Adaptive optics

 

The general principle of AO in the eye is illustrated in Fig 1. A probe beam is focused to a spot on the retina. The reflected light from this retinal beacon will radiate through the optical media (basically the cornea and the lens) and the pupil of the eye. A wavefront sensor is used to measure the aberrations introduced by the optics of the eye, and a control computer is used to analyze the measurements and calculate a correction. High-resolution imaging of the object is enabled by applying the calculated corrections to a corrective element, usually a deformable mirror, positioned in a pupil conjugate plane in the optical path between the retina and its image on the retinal camera. Such a system is referred to as a single-conjugate AO system. Retinal features down to a few microns can be resolved by correcting the optical imperfections of the eye.

 

Fig 1 - Principle of adaptive optics in the human eye. Color legend: red - probe beam,

yellow - measurement light, green - imaging light.

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