Abstract

The estimation accuracy of a point-diffraction interferometer is examined with two phase-shifting schemes: spatial and temporal. Under the assumption of plane- or spherical-wave propagation through isotropic turbulence that can be accurately represented as a series of thin phase screens, results that are valid for any scintillation regime are obtained by use of the invariance with a propagation of the mutual coherence function. It is established that the estimation accuracy of the spatial phase-shifting point-diffraction interferometer is invariant with scintillation. Upper and lower bounds on the performance of the temporal phase-shifting point-diffraction interferometer are developed. Wave optical simulation results are presented that validate the analytic predictions for the two phase-shifting schemes. The results and techniques presented can be used to assess the appropriate phase-shifting scheme given finite resources, such as a limited number of pixels in a detector array or a restricted detector frame rate.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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