Ph.D. Defense: Carl Chancy

    Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 9:30am
    Meinel 447

    "Application of Fluidic Lens Technology to an Adaptive Holographic Optical Element See-Through Auto-Phoropter"


    A device for performing an objective eye exam has been developed to automatically determine ophthalmic prescriptions. The closed loop fluidic auto-phoropter has been designed, modeled, fabricated and tested for the automatic measurement and correction of a patient’s prescriptions. The adaptive phoropter is designed through the combination of a spherical-powered fluidic lens and two cylindrical fluidic lenses that are orientated 45 degrees relative to each other. In addition, the system incorporates Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensing technology to identify the eye’s wavefront error and corresponding prescription. Using the wavefront error information, the fluidic auto-phoropter nulls the eye’s lower order wavefront error by applying the appropriate volumes to the fluidic lenses. The combination of the Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor the fluidic auto-phoropter allows for the identification and control of spherical refractive error, as well as cylinder error and axis; thus, creating a truly automated refractometer and corrective system.

    The fluidic auto-phoropter is capable of correcting defocus error ranging from -20D to 20D and astigmatism from -10D to 10D. The transmissive see-through design allows for the observation of natural scenes through the system at varying object planes with no additional imaging optics in the patient’s line of sight. In this research, two generations of the fluidic auto-phoropter are designed and tested; the first generation uses traditional glass optics for the measurement channel. The second generation of the fluidic auto-phoropter takes advantage of the progress in the development of holographic optical elements to replace all the traditional glass optics. The addition of the HOEs has enabled the development of a more compact, inexpensive and easily reproducible system without compromising its performance.

    Additionally, the fluidic lenses were tested during a NASA parabolic flight campaign, to determine the effect of varying gravitational acceleration on the performance and image quality of the fluidic lenses. Wavefront analysis has indicated that flight turbulence and the varying levels of gravitational acceleration ranging from zero-G (microgravity) to 2G (hypergravity) had minimal effect on the performance of the fluidic lenses, except for small changes in defocus, making them suitable for potential use in a portable space-based fluidic auto-phoropter.