Optimal design of hybrid optical digital imaging systems
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Several types of pupil modulation have been reported to decrease the aberration variance of the modulation-transfer-function (MTF) in aberration-tolerant hybrid optical-digital imaging systems. It is common to enforce restorability constraints on the MTF, requiring trade of aberration-tolerance and noise-gain. In this thesis, instead of optimising specific MTF characteristics, the expected imaging-error of the joint design is minimised directly. This method is used to compare commonly used phase-modulation functions. The analysis shows how optimal imaging performance is obtained using moderate phasemodulation, and more importantly, it shows the relative merits of different functions. It is shown that the technique is readily integrable with off-the-shelf optical design software, which is demonstrated with the optimisation of a wide-angle reflective system with significant off-axis aberrations. The imaging error can also be minimised for amplitudeonly masks. It is shown that phase aberrations in an imaging system can be mitigated using binary amplitude masks. This offers a low-cost, transmission-mode alternative to phase correction as used in active and adaptive optics. More efficient masks can be obtained by the optimisation of the imaging fidelity.