Abstract

A new algorithm is proposed for unwrapping interferometric phase maps. Existing algorithms search the two-dimensional spatial domain for 2π discontinuities: only one phase map is required, but phase errors can propagate outward from regions of high noise, corrupting the rest of the image. An alternative approach based on one-dimensional unwrapping along the time axis is proposed. It is applicable to an important subclass of interferometry applications, in which a sequence of incremental phase maps can be obtained leading up to the final phase-difference map of interest. A particular example is quasi-static deformation analysis. The main advantages are (i) it is inherently simple, (ii) phase errors are constrained within the high-noise regions, and (iii) phase maps containing global discontinuities are unwrapped correctly, provided the positions of the discontinuities remain fixed with time. The possibility of real-time phase unwrapping is also discussed.

© 1993 Optical Society of America

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