Many spatial light modulators and computer-generated hologram techniques can very efficiently implement binary phase-only filters. At present, almost all binary phase-only filters are designed by first designing a matched spatial filter and then binarizing it. There is no theoretical basis to expect that such a filter will be optimal. This paper first develops a theory for optimal binary phase-only filters and then presents a numerical algorithm which designs the optimal binary phase-only matched filter for a given image. The filter is optimal in the matched filter sense of maximizing SNR at the output origin. Characteristics of the optimal filter compared to conventional binary phase-only filters are discussed.
© 1988 Optical Society of America
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