The Zaneveld–Wells algorithm for calculating N inherent optical expansion coefficients from N + 1 measured angle-integrated moments of the radiant light field is investigated. Because the algorithm is well conditioned but sensitive to errors in the spatial derivatives, different approximations for the spatial derivatives are considered. The effects of noise and sensor error on the performance of the algorithm have been evaluated analytically, and testing with randomly sampled simulated noise was performed to assess the stability and sensitivity of the algorithm. Results show that the algorithm is fairly insensitive to sensor noise, but neither using a higher-order finite-difference approximation for the derivatives nor reformulating the algorithm into an integral form was successful in overcoming the large errors observed.
© 1995 Optical Society of America
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