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Article in Journal of Laser Applications · November 1997

DOI: 10.2351/1.4745467 · Source: PubMed

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,ouRNAL

OF LA,SERAPPLTCATIONSG(t997) 9, 253-260

Laser safetyanalysisof a retinal scanning display system

ERIK VIIRRE, RICHARD JOHNSTON, Human Interface TechnologyLaboratory,

HOMER PRYOR,SATORU

NAGATA AND THOMAS A. FURNESSIII

Universityof Washington,Box 352142,Seattle,WA 98195-2142,USA

Accepted for

publication 29 May 1997

The Virtual

Retinal Display (VRD) is a visual display that scans modulated laser light on to the

retina of the viewer's eye to create an image. Maximum permissible exposures(MPE) have been calculated for the VRD in both normal viewing and possible failure modes. The MPE power

levels are compared to the measured power that enters the eye while viewing images with the VRD. The power levels indicate that the VRD is safe in both normal operating mode and in failure modes,

KEYWORDS: display; laser; scanning;safety analysis

INTRODUCTION

The Human Interface TechnologyLaboratory (HITL) at the University of Washingtonhas developeda display technology calledthe virtual retinaldisplay(VRD)rM, a devicethat scans an image,one pixel at a time, onto the retinaof the viewer's eye. The VRD is based on a novel scanningengine,the mechar.ricalresonancescanner(MRS). The MRS is small enoughthat when combinedwith a red laserdiode, a portable display can be created.When blue and green laserdiodesare perfected,portable,full color systemswill be possible.The VRD approachfor displaying imageshas severaladvantagcs comparedto cathoderay tube or flat panel displayslbr head mountedand other portabledisplayapplications.The contrast, brightness and dynamic color range of the VRD are extremely good. These featuresare especially important in multiplexedapplications(wherethe displaytakesup a portion of the field-of'-view) and augmentedapplications(where the display is superimposedon the outsideenvironment).ln such applications, portable displays will often be used in high ambient brightnessenvironments.The conventionaldisplays do not offer the desiredcombination of high resolution,low power,and sufficient brightnessto operatein thesesituations.

The processof scanninglaserlight on the retina was used by Webb et al. [1] in the developmentof the scanning laser ophthalmoscope(SLO). In the SLO a raster pattern is scannedon that part of the retina the operator wishes to view. A portion of the optical beam is reflectedoff the retina and passesback throughthe lens and corneaof the eye where it is detected.The intensity of the reflected light is used to modulate a synchronizedvideo signal, allowing an image of the retina to be displayed.Webb et al. have noted that rf the input optical beam was modulatedby a video source,the user would seean image.SLO mechanismshavebeenusedin this mode for evoked potential stimuli [2, 3] and as test stimuli for low vision subjects. Kleinbeil [4] has performed an

1042-346X aa:

1997LASER INSTITUTE OF AMERICA

analysisof the safety aspectsof the SLO. He observedthat the power levels requiredto illuminate the retina sufficiently to measure backscatteredlight for scanning purposeswere lower than the calculated maximal permissible exposures

(MPE). He

effects on the retina of the laser illumination source.His

analysisservesas an important basis for consideringsafety aspectsof lasersscannedon the retina.

performed an extensiveanalysis of the heating

THE VIRTUAL RETINAL DISPLAY

System description

The VRD consists of five basic parts: a light source, a modulation mechanism, horizontal and vertical scanners, deliveryoptics and controllingelectronics.A block diagram of the VRD is shownin Fig. L The light sourcein the VRD is typically a laser. Methods have been developed and demonstratedto use an LED as the light source in a monochromatic display. A single laser is used to create a

VGA

Input

FIGUREI.

System

block

diagram

of

the

virtual

retinal

display.

254

monochromatic display and three lasers are used for the creation of a color display. Each laser must be individually modulated such that its intensity matchesthat of the imagc pixel being drawn. For the modulation of the light source, current to the laser diode itself can be varied. For systems such as the green and blue gas lasers, which cannot be directly modulated at video rates, the modulation is per- formed by controlling an externaldevice,such as an acousto- optic modulator. In the case of the laser diode, optics to equalizethe horizontal and vertical divergenceof the beam and to minimize the astigmatismare used. If a multi-color system is being built the light from all lasers is combined into a single, full color beam.

The resulting modulatedbeam is then scannedto place each image pixel at the proper position on the retina. Our controlling electronicsuse the raster method of scanningan image which allows the VRD to be driven by standardvideo sources.To draw the raster,a horizontal scannermoves the beam to draw a row of pixels. A vertical scannerthen moves the beam to the next line where another row of pixels is drawn. The mechanicalresonancescanner(MRS) (Fig. 2) was developedat HITL for the VRD. The MRS operatesat frequencies on the order of 15.1kHz, which allows the creationof high resolutionimages.

The scannedbeam is passedthrough a lens systemwhich forms an exit pupil about which the scannedbeam pivots. The user placesthemselfso that their pupil is positionedat the exit pupil of the system.This is calleda Maxwellianview optical system.The lens of the eye focusesthe light beamon the retina, forming a pixel image. As the beam scansacross the retina,an image is formed (Fig. 3).

FIGURE 2. A

nance scanner shown

photograph

of

a prototype

for

beside a quarter

mechanical

reso-

size comparison.

JOURNAL OF LASERAppLtCATtONS@9(s) (t997)

vilRRE, JOHNSTON, PRYOR,NAGATA AND FURNESS

FIGURE 3. Comparison of illumination of the retina by a pixel-based display versus the VRD. Inset figures show schematized light intensity oyer any given retinal area in the image. Typical pixel-based displays such as CRTs have persistence of light emission over the frame refresh cycle, whereas the VRD illuminates in brief exposures.

Current

To demonstrate and test the capabilities of the VRD a number of prototype systemshavc bccn assembled.These include a color bench systemand a monochromaticportable system.

prototypes

In the bench mounted system, the MRS pcrforming the horizontal scan has been packaged with a galvanometer, performing the vertical scan, to form a small scanning engine.This engineis usedto scanthe optical beam in a full color, VGA resolution(640 by 480 pixels) see-throughVRD. Color is generatedusing three lasers, a red diode laser at 650nm, a green helium neon gas laser at 543.5nm and a blue argon gas laser at 488 nm. The red laser is modulated directly and the green and blue lasers are modulated with external modulators.The three optical beams are combined and passedto the scanningengine.An eyepiecemagnifiesthe image field of view for direct viewing. An alternative viewing arrangementallows the image to be viewed super- imposedon the real world. The scannedbeam passesthrough a beamsplitter and reflects off a magnifying mirror before

SENSING,MEASUREMENTAND CONTROL

reflecting off the same beamsplitter into the eye. At the same time, a view of the outside world is passed through the beamsplitterand into the eye. The systemcan be focusedto yield pixels smaller than 2.5 arcmin and with a horizontal field of view varying from l0 to 60'.

The portable VRD prototype is housed in a briefcase allowing for system demonstrationsat remote locations. It displays a VGA resolution, monochromaticimage with six bits of intensity variation using a single red laser diode as a light source.The image horizontal field of view is 40' and the vertical field of view is 30'. Also mounted into the briefcaseare the systemelectronicsand power supplies.

SAFETY ANALYSIS

Our approachto this problem was to calculatethe MPE in a variety of methods and then choose the most conservative value. We also assumedconservativeparameterssuch as an 8 h continuousexposurethat would be the extremeof regular use.Calculationsof MPE were first made by determiningthe MPE per pulse considering a pulsed source, then as a continuouswave source.We then consideredthe VRD as an extended source. The MPE values are compared against measuredlaserpower from the VRD to determineif the VRD is within limits.

VGA scanned beam

The following analysis was performed for the color VGA system.In the 640 X 480 pixel configuration,the sweeptime for each pixel is approximately 40 ns. The current system operates at a frame rate of 60H2, giving a duration of 16.67ms per frame.The activetime per frame is 12.19ms.

Analysis parameters

Followingthe method of the ANSI standard2136.1 (1993) [5], we performeda worst-caseanalysisfor laserexposurein the visible range,which is in the 400 to 550nm wavelength region. For wavelengthsfrom 550 to 700nm, the MPE value calculated for the 400 to 550nm wavelength region is multiplied by a correction factor, Ce, which is greaterthan one. Although we are creatingfull color images,we analyzed the power limits for the wavelengthsbetween400 and 550 nm for the more conservative approach.

We assumedan entrance pupil to the eye of 7 mm, giving an areaof 0.385cm2 (ANSI Table 8, p. a\ t5). An 8 h exposure was assumedbased on a working day for a user who would be wearing and viewing the display continuously.

MPE FOR PULSED LASERS

In

the first

method of

analysis, the exposure effects for

repetitively pulsed lasers dispersedover an incident area is

used to determine exposurelimits (ANSI Appendix

p.7a) $1.

83.1.2,

We start with the maximal permissibleexposure(MPE) of a

40 ns

0.5x l0 6Jcm 2 (ANSI Table5, p

is

pulse in

the

visible

and

near infrared which

al) t5l.

Using a continuousexposureof 8h (3 X 104s), the total

numberof pulses,n, is (3 X lOas) X 60 pulsesper secon<1 -

1.8x

106.

To correct for repeatedpulses, we introduce a correction factor in the calculationof MPE of n lla:0.0273. And finally, we assume the beam is dispersedover the whole apertureof the eye,0.385cm2. Thus:

MPEpurse = (0.5x

l0 6 Jcm-2;

x (0.385cm21 10.0273):5.25 x

t0

e J

 

(1)

The

MPEpur,. is

equivalent to

0.l3 W, given no

further

correction factors. This is five to six orders of magnitude

abovethe typical power output of the VRD: 100 300 nW.

MPE FOR CONTINUOUS WAVE SOURCES

In the secondmethod of analysis,the exposureis calculated for a continuous wavc laser source dispersedover a given

pulsesand calculatc

the MPE pcr pulse. As

conservativefor wavelengthsat 400 b 550nm. For an 8 h

MPE for a continuous

sourceis l0 6 wcm

exposure at these wavelengths,the

area. We then divide by the number of

above

, the estimatcs arc most

2 IANSI Table5) [5].

MPEpur," :

l0

6 Wcm

2/60 pulsesper s

:

16.67x lo-e Jcm-2

(2\

The overall MPE is the MPE per pulse divided by the pulse duration and multiplied by the aperture:

MPE:

(16.67x

t0 e Jcm-2140x

10 ens)

(3)

This value is essentiallythe same as calculated in mcthod one.

X

0.385cm2 :

0.16W

MPE CALCULATIONS

FOR EXTENDED

SOURCES

For a furtherestimateof MPE, the VRD couldbe consideredas an extendedsource.An extendedlasersourceis consideredto be a systemwith an intrabeamangularsubtenseover 1l mrad which for sourceviewing is longerthat l0 s. As pointedout in Marshall [6] almostall lasersources,includingcollimatedlaser diodes that are pulsed, actually are less than the I I mrad restriction. This is consistentwith the values for the VRD, whosesourcestandardangle is 1.1mrad. However,use of the

JOURNAL OF LASERAPPLTCAT|ONS@9(s) (t997)

correction factors for extended sources further reduces the estimatedMPE which causesa more severerestriction for the VRD powerlimits. Further,becausethe scannedimageis swept over an angular extent of 40 by 30', one might considerthe VRD asan extendedsource.This is the assumptionthat is used in analysesof scanninglaserophthalmoscopes [7]. The analysis considering scanned sources as an extended source is not explicit in the ANSI standard.The solid angle coveredby the source,(Q), is approximately0.36sr.

Extended source analysis for pulses

In ANSI Appendix B

greater than 0.1 rad and less than 0.7 s in duration are expressedas follows:

3.2 [5], MPEs for extendedsources

MPE:Lp:8.5 x

103MPE (ANSITable5) Jcm 2sr-l

using the MPE for 40 ns pulsesfrom Equation I abovcwhich includesfactors for pulse repetition,and aperturearea:

MPE:Lp :

(8.5x

-4.46x10

103) 6.25 x

5Jsrl

l0

e; .rsr

I

The time per rastersweep(i.e., the time to illuminate the extendedsourceonce) is 12.19ms so

Intensity

MPE:Lp -

(4.46 x

l0

s .lsr I l/ 12.19ms

: 0.00366 W sr I

Thus for a 0.36sr display,

P^u* :

0'0013W

In Klingbeil [4], a correctionfactor of 0.8 is usedto correct for the short term temperatureeffectsof scanning.Using this correction factor:

P.axk -

1.05x

l0-3 W

This result is still four orders of magnitudegreaterthan the typical VRD power output.

Extended source analysis by video frame

In the following calculations,we will

covering the whole video frame (at 60 Hz) and then we will

apply the maximum correction factor for extended sources, CE (ANSI Table 6) [5]. Ce is the correction factor used for extendedsourcesand it dependson the sourceangle. For an extendedsourcewith a pulse duration of less than 0.7 s the most conservativecorrection factor CE assumesan extended

source of

exposuregreaterthan l0 s ANSI SectionB3.2 [5] shows:

considerthe sourceas

over

100mrad. For

an

extended source with

MPE(extent::ffi"1;r

rabre5)w cm-2sr ,

JOURNAL OF LASERAPPLTCATTONS@9(5) (r997)

vilRRE, JOHNSTON, PRYOR,NAGATA AND FURNESS

MPE

(extendedsource ):

(1.15X 103)10 6 Wcm

- 0.00115Wcm

2 sr

I

2sr

I

(5)

For a 0.385cm2 pupil (the limiting aperture),

MPE:4.43x10-aWsr-r

Each video fiame occurs 60 times per second"and each frame actually lasts only 12.19ms per frame so we can determinethe power per frame.

MPEpr"." -

6.05x

l0

4 Wsr

I

For a displayareaof 0.36sr, and applyingthe 80% correction factor of Klingbeil,

MPE :

1.74x

l0-4 W,

or about150 aW

This resultis our most conservativccstirnatcof MPE, giving valuesof about three ordersof magnitudeabovetypical VRD output.

SCANNER FAILURE

thc cvcnt that both the horizontal and vertical bcam

controllersf'ailed,one spot on the retina would be exposedto the whole output of the laser system. The calculationsthat follow assumethe worst-casescenario,that the laseroutput is continuous(continuouswave)ratherthan pulsed.

In

The first MPE limit will assumcthat an avcrsionrcsponscto

bright visible light will

Table 5) [5]. The MPE tbr wavelengthsfiorn 400 to 700 nm

rnove the eye within 0.25s (ANSI

fbr a tir.r.reduration of I : 0.25s is:

l.}t3lal0 3.lcm 2 -

0.636x

l0

3 icm

2

or 2.55X l0 3 Wcm

2

Multiplying

MPE :0.98

is again quite high relative to the actual output of thc VRD lbr typical images.

by

x

the

aperture of

0.385cm2.

wc

tict:

10 3 W. This value of approximatcly1mW

SCANNER FAILURE WITHOUT RESPONSE

If we assumea scannercasewherc thc continuouswave was viewed for more than l0a s t2.78ht and there were no aversionresponse,the MPE dependson the apertureand a correction factor, Cs, dependingon the wavelength:

AVERSION

MPE :

(aperturearea)(Cn) (10 6) Wcm

2

(ANSI Table5)

The calculatedresultsare listed in Table l.

At shorter wavelengths,this output value approachesthc power output value of the lasersin use in thc color VRD. To reiterate though, it would require 2.78h of continuous viewing of a single bright laser spot to reach this limit. A

SENSING,MEASUREMENTAND CONTROL

TABLE

l.

The

calculated

MPE

values

as

a

function

of

wavelength

Wavelength

MPE

(nm)

(,"w)

400-550

0.385

600

2.t7

640

8.62

670

24.29

700

68.47

subjectwould have to first suppressthe reflex drive from a bright image and, second then perfectly stabilize the small resulting image.

MULTIPLE LASER SOURCES

Li and Rosenshein [7] havepointed out that thereneedsto bc

a method of determining MPE for scanned imagcs with

multiple wavelengths. They indicated that retinal hazard comes from both the thermal effects of laser spots focused onto the retina and from photochemicaleffects of the light

interactingwith photopigments [4, 8, 9]. The assumptionused

by Li and Rosensheinto cnablethe combinationsof different

wavelengthsis that the hazardsadd linearly. They found that the MPE of combiningan infraredlaser with visible lasers for scanningthe retina while displaying an image was safe for durations on the order of l0 min even for power levels ten times greaterthan they typically used.It is importantto note that the heating effects of the infrared laser were limiting in their analysis.The VRD does not use an infiared laser.The rndividual MPEs for each laser are determinedas

above,but include the correction factor Cs that varies with the wavelength. As described earlier, the effect of the correctionfactor is to make the MPE higher fbr wavclengths above550nm. In our color VRD, the blue and green sources are below 550nm and so have the same MPE. We can thus simply add the power levelsfor blue and green.lf we directly add in the power from the red without correction,we end up with a power safety estimate that is casy and is more

conservativethan the

Essentially the MPE calculated earlier will be distributed acrossall visible light sources.Correction factors as Li and Rosensheinsuggestcan be used if a more precise value is

needed.

method of Li and Rosenshein [7].

MEASURED VRD BRIGHTNESS

Preliminary tests and calculations of VRD images demon- stratedthat the system'spower output with typical imagesis below the maximum permissible exposure (MPE) limits previously established [0]. We designeda test to determine the range of power levels required for images in the VRD that have the same apparentbrightness as images fiom a conventionalcathoderay tube (CRT) display.

257

A modified minimally distinct border (MDB) approachwas

used to perform the brightnessmatch for

order to perform thesetests,we used the color VRD unit in an augmentedvision mode as previously described.Using a half silvered mirror in the optical setup, we arranged the VRD image to be seensimultaneouslywith an image from a CRT. The image areaswere I by 2'. A mask, flat black in

color, surroundedthe dual imagc arcas.The irnagefield from

the VRD was aligned above that of the CRT image. A

adjustingthe position of

program was developedin JAVA for

the VRD image. This allowed the subjectto move the VRD image so that it immediately abutted the image from the CRT. The program also allowed the VRD color stimuli to bc adjustedover a range of 255 intensity steps.The intensity of the VRD stimuluswas ad.lustedby havingthe sublectmove a mouse.

this study [1]. In

Eight solid color CRT test stimuli wsrc used: two each of

red, green, blue, and white. Thc

generatedusing a software color palette with 65000 colors.

One of cach pair of intensitiesfor each color was chosento

bc at the upper limit of the brightnessrange.The CIE color

co-ordinatesand photometric power levels from the CRT

images are given in Table 2. The CRT fbr this experiment was an NEC MultiSync 5FGp monitor. The CRT and VRD color images were both at 640 by 480 pixel resolution.

Mcasuremcntsfor the CRT

Minolta TV-ColorAnalyzerII (TV-2150).Repeatedmeasure- mentsover severaldays showedthat theselevels stayedquite consistent.

CRT

image field

was

intensities were taken with

a

Fourtecnsubjcctsparticipatedin thc cxpcrimcnt, four as pre- test subjectsand ten in the actual experiment.Each subject was flrst presented with two test stimuli for each color (exceptwhite) to familiarizc thcm with the procedure.The subjectwould vary the intensity of the VRD until the border betweenthe VRD and CIRTfields were minimally distinct or until they .ludged both areas to be equal in intensity. The brightncss control allowed complete variation, so subjects

TABLE 2. Color co-ordinates and intensities for the CRT test imagesfor brightnesscomparison tests. Intensity values varied fessthan l%

CRT measurements

Stimulus

CIE-X

CIE-Y

(Cd m 2)

(nw)

BlueI

226.00

3t2.50

25.68

3t4

Blue2

2t3.90

298.20

50.54

6tB

GreenI

30t.50

565.|0

29.91

366

Green2

295.70

576.80

48.9|

598

Red I

6t5.78

324.s6

t8.49

226

Red2

602.00

322.67

I t.39

t39

White I

287.80

335.20

35.30

437

White 2

289.30

33r.70

22.t7

271

JOURNAL OF LASERAPPLTCATTONS@9(5) (r997)

could change the VRD image to both dimmer and

than the CRT image. They were allowed as much time as necessary for the match. In the actual test, the starting intensity of the VRD image was randomly selectedto be brighter or dimmer than the CRT image. For each stimulus, there were two trials. The subiectswere testedin a darkened room.

brighter

Once the test subjects had made their adjustments for intensity matches,then the power output of the system was measured.As mentionedabove,the test imagesfor intensity comparisonswere I by 2" in size. For the power measures, the entire extent of the VRD image was turned on to the same intensity. The VRD power measurementswere taken with a Newport Multifunction Optical Meter (model 1835-C) and sensor(model 818ST).The sensorsurfaccis 7 by 8mm and it was placed at the exit pupil of the VRD system.The

sensorsize correspondsto the 7 mm limiting apertureset by the ANSI standard(ANSI Table 9 p. a\ $| The actual exit

pupil is approximately L5 mm in

measureswere taken with the meter set for thc sensitivityat the wavelengthof the particular red" green or blue source being tested.For white level power measurcs,the red, grecn and blue were measuredindividually and the resultssummed.

The power measureswere made in darknessand were derived by measuring the power with the display off and then subtractingthat value from the power with the systemturned on.

diameter.The radiometric

Test results

The averagedpower levels from all subjectsare shown in Fig. 4. As can be seen, the output varied in the range of 60-250 nW. Most subjectsfound that they could match the intensityreasonablywell for greenand blue. This can be seen

350

300

2q

200

150

100

50

0

MeanPowerLevels

I

I

I

 

.-.l

81

82

G1

G2

R1

R2

W1

W2

Stimulus

FIGURE 4. Power level histograms.

Measurements

of power

output

in nanowatts

at the

VRD

exit

pupil after

brightness

comparison

Error

tests. Each bar indicates the mean

power

level.

bars indicate one standard error

of the mean. Stimuli

were: Bl :Blue

I,

l, 82:Blue

2, Rl :Red White 2.

R2:Red

2.

2, Gl:Green

:White

Wl

l, G2:Green

I

and

W2-

JOURNAL OF LASERAPPL|CATTONS@9(s) (t997)

vlIRRE, JOHNSTON, pRyOR, NAGATA AND FURNESS

in the low standard error of the mean for the values with thesecolors.However,the red matcheswere more difficult to make. We determinedwith subsequenttesting clf the system that there was a large non-linearity in the intensity output of the red source. The most rapid change in intensity per incremental change in control valuc occurred close to the brightnesslevels being tested.Thc widcr range of standard error of the mean for the red test rsflccts this effect. As a consequencedue to the non-linearity in red brightncsslevels, the white was also somewhat difficult to match. Scvsral sublectsnoted the white acquiringa 'pinkish tinge' at the brighter end of thc control scale. However, despite these difficulties, subiects were still ablc to make consistcnt matches.

Comparison to theoreticalpredictions

Convertingthe photometricoutput of a CRT to a radiometric measureof power would allow us to directly compare the power levels. Using a standardconversionwe calculatedthe

power output levelsof

note that these power levels are approximatelythe samc as thosc given for a typical CRT.

the CRT, that are listed in Table 3. Wc

Figure 5 shows the MPE power limits as they vary with wavelength.F'igure6 shows MPE levels as they vary with cxposurc duration and indicates power levels of the VRD ambientlight sourcesand thc scanninglascrophthalmoscope.

CONCLUSIONS AND DISCUSSION

ln our maximal permissibleexposurecalculations.we have used a number of conscrvativcassumptionsfor our estrma- trons.Any changein theseassumptionsshouldthus resultin greater differences between thc calculated limits and the actual output values. For example, the current lirnits were calculatedbasedon an 8 h cxposurctime. If the time is less than I h, the limits increase.Further. the bluc cntl of the

TABLE 3. Intensity measures for CRT yersus VRD light comparisons.The VRD measurementsare the mean values from the test

Stimulus

Blue I

Blue2

Green I

Green 2

Red

Red 2

White I

White 2

I

Brightnessmeasurements

CRT

CRT

VRD

(Cdm 2)

(nw)

(nw)

25.68

3t4

t33

50.54

6t8

t99

29.91

366

59

48.9|

598

83

t8.49

226

249

I t.39

t39

2t0

35.30

432

t73

22.t7

771

124

SENSING,MEASUREMENTAND CONTROL

N

=

0.0

- 1.0

-2.O

3.0

-4.0

-5.0

6.0

7.O

8.0

400

SourceWavelengthvs. MPE

450

500

550

Wavelength(nm)

600

650

700

FIGURE 5. Power versus wavelength. MPE values for wave-

to 700 nm for VRD illumination charac-

lengths from 400

teristics. Symbols indicate the average power output for the VRD for targets I and 2 in the brightness tests of blue,

green and red,

ExposureDurationvs. MPE

8.00

6.00

4.00

2.00

0.00

o) -2.00

4.00

6.00

8.00

N

o

3

qqg9q\cqcqqqq9qqn

O) @

f.-

(o

ttttltltl

lr)

$

<l

(f)N

r

O

r

LogTime

C!(fJ

$

S

$

(400-550nm)

loqWcm'/sr

(600nm) ^

- log Wcm'/sr

.

r

.

a

X

(650nm)

VRD

Snow

BrightSky

Sun

SLO

FIGURE6. Exposure duration and MPE. The solid line indicates how the MPE varies with exposure duration for VRD illumination characteristics.Note that MPE also varies with wavelength in exposure durations greater than I s. Shown are power levels for the VRD as well as other light sourcesas per Klingbeil [4].

visible spectrumwas considere{ which is only a part of the full spectrum light of typical images. Finally, the most conservativemeasurewas taken when consideringthe VRD as an extended source. The correction factor for broad extended sources adds several orders of magnitude to the MPE. If the whole image frame is consideredan extended sourcethe assumptionis reasonable.It should also be noted that the calculationspresentedhere generally apply to non- coherentsourcesthat could be used in this display.

As section 8.3 of the ANSI standard [5] points out, lower MPE valuesare neededfor ophthalmicapplicationswhere the laserspot is either stabilizedon the retina, or the pupil of the eye is dilated.In normal use,the VRD will not haveeither of

259

these conditions. However, if the VRD is to be incorporated into an ophthalmic device, such as a scanning laser ophthalmoscopeor visual fields and the image from it is stabilized or the ocular pupil is dilate{ thc lower MPE limits will have to be used.

power output with typical images indicatesthat

the VRD generatespower on the order of 200nW during normal operation.This is below the Class I lascr powcr limit of 400 nW. If failure were to occur, i.e., if scanningwere to stop in one or both dimensions,the power limits indicatethe

mechanism is still safe. To use thc VRD in brighter light conditions,such as ambientdaylight,higher power levelswill be needed.The MPE limits calculated here should be the guidelineused.

Measuresof

Klingbeil's power analysisfor scanninglaserophthalmoscopes [4] producedsimilar valuesto the onesreportedin this paper. He noted that the power output fbr SLOs was higher than the VRD and correspondingly the SLO in image acquisition mode was closerto the limits. He recommendedthat there be

a safety interlock for the SLO that would turn off thc lascr

source within I ms of scannerfailure. This was necessary becausethe time ibr an aversionresponsewas too slow for saf-ety.ln the VRD, the saf'etylimits fbr tailure incorporate

the aversionresponse.Even so, the designof the VRD driver circuit is such that the laser source is immediately

extinguishedwith a scannerfailurc.

VRD and virtual retinal display are registeredtrademarksof MicrovisionInc.

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