Passive-ranging systems based on wave-front coding are introduced. These single-aperture hybrid optical–digital systems are analyzed by use of linear models and the Fisher information matrix. Two schemes for passive ranging by use of a single aperture and a single image are investigated: (i) estimating the range to an object and (ii) detecting objects over a set of ranges. Theoretical limitations on estimator-error variances are given by use of the Cramer–Rao bounds. Evaluations show that range estimates with less than 0.1% error can be obtained from a single wave-front coded image. An experimental system was also built, and example results are given.
© 2000 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: June 10, 1999
Revised Manuscript: October 14, 1999
Published: April 10, 2000
Gregory E. Johnson, Edward R. Dowski, and W. Thomas Cathey, "Passive ranging through wave-front coding: information and application," Appl. Opt. 39, 1700-1710 (2000)