The phase of the optical transfer function is advocated as an important tool in the characterization of modern incoherent imaging systems. It is shown that knowledge of the phase transfer function (PTF) can benefit a diverse array of applications involving both traditional and computational imaging systems. Areas of potential benefits are discussed, and three applications are presented, demonstrating the utility of the phase of the complex frequency response in practical scenarios. In traditional imaging systems, the PTF is shown via simulation results to be strongly coupled with odd-order aberrations and hence useful in misalignment detection and correction. In computational imaging systems, experimental results confirm that the PTF can be successfully applied to subpixel shift estimation and wavefront coding characterization tasks.
© 2012 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: October 3, 2011
Revised Manuscript: December 21, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: December 23, 2011
Published: January 27, 2012
Vikrant R. Bhakta, Manjunath Somayaji, and Marc P. Christensen, "Applications of the phase transfer function of digital incoherent imaging systems," Appl. Opt. 51, A17-A26 (2012)