MEMS Adaptive Optics


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Adaptive Optics Chip

 Adaptive Optics MEMS Chip

(Pixels are 600 microns flat-to-flat)


MEMX Packaged 93 Pixel AO Array

(Package is 2 Inches Across)

MEMS can be used to create adaptive optics chips which can be used for wavefront correction systems.  There are a variety of application for wavefront correction systems ranging from advanced military targeting systems to preview systems for advanced LASIK surgery.

Adaptive Optics systems are in use today on large Astronomical telescopes.  Adaptive optics remove the optical imperfections that result from peering through the atmosphere. These systems are built today with expensive macro technology.  While they work very well, these systems are very expensive.  Large telescopes are not that sensitive to costs, so they can readily afford the present significant costs in order to improve the quality of the images that see.  More widespread adoption of adaptive optics, and wavefront correction is hampered, however, by the significant costs of traditional systems.

MEMS offer the promise of achieving low cost adaptive optics systems.  With lower cost, there are many applications which could benefit from wavefront correction. Some applications under consideration for a low cost adaptive optics system include preview systems for LASIK surgery, ophthalmic phoropters, and fundus imaging systems. Fundus imaging systems are used by eye doctors to image the retina, and detect degenerative eye disease.  The challenge is that image quality from present systems is poor, and the disease can be in advanced stages before a doctor can detect it.  Improving the image quality through use of affordable MEMS adaptive optics systems will allow surgeons to detect degenerative eye disease at much earlier stages where it is easier to treat, and before vision is affected.

MEMS chips have been created to meet the demanding requirements of the vision science community.  The chip will enable the creation of high performance, cost effective adaptive optics systems.  The vision science community has significant interest in obtaining such systems for a variety of ophthalmic applications. This chip will enable a true paradigm shift, and will permit the placement of high performance imaging systems into the hands of ophthalmologists and optometrists.  These chips should enable order of magnitude improvements in the doctor's ability to image the retina, and as such, will dramatically increase the ability to diagnose degenerative ophthalmic conditions while they are still treatable.  Enhanced capabilities in fundus imaging will enable earlier detection of disease, better measurement of treatment effectiveness, and the development of improved treatment methods.


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