The technique of the multiple phase encoding for optical security and verification systems is presented in this paper. This technique is based on a 4-f optical correlator that is a common architecture for optical image encryption and verification systems. However, two or more phase masks are iteratively retrieved by use of the proposed multiple phases retrieval algorithm (MPRA) to obtain the target image. The convergent speed of the iteration process in the MPRA is significantly increased and the recovered image is much more similar to the target image than those in previous approaches. In addition, the quantization effects due to the finite resolution of the phase levels in practical implementation are discussed. The relationships between the number of phase masks and the quantized phase levels are also investigated. According to the simulation results, two and three phase masks are enough to design an efficient security verification system with 64 and 32 phase levels, respectively.
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