Properties of light such as amplitude and phase, temporal and spatial coherence, polarization, etc. are abundantly used for sensing and imaging. Regardless of the passive or active nature of the sensing method, optical intensity fluctuations are always present! While these fluctuations are usually regarded as noise, there are situations where one can harness the intensity fluctuations to enhance certain attributes of the sensing procedure. In this thesis, we developed different sensing methodologies that use statistical properties of optical fluctuations for gauging specific information. We examine this concept in the context of three different aspects of computational optical imaging and sensing. First, we study imposing specific statistical properties to the probing field to image or characterize certain properties of an object through a statistical analysis of the spatially integrated scattered intensity. This offers unique capabilities for imaging and sensing techniques operating in highly perturbed environments and low-light conditions. Next, we examine optical sensing in the presence of strong perturbations that preclude any controllable field modification. We demonstrate that inherent properties of diffused coherent fields and fluctuations of integrated intensity can be used to track objects hidden behind obscurants. Finally, we address situations where, due to coherent noise, image accuracy is severely degraded by intensity fluctuations. By taking advantage of the spatial coherence properties of optical fields, we show that this limitation can be effectively mitigated and that a significant improvement in the signal-to-noise ratio can be achieved even in one single-shot measurement. The findings included in this dissertation illustrate different circumstances where optical fluctuations can affect the efficacy of computational optical imaging and sensing. A broad range of applications, including biomedical imaging and remote sensing, could benefit from the new approaches to suppress, enhance, and exploit optical fluctuations, which are described in this dissertation.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Optics and Photonics
Optics and Photonics
Optics and Photonics
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Akhlaghi Bouzan, Milad, "Harnessing Spatial Intensity Fluctuations for Optical Imaging and Sensing" (2017). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 6090.