Interferometers often encode the information on the measurand in the phase of a fringe pattern, which is usually recorded by an imaging device. Accuracy of measurements carried out by interferometric techniques is thus strongly dependent on the accuracy with which the underlying phase distribution of these fringe patterns is estimated. Fringe analysis methods, which have been developed to accomplish this task, are in general characterized by their performance in terms of both accuracy of phase estimation and associated computational complexity. We propose an improved high-order ambiguity-function-based fringe-analysis method that is demonstrated to provide an accurate and direct estimation of the unwrapped phase distribution in a highly computationally efficient manner. Presented simulation and experimental results in digital holographic interferometry depict the potential utility of the proposed method.
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