A phase unwrapping algorithm for interferometric fringes based on the unscented Kalman filter (UKF) technique is proposed. The algorithm can bring about accurate phase unwrapping and good noise suppression simultaneously by incorporating the true phase and its derivative in the state vector estimation through the UKF process. Simulations indicate that the proposed algorithm has better accuracy than some widely employed phase unwrapping approaches in the same noise condition. Also, the time consumption of the algorithm is reasonably acceptable. Applications of the algorithm in our different optical interferometer systems are provided to demonstrate its practicability with good performance. We hope this algorithm can be a practical approach that can help to reduce the systematic errors significantly induced by phase unwrapping process for interferometric measurements such as wavefront distortion testing, surface figure testing of optics, etc.
© 2015 Optical Society of America
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