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Long axial imaging range using conventional swept source lasers in optical coherence tomography via re-circulation loops
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Paper Abstract

Typically, swept source optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT) imaging instruments are capable of a longer axial range than their camera based (CB) counterpart. However, there are still various applications that would take advantage for an extended axial range. In this paper, we propose an interferometer configuration that can be used to extend the axial range of the OCT instruments equipped with conventional swept-source lasers up to a few cm. In this configuration, the two arms of the interferometer are equipped with adjustable optical path length rings. The use of semiconductor optical amplifiers in the two rings allows for compensating optical losses hence, multiple paths depth reflectivity profiles (Ascans) can be combined axially. In this way, extremely long overall axial ranges are possible. The use of the recirculation loops produces an effect equivalent to that of extending the coherence length of the swept source laser. Using this approach, the achievable axial imaging range in SS-OCT can reach values well beyond the limit imposed by the coherence length of the laser, to exceed in principle many centimeters. In the present work, we demonstrate axial ranges exceeding 4 cm using a commercial swept source laser and reaching 6 cm using an “in-house” swept source laser. When used in a conventional set-up alone, both these lasers can provide less than a few mm axial range.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 March 2018
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 10591, 2nd Canterbury Conference on OCT with Emphasis on Broadband Optical Sources, 105910T (5 March 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2282116
Show Author Affiliations
Adrian Bradu, Univ. of Kent (United Kingdom)
David A. Jackson, Univ. of Kent (United Kingdom)
Adrian Podoleanu, Univ. of Kent (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10591:
2nd Canterbury Conference on OCT with Emphasis on Broadband Optical Sources
Adrian Podoleanu; Ole Bang, Editor(s)

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