces 82 and 83 to be scanned while not being interfered with another path of light.

    [0088] A plurality of surfaces 81, 82, 83, and 84 to be scanned may be provided below the LSU 300. A plurality of light windows 104 corresponding to the plurality of surfaces 81, 82, 83, and 84 may be formed on a bottom surface of a housing 102.

    [0089] The first, fourth, fifth, and sixth reflective members 351, 354, 355, and 356 among the plurality of reflective members 351, 352, 353, 354, 355, and 356 are provided to scan light beams on the plurality of surfaces 81, 82, 83, and 84 arranged below the LSU 300 at an angle of reflection different from that in the embodiment of FIG. 2.

    [0090] The first reflective member 351 and the fourth reflective member 354 may be arranged to be spaced a second distance d2 from each other in a direction of the axis of rotation of an optical deflector 130 (an R-axis). The fourth surface 84 adjacent to a plane P passing through the optical deflector 130 and the first surface 81 farthest from the plane P may be also arranged to be spaced the second distance d2 from each other in the direction of the axis of rotation of the optical deflector 130 (the R-axis). The second and third surfaces 82 and 83 may be tilted at a certain angle and arranged in parallel between the first and fourth surfaces 81 and 84. As described above, the plurality of reflective members 351, 352, 353, 354, 355, and 356 are arranged to be asymmetrical with respect to the optical deflector 130, thereby compensating for a change in the length of a light path to the first to fourth surfaces 81, 82, 83, and 84.

    [0091] A plurality of optical imaging devices may include a plurality of first optical imaging devices 371 such that at least one of the plurality of first optical imaging devices 371 is arranged between the plurality of surfaces 81, 82, 83, and 84 and the first, fourth, fifth, and sixth reflective members 351, 354, 355, and 356. By arranging the plurality of first optical imaging devices 371 between the first, fourth, fifth, and sixth reflective members 351, 354, 355, and 356 and the plurality of surfaces 81, 82, 83, and 84, they may be prevented from being interfered with other elements and utilization of an internal space of the housing 102 of the LSU 300 may be improved.

    [0092] At least one optical imaging device may be also provided in a light path from the optical deflector 130 to the first and second reflective members 351 and 352. That is, the plurality of optical imaging devices may include a second optical imaging device 372 commonly provided in a pair of light paths in which light deflected by the optical deflector 130 arrives at the first and second reflective members 351 and 352.

    [0093] Similarly, at least one optical imaging device may be provided in a light path from the optical deflector 130 to the third and fourth reflective members 353 and 354. The plurality of optical imaging devices may include a third optical imaging device 373 commonly provided in a pair of light paths in which light deflected by the optical deflector 130 arrives at the third and fourth reflective members 353 and 354.

    [0094] An LSU and an image forming apparatus including the same in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure will be described below.

    [0095] FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of an LSU 400 in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure.

    [0096] In the embodiment, the arrangement of a plurality of optical imaging devices is different from that in the embodiment of FIG. 7.

    [0097] The plurality of optical imaging devices may include first and second optical imaging devices 471 and 472.

    [0098] The first and second optical imaging devices 471 and 472 may be commonly provided in a pair of light paths in which light deflected by an optical deflector 130 arrives at first and second reflective members 351 and 352. The first and second optical imaging devices 471 and 472 may be commonly provided in a light path in which light beams arriving at first and second surfaces 81 and 82 to be scanned travel.

    [0099] The plurality of optical imaging devices may include third and fourth optical imaging devices 473 and 474.

    [0100] The third and fourth optical imaging devices 473 and 474 may be commonly provided in a pair of light paths in which light deflected by the optical deflector 130 arrives at third and fourth reflective members 353 and 354. The third and fourth optical imaging devices 473 and 474 may be commonly provided in a light path in which light beams arriving at third and fourth surfaces 83 and 84 to be scanned travel.

    [0101] An LSU and an image forming apparatus including the same in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure will be described below.

    [0102] FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of an LSU in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure.

    [0103] An incident-light system 120 may be arranged between a light source 110 and an optical deflector 130 of an optical an imaging system 140.

    [0104] The incident-light system 120 may include an anamolphic lens 126. The anamolphic lens 126 may be provided in a light path between the light source 110 and the optical deflector 130, and focus light beams emitted from the light source 110 in a direction corresponding to a main scan direction and/or a sub-scan direction while making the light beams to be parallel beams or light beams substantially the same as parallel beams.

    [0105] Although example embodiments of the disclosure have been shown and described, it would be appreciated by those skilled in the art that changes may be made to these embodiments without departing from the invention, the scope of which is defined in the claims.


    Claims

    1. A light scanning unit (100), comprising:

    a plurality of light sources (110) ;

    an optical deflector (130) including a rotational member (132) having an axis of rotation about which the rotational member (132) is configured to rotate, and disposed to deflect light incident obliquely from the plurality of light sources (110); and

    a plurality of reflective members disposed to reflect the light deflected by the optical deflector (130) to a plurality of surfaces, which are to be scanned and correspond to the plurality of light sources (110), and disposed to be asymmetrical about the axis of rotation of the optical deflector (130) such that scan lines on surfaces disposed on opposite sides of the axis of rotation of the optical deflector (130) among the plurality of surfaces to be scanned are bent in a same direction,

    wherein the plurality of surfaces to be scanned include:

    a first surface (82) disposed at one side with respect to the axis of rotation; and a second surface (83) disposed at another side with respect to the axis of rotation, a third surface (81) disposed more distant from the optical deflector (130) than the first surface (82), and a fourth surface (84) disposed more distant from the optical deflector (130) than the second surface (83), and

    the plurality of reflective members include:

    a first reflective member (152) disposed in a light path between the optical deflector (130) and the first surface (82), and configured to reflect light from the optical deflector (130), and

    a second reflective member (153) disposed in a light path between the optical deflector (130) and the second surface (83), configured to reflect light from the optical deflector (130), and disposed to be spaced apart from the first reflective member (152) in a direction of the axis of rotation of the optical deflector (130),

    a third reflective member (155) configured to reflect light reflected by the first reflective member (152) to the first surface (82); and

    a fourth reflective member (156) configured to reflect light reflected by the second reflective member (153) to the second surface (83);

    a fifth reflective member (151) including a reflection point at which light deflected by the optical deflector (130) is reflected to the third surface (81), the reflection point disposed below a plane which passes through the optical deflector (130) and is perpendicular to the axis of rotation of the optical deflector (130), and

    a sixth reflective member (154) including a reflection point at which light deflected by the optical deflector (130) is reflected to the fourth surface (84), the reflection point disposed above the plane;

    characterized in that the fifth reflective member (151) and the sixth reflective member (154) are disposed to be spaced apart by a first distance from each other in the direction of the axis of rotation of the optical deflector (130), and the third surface (81) and the fourth surface (84) are disposed to be spaced apart by the first distance from each other in the direction of the axis of rotation of the optical deflector (130).


     
    2. The light scanning unit (100) according to claim 1, wherein
    the plurality of light sources (110) include:

    a first light source (112) configured to generate light to be scanned, and disposed below the plane; and

    a second light source (111) configured to generate light to be scanned, and disposed above the plane.


     
    3. The light scanning unit (100) according to claim 1, wherein
    each of the first reflective member (152) and the second reflective member (153) includes a reflection point at which light incident from the optical deflector (130) is reflected,
    the reflection point on the first reflective member (152) is disposed above a plane which passes through the optical deflector (130) and is perpendicular to the axis of rotation of the optical deflector (130), and
    the reflection point on the second reflective member (153) is disposed below the plane.
     
    4. The light scanning unit (100) according to claim 1, wherein the first and second reflective members (152, 153) are disposed to be spaced apart a same distance from the axis of rotation of the optical deflector (130).
     
    5. The light scanning unit (100) according to claim 1, wherein the third and fourth reflective members (155, 156) are disposed such that light reflected from the third and fourth reflective members (155, 156) is not interfered with by a light path from the optical deflector (130) to the first and second reflective members (152, 153).
     
    6. The light scanning unit (100) according to claim 1, wherein the fifth and sixth reflective members (151, 154) are disposed to be spaced apart a same distance from the axis of rotation of the optical deflector (130).
     
    7. The light scanning unit according to claim 1, further comprising an optical imaging system (140) including at least two optical imaging devices (170) configured to form an image of light deflected by the optical deflector (130) on the plurality of surfaces to be scanned, and disposed in a light path between the optical deflector (130) and the plurality of surfaces to be scanned.
     
    8. The light scanning unit (100) according to claim 7, wherein the optical imaging system (140) includes an F-theta lens.
     
    9. The light scanning unit (100) according to claim 8, wherein at least two F-theta lenses are disposed in the light path.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Lichtabtasteinheit (100), die Folgendes umfasst:

    eine Vielzahl von Lichtquellen (110);

    einen optischen Deflektor (130), der ein Drehelement (132) mit einer Drehachse enthält, wobei das Drehelement (132) ausgestaltet ist, sich um diese zu drehen, und der so angeordnet ist, dass er von den mehreren Lichtquellen (110) schräg einfallendes Licht ablenkt; und

    eine Vielzahl von reflektierenden Elementen, die angeordnet sind, um das von dem optischen Deflektor (130) abgelenkte Licht zu einer Vielzahl von Oberflächen zu reflektieren, die abzutasten sind und der Vielzahl von Lichtquellen (110) entsprechen, und die angeordnet sind, asymmetrisch um die Drehachse des optischen Deflektors (130) zu sein, so dass Abtastzeilen auf Oberflächen, die auf gegenüberliegenden Seiten der Drehachse des optischen Deflektors (130) angeordnet sind, aus der Vielzahl von abzutastenden Oberflächen in eine gleiche Richtung gebogen werden,

    wobei die Vielzahl von abzutastenden Oberflächen Folgendes enthält:

    eine erste Oberfläche (82), die an einer Seite in Bezug auf die Drehachse angeordnet ist; und eine zweite Oberfläche (83), die an einer anderen Seite in Bezug auf die Drehachse angeordnet ist, eine dritte Oberfläche (81), die weiter vom optischen Deflektor (130) entfernt angeordnet ist als die erste Oberfläche (82), und eine vierte Oberfläche (84), die weiter vom optischen Deflektor (130) entfernt angeordnet als die zweite Oberfläche (83), und

    die Vielzahl von reflektierenden Elementen Folgendes enthält:

    ein erstes reflektierendes Element (152), das in einem Strahlengang zwischen dem optischen Deflektor (130) und der ersten Oberfläche (82) angeordnet ist und ausgestaltet ist, um Licht von dem optischen Deflektor (130) zu reflektieren, und

    ein zweites reflektierendes Element (153), das in einem Strahlengang zwischen dem optischen Deflektor (130) und der zweiten Oberfläche (83) angeordnet ist, und ausgestaltet ist, um Licht von dem optischen Deflektor (130) zu reflektieren, und angeordnet ist, um von dem ersten reflektierenden Element (152) in einer Richtung der Drehachse des optischen Deflektors (130) beabstandet zu sein,

    ein drittes reflektierendes Element (155), das ausgestaltet ist, um von dem ersten reflektierenden Element (152) reflektiertes Licht zu der ersten Oberfläche (82) zu reflektieren; und

    ein viertes reflektierendes Element (156), das ausgestaltet ist, um von dem zweiten reflektierenden Element (153) reflektiertes Licht zu der zweiten Oberfläche (83) zu reflektieren;

    ein fünftes reflektierendes Element (151) mit einem Reflexionspunkt, an dem von dem optischen Deflektor (130) abgelenktes Licht zu der dritten Oberfläche (81) reflektiert wird, wobei der Reflexionspunkt unter einer Ebene angeordnet ist, die durch den optischen Deflektor (130) verläuft und senkrecht zur Drehachse des optischen Deflektors (130) ist, und

    ein sechstes reflektierendes Element (154) mit einem Reflexionspunkt, an dem von dem optischen Deflektor (130) abgelenktes Licht zu der vierten Oberfläche (84) reflektiert wird, wobei der Reflexionspunkt über der Ebene angeordnet ist;

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass das fünfte reflektierende Element (151) und das sechste reflektierende Element (154) so angeordnet sind, dass sie in der Richtung der Drehachse des optischen Deflektors (130) einen ersten Abstand voneinander beabstandet sind, und die dritte Oberfläche (81) und die vierte Oberfläche (84) angeordnet sind, um in der Richtung der Drehachse des optischen Deflektors (130) den ersten Abstand voneinander beabstandet zu sein.


     
    2. Lichtabtasteinheit (100) nach Anspruch 1, wobei
    die Vielzahl der Lichtquellen (110) Folgendes enthält:

    eine erste Lichtquelle (112), die ausgestaltet ist, um abzutastendes Licht zu erzeugen, und die unter der Ebene angeordnet ist; und

    eine zweite Lichtquelle (111), die ausgestaltet ist, um abzutastendes Licht zu erzeugen, und über der Ebene angeordnet ist.


     
    3. Lichtabtasteinheit (100) nach Anspruch 1, wobei
    das erste reflektierende Element (152) und das zweite reflektierende Element (153) jeweils einen Reflexionspunkt enthalten, an dem von dem optischen Deflektor (130) einfallendes Licht reflektiert wird,
    der Reflexionspunkt auf dem ersten reflektierenden Element (152) über einer Ebene angeordnet ist, die durch den optischen Deflektor (130) verläuft und senkrecht zur Drehachse des optischen Deflektors (130) ist, und
    der Reflexionspunkt auf dem zweiten reflektierenden Element (153) unter der Ebene angeordnet ist.
     
    4. Lichtabtasteinheit (100) nach Anspruch 1, wobei das erste und das zweite reflektierende Element (152, 153) angeordnet sind, um in einem gleichen Abstand von der Drehachse des optischen Deflektors (130) beabstandet zu sein.
     
    5. Lichtabtasteinheit (100) nach Anspruch 1, wobei das dritte und vierte reflektierende Element (155, 156) derart angeordnet sind, dass von dem dritten und vierten reflektierenden Element (155, 156) reflektiertes Licht nicht durch einen Strahlengang vom optischen Deflektor (130) zum ersten und zweiten reflektierenden Element (152, 153) gestört wird.
     
    6. Lichtabtasteinheit (100) nach Anspruch 1, wobei das fünfte und das sechste reflektierende Element (151, 154) angeordnet sind, um in einem gleichen Abstand von der Drehachse des optischen Deflektors (130) beabstandet zu sein.
     
    7. Lichtabtasteinheit nach Anspruch 1, die ferner ein optisches Abbildungssystem (140) umfasst, das mindestens zwei optische Abbildungsvorrichtungen (170) enthält, die ausgestaltet sind, um ein Bild des von der optischen Ablenkeinrichtung (130) abgelenkten Lichts auf der Vielzahl von abzutastenden Oberflächen zu erzeugen, und in einem Strahlengang zwischen der optischen Ablenkeinrichtung (130) und der Vielzahl von abzutastenden Oberflächen angeordnet sind.
     
    8. Lichtabtasteinheit (100) nach Anspruch 7, wobei das optische Abbildungssystem (140) eine F-Theta-Linse enthält.
     
    9. Lichtabtasteinheit (100) nach Anspruch 8, wobei mindestens zwei F-Theta-Linsen in dem Strahlengang angeordnet sind.
     


    Revendications

    1. Unité de balayage de lumière (100) comprenant :

    une pluralité de sources de lumière (110) ;

    un déflecteur optique (130) comportant un élément de rotation (132) ayant un axe de rotation autour duquel l'élément de rotation (132) est conçu pour tourner, et disposé pour dévier la lumière incidente obliquement de la pluralité de sources de lumière (110) ; et

    une pluralité d'éléments réfléchissants disposés pour réfléchir la lumière déviée par le déflecteur optique (130) vers une pluralité de surfaces, qui doivent être balayées et correspondent à la pluralité de sources de lumière (110), et disposés pour être asymétriques autour de l'axe de rotation du déflecteur optique (130) de telle sorte que des lignes de balayage sur des surfaces disposées sur des côtés opposés de l'axe de rotation du déflecteur optique (130) parmi la pluralité de surfaces à balayer soient courbées dans la même direction,

    dans laquelle la pluralité de surfaces à balayer comportent :

    une première surface (82) disposée d'un côté par rapport à l'axe de rotation ; et une deuxième surface (83) disposée d'un autre côté par rapport à l'axe de rotation, une troisième surface (81) disposée plus loin du déflecteur optique (130) que la première surface (82) et une quatrième surface (84) disposé plus loin du déflecteur optique (130) que la deuxième surface (83), et

    la pluralité d'éléments réfléchissants comportent :

    un premier élément réfléchissant (152) disposé dans un trajet de lumière entre le déflecteur optique (130) et la première surface (82), et conçu pour réfléchir la lumière provenant du déflecteur optique (130), et

    un deuxième élément réfléchissant (153) disposé dans un trajet de lumière entre le déflecteur optique (130) et la deuxième surface (83), conçu pour réfléchir la lumière provenant du déflecteur optique (130), et disposé pour être espacé du premier élément réfléchissant (152) dans une direction de l'axe de rotation du déflecteur optique (130),

    un troisième élément réfléchissant (155) conçu pour réfléchir la lumière réfléchie par le premier élément réfléchissant (152) vers la première surface (82) ; et

    un quatrième élément réfléchissant (156) conçu pour réfléchir la lumière réfléchie par le deuxième élément réfléchissant (153) vers la deuxième surface (83) ;

    un cinquième élément réfléchissant (151) comportant un point de réflexion au niveau duquel la lumière déviée par le déflecteur optique (130) est réfléchie vers la troisième surface (81), le point de réflexion étant disposé en dessous d'un plan qui traverse le déflecteur optique (130) et étant perpendiculaire à l'axe de rotation du déflecteur optique (130), et

    un sixième élément réfléchissant (154) comportant un point de réflexion au niveau duquel la lumière déviée par le déflecteur optique (130) est réfléchie vers la quatrième surface (84), le point de réflexion étant disposé au-dessus du plan ;

    caractérisé en ce que le cinquième élément réfléchissant (151) et le sixième élément réfléchissant (154) sont disposés pour être espacés par une première distance l'un de l'autre dans la direction de l'axe de rotation du déflecteur optique (130), et la troisième surface (81) et la quatrième surface (84) sont disposées pour être espacées de la première distance l'une de l'autre dans la direction de l'axe de rotation du déflecteur optique (130).


     
    2. Unité de balayage de lumière (100) selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle
    la pluralité de sources de lumière (110) comportent :

    une première source de lumière (112) conçue pour générer de la lumière à balayer et disposée en dessous du plan ; et

    une seconde source de lumière (111) conçue pour générer de la lumière à balayer et disposée au-dessus du plan.


     
    3. Unité de balayage de lumière (100) selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle
    chacun du premier élément réfléchissant (152) et du deuxième élément réfléchissant (153) comporte un point de réflexion au niveau duquel la lumière incidente provenant du déflecteur optique (130) est réfléchie,
    le point de réflexion sur le premier élément réfléchissant (152) est disposé au-dessus d'un plan qui traverse le déflecteur optique (130) et est perpendiculaire à l'axe de rotation du déflecteur optique (130), et
    le point de réflexion sur le deuxième élément réfléchissant (153) est disposé en dessous du plan.
     
    4. Unité de balayage de lumière (100) selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle les premier et deuxième éléments réfléchissants (152, 153) sont disposés pour être espacés à une même distance de l'axe de rotation du déflecteur optique (130).
     
    5. Unité de balayage de lumière (100) selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle les troisième et quatrième éléments réfléchissants (155, 156) sont disposés de telle sorte que la lumière réfléchie par les troisième et quatrième éléments réfléchissants (155, 156) n'est pas gênée par un trajet de lumière du déflecteur optique (130) vers les premier et deuxième éléments réfléchissants (152, 153).
     
    6. Unité de balayage de lumière (100) selon la revendication 1, dans laquelle les cinquième et sixième éléments réfléchissants (151, 154) sont disposés pour être espacés à une même distance de l'axe de rotation du déflecteur optique (130).
     
    7. Unité de balayage de lumière selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre un système d'imagerie optique (140) comportant au moins deux dispositifs d'imagerie optique (170) conçus pour former une image de lumière déviée par le déflecteur optique (130) sur la pluralité de surfaces à balayer, et disposés dans un trajet de lumière entre le déflecteur optique (130) et la pluralité de surfaces à balayer.
     
    8. Unité de balayage de lumière (100) selon la revendication 7, dans laquelle le système d'imagerie optique (140) comporte une lentille F-thêta.
     
    9. Unité de balayage de lumière (100) selon la revendication 8, dans laquelle au moins deux lentilles F-thêta sont disposées dans le trajet de lumière.
     




    Drawing















    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description