Abstract

Digital spiral imaging has been demonstrated as an effective optical tool to encode optical information and retrieve topographic information of an object. Here we develop a conceptually new and concise scheme for optical image encoding and decoding toward free-space digital spiral imaging. We experimentally demonstrate that the optical lattices with =±50 orbital angular momentum superpositions and a clover image with nearly 200 Laguerre–Gaussian (LG) modes can be well encoded and successfully decoded. It is found that an image encoded/decoded with a two-index LG spectrum (considering both azimuthal and radial indices, and p) possesses much higher fidelity than that with a one-index LG spectrum (only considering the index). Our work provides an alternative tool for the image encoding/decoding scheme toward free-space optical communications.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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