Through numerical simulation, we have demonstrated a novel snapshot spectral imaging concept using binary diffractive optics. Binary diffractive optics, such as Fresnel zone plates (FZP) or photon sieves, can be used as the single optical element in a spectral imager that conducts both imaging and dispersion. In previous demonstrations of spectral imaging with diffractive optics, the detector array was physically translated along the optic axis to measure different image formation planes. In this new concept the wavelength-dependent images are constructed synthetically, by using integral photography concepts commonly applied to light field (plenoptic) cameras. Light field cameras use computational digital refocusing methods after exposure to make images at different object distances. Our concept refocuses to make images at different wavelengths instead of different object distances. The simulations in this study demonstrate this concept for an imager designed with a FZP. Monochromatic light from planar sources is propagated through the system to a measurement plane using wave optics in the Fresnel approximation. Simple images, placed at optical infinity, are illuminated by monochromatic sources and then digitally refocused to show different spectral bins. We show the formation of distinct images from different objects, illuminated by monochromatic sources in the VIS/NIR spectrum. Additionally, this concept could easily be applied to imaging in the MWIR and LWIR ranges. In conclusion, this new type of imager offers a rugged and simple optical design for snapshot spectral imaging and warrants further development.
Francis D. Hallada, Anthony L. Franz, and Michael R. Hawks, "Fresnel zone plate light field spectral imaging simulation," Proc. SPIE 10198, Algorithms and Technologies for Multispectral, Hyperspectral, and Ultraspectral Imagery XXIII, 1019804 (Presented at SPIE Defense + Security: April 11, 2017; Published: 5 May 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2261846.
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