This paper presents the design of an Adaptive Optics (AO) system for retinal imaging applications. The development of retinal imaging systems allows for early diagnosis of eye diseases. Such systems can increase the quality of life of patients as well as curtail increasing health care costs through early eye disease detection and treatment. Until recently, AO systems have been prohibitively expensive and cumbersome. This has been mainly due to the size and cost of flexible membrane mirrors normally used as the aberration correction device. Recent developments in the technology of Microelectromechanical System (MEMS) based actuators allow the implementation of AO systems which would have been difficult to implement a few years ago due to exorbitant costs. The aim of this paper is to present the design of a compact and flexible low cost AO system using off the shelf components to measure and compensate for the aberrations of the eye. The design is based around the system’s main components which include a 52 channel magnetically actuated deformable membrane mirror, a Shack Hartmann wavefront sensor and a control system which runs on a single processor personal computer. All the components are commercially available. The use of the MEMS-based magnetically actuated mirror allows for increased resolution and force compared to conventional membrane mirrors designed mainly for use in astronomical applications. The performance of the closed-loop system is evaluated through experiments. Although designed as a diagnostic tool for eye diseases, such a system will find a number of applications in basic research in the visual sciences, including the study of microscopic structures in the living retina that could not be seen before. Optometrists, retinal surgeons, and ophthalmologists will also benefit from using such a system, through potential improvements on commonly used instruments such as phoropters and fundus cameras.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.