A new phase-shifting interferometric technique that uses an unknown phase step is described in which the phase step is determined by use of an algorithm called Probabilistic Global Search Lausanne (PGSL). One of the main sources of error in phase stepping is piezoelectric device (PZT) nonlinearity. The PGSL algorithm identifies the characteristics of the response of the PZT to the applied voltage through matching predicted and measured responses. The unknown phase step is also calculated with 0.097% error. This approach overcomes the limitations of existing techniques to determine unknown phase steps. Linear regression is subsequently applied for interference phase determination.
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