Applications such as optical data storage, optical computing, and optical interconnects require optical systems that manipulate binary-valued images. Such an optical system can be viewed as a two-dimensional array of binary communication channels. This perspective is used to motivate the use of pagewise mutual information as a metric for optical system analysis and design. Fresnel propagation and coherent imaging both are analyzed in terms of mutual-information transmission. An information-based space–bandwidth product is used to analyze the trade-off between the numerical aperture and the number of image pixels in a coherent 4<i>f</i> system. We propose a new merit function to facilitate information-based optical system design. Information maximization and bit-error-rate minimization both are possible with the new radially weighted encircled-energy merit function. We demonstrate the use of this new merit function through a design example and show that the information throughput is increased by 8% and the bit-error rate is reduced by 36% when compared with systems designed with traditional criteria.
© 2000 Optical Society of America
(100.2960) Image processing : Image analysis
(110.2990) Imaging systems : Image formation theory
(200.3050) Optics in computing : Information processing
(220.4830) Optical design and fabrication : Systems design
Wu-Chun Chou, Mark A. Neifeld, and Ruozhong Xuan, "Information-Based Optical Design for Binary-Valued Imagery," Appl. Opt. 39, 1731-1742 (2000)