We describe the use of a Wigner distribution function approach for exploring the problem of extending the depth of field in a hybrid imaging system. The Wigner distribution function, in connection with the phase–space curve that formulates a joint phase–space description of an optical field, is employed as a tool to display and characterize the evolving behavior of the amplitude point spread function as a wave propagating along the optical axis. It provides a comprehensive exhibition of the characteristics for the hybrid imaging system in extending the depth of field from both wave optics and geometrical optics. We use it to analyze several well-known optical designs in extending the depth of field from a new viewpoint. The relationships between this approach and the earlier ambiguity function approach are also briefly investigated.
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