Abstract

Interferometric speckle techniques are plagued by the omnipresence of phase singularities, impairing the phase unwrapping process. To reduce the number of phase singularities by physical means, an incoherent averaging of multiple speckle fields may be applied. It turns out, however, that the results may strongly deviate from the expected N behavior. Using speckle-shearing interferometry as an example, we investigate the mechanism behind the reduction of phase singularities, both by calculations and by computer simulations. Key to an understanding of the reduction mechanism during incoherent averaging is the representation of the physical averaging process in terms of certain vector fields associated with each speckle field.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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