Imaging quality of a retroreflective screen in head-mounted projection displays

Rui Zhang, Hong Hua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


A retroreflective screen composed of miniature corner cube reflectors (CCRs) or microbeads redirects an incident ray in the reverse direction. Recently the retroreflective screen was utilized as a key element in headmounted projection displays (HMPDs). Most prior efforts in developing the HMPD technology have been focused on optimizing the optical design of the projection optics, neglecting the imaging artifacts caused by the screen. Few efforts have been attempted to analyze and evaluate the overall image quality of the HMPD system with the presence of a retroreflective screen. This paper first applies a ray-tracing method to examine the imaging properties of a single CCR. Through the combination of both the geometrical imaging effect and the diffraction effect, the imaging properties of a CCR-based retroreflective screen are analyzed and characterized. Based on these analytical results, the paper further evaluates how the imaging artifacts of a retroreflective screen degrade the spatial resolution of an HMPD system and limit the tolerance range of the distance from an HMPD user to the screen. Finally, a discussion is employed to illustrate potential techniques in minimizing the image quality degradation through the optimization of the corner cube size in a retroreflective screen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1240-1249
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Optical Society of America A: Optics and Image Science, and Vision
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition


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