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Error budget analysis for an adaptive optics optical coherence tomography system.


The combination of adaptive optics (AO) technology with optical coherence tomography (OCT) instrumentation for imaging the retina has proven to be a valuable tool for clinicians and researchers in understanding the healthy and diseased eye. The micrometer-isotropic resolution achieved by such a system allows imaging of the retina at a cellular level, however imaging of some cell types remains elusive. Improvement in contrast rather than resolution is needed and can be achieved through better AO correction of wavefront aberration. A common tool for assessing and ultimately improving AO system performance is the development of an error budget. Specifically, this is a list of the magnitude of the constituent residual errors of an optical system so that resources can be directed towards efficient performance improvement. Here we present an error budget developed for the UC Davis AO-OCT instrument indicating that bandwidth and controller errors are the limiting errors of our AO system, which should be corrected first to improve performance. We also discuss the scaling of error sources for different subjects and the need to improve the robustness of the system by addressing subject variability.

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