The Calibrated Laser Refractor was a mechanical arm that rotated the Artifact through every possible angle in the spectrum.
In layman's terms, it shone laser light in both ends of the futuristic device, only known as the Artifact, while the mechanical arm adjusted the angle of the Artifact until it was just right to activate the holographic time map from the Artifact.
Connor unveiled his refractor to Danny Quinn and Sarah and explained to them how it worked. He then inserted the Artifact and activated the mechanical arm, which started rotating at an impossibly slow rate. Unfortunately Danny and Sarah were bored within seconds and left.
Some time later, the Artifact had not yet been activated and was still rotating. Helen Cutter (disguised as Eve) was brought to the Anomaly Research Centre, were she studied the refractor. She tried to take the Artifact, before she was stopped by Abby Maitland. However she then held Christine Johnson hostage and forced James Lester to make Connor remove the Artifact from the refractor and give it to her.
After the ARC's revival from a four month suspension, the refractor was moved to a new ARC building . Once there it was placed in the Menagerie laboratory and was seeming modified for other purposes. (Episode 4.2, 4.4)