Abstract

We develop an algorithm for the minimum Lp-norm solution to the two-dimensional phase unwrapping problem. Rather than its being a mathematically intractable problem, we show that the governing equations are equivalent to those that describe weighted least-squares phase unwrapping. The only exception is that the weights are data dependent. In addition, we show that the minimum Lp-norm solution is obtained by embedding the transform-based methods for unweighted and weighted least squares within a simple iterative structure. The data-dependent weights are generated within the algorithm and need not be supplied explicitly by the user. Interesting and useful solutions to many phase unwrapping problems can be obtained when p< 2. Specifically, the minimum L0-norm solution requires the solution phase gradients to equal the input data phase gradients in as many places as possible. This concept provides an interesting link to branch-cut unwrapping methods, where none existed previously.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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