We present a method for securing and encrypting information optically by use of totally incoherent illumination. Encryption is performed with a multichannel optical processor working under natural (both temporal and spatially incoherent) light. In this way, the information that is to be secured can be codified by use of color signals and self-luminous displays. The encryption key is a phase-only mask, providing high security from counterfeiting. Output encrypted information is recorded as an intensity image that can be easily stored and transmitted optically or electrically. Decryption or authentication can also be performed optically or digitally. Experimental results are presented.
© 2001 Optical Society of America
(050.1970) Diffraction and gratings : Diffractive optics
(070.4560) Fourier optics and signal processing : Data processing by optical means
(100.5090) Image processing : Phase-only filters
(220.1000) Optical design and fabrication : Aberration compensation
Enrique Tajahuerce, Jesús Lancis, Bahram Javidi, and Pedro Andrés, "Optical security and encryption with totally incoherent light," Opt. Lett. 26, 678-680 (2001)