Automated Vision Test

The traditional test for visual acuity requires the patient to look and report which letters they see. A new invention provides an automated system to estimate visual acuity based on objective measurements of the eye optics and wavefront aberrations. A typical measurement consists of a list of numbers that constitute the coefficients of the polynomials. The algorithm converts the list of numbers into an estimate of the visual acuity of the patient.

Hybrid Architecture Active Wavefront Sensing & Control

This system provides a method for performing high-speed wavefront sensing and control to overcome thermal instabilities in a segmented primary mirror telescope. This method utilizes the onboard fine guidance sensor that is already needed to maintain pointing of the telescope. Applications include ground segmented observatories using a laser guide star or other similar scheme.

Three-Dimensional Range Imaging Apparatus and Method

A lightweight and reliable, three-dimensional range-imaging system involves providing a modulated light signal, forming a fixed fiber array with ends of optical fibers, switching the modulated light signal successively into multiple optical fibers to form a pixel pattern at the fixed fiber array, and projecting the pixel pattern onto a target.

Smart Optics Material Characterization System

An adaptable and powerful interferometric test platform enables multi-parameter evaluation of smart optical materials. The characterization system was created to measure the dynamic optical response of smart optical materials, while external stimuli are applied to the material. Uses include 2D/3D displays, nonlinear and liquid crystal switching and waveguide device testing, precision and adaptive optics, and sensors and detectors.

Electrochemically Enhanced Mechanical Polishing of Optics

Astrophysicists are developing better instruments to measure high-energy x-rays in space when viewed from above the Earth’s atmosphere. A novel method for material removal and superpolishing was applied to the mandrel fabrication of an advanced x-ray telescope. Other applications include search, surveillance, and detection; reflective optics; high-quality, low-cost communications devices; and optical components for UV solar blind detectors.

Nested Focusing Optics for Compact Neutron Sources

Neutron grazing incidence optics for use with small-scale, portable neutron generators enable the use of commercially available neutron generators for applications requiring high flux densities, including high-performance imaging and analysis. Nested grazing incidence mirror optics maximize neutron flux from diffuse sources for imaging and testing applications.

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the December, 2014 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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