A novel and successful optical-digital approach for removing certain
aberrations in imaging systems involves placing an optical mask between an image-recording device and an object to encode the wavefront phase before the image is recorded, followed by digital image deconvolution to decode the phase. We have observed that when appropriately engineered, such an optical mask can also act as a form of preconditioner for certain deconvolution algorithms. It can boost information in the signal before it is recorded well above the noise level, leveraging digital restorations of very high quality. In this paper, we 1) examine the influence that a phase mask has on the incoming signal and how it subsequently affects the performance of restoration algorithms, and 2) explore the design of optical masks, a difficult nonlinear optimization problem with multiple design parameters, for removing certain aberrations and for maximizing
restorability and information in recorded images.© (2003) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.