Abstract

The bulky form factor of traditional optical sensors limits their utility for certain applications. Flat multiplex imaging-sensor architectures face the light-gathering challenges inherent with small collection apertures. We examine a wavefront-coding approach wherein a cubic phase mask is used to increase the aperture sizes of multiplex imaging systems while maintaining the distance from the lens to the detector array. The proposed approach exploits the ability of cubic-phase-mask systems to operate over a large range of misfocus values. An exact expression for the optical transfer function of cubic-phase-mask systems is presented, and its misfocus-dependent spatial-filtering properties are described. Criteria for form-factor enhancement are assessed and trade-offs encountered in the design process are evaluated.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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