This paper proposes a robust noise and phase jump detection scheme for noisy phase maps containing height discontinuities. The detection scheme has two primary functions, namely to detect the positions of noise and to locate the positions of the phase jumps. Generally speaking, the removal of noise from a wrapped phase map causes a smearing of the phase jumps and therefore leads to a loss of definition in the unwrapped phase map. However, in the proposed scheme, the boundaries of the phase jump regions are preserved during the noise detection process. The validity of the proposed approach is demonstrated using the simulated and experimental wrapped phase maps of a 3D object containing height discontinuities, respectively. It is shown that the noise and phase jump detection scheme enables the precise and efficient detection of three different types of noise, namely speckle noise, residual noise, and noise at the lateral surfaces of the height discontinuities. Therefore, the proposed scheme represents an ideal solution for the pre-processing of noisy wrapped phase maps prior to their treatment using a filtering algorithm and phase unwrapping algorithm.
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