12 September 2017 Optical beam classification using deep learning: a comparison with rule- and feature-based classification
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Deep-learning methods are gaining popularity because of their state-of-the-art performance in image classification tasks. In this paper, we explore classification of laser-beam images from the National Ignition Facility (NIF) using a novel deeplearning approach. NIF is the world’s largest, most energetic laser. It has nearly 40,000 optics that precisely guide, reflect, amplify, and focus 192 laser beams onto a fusion target. NIF utilizes four petawatt lasers called the Advanced Radiographic Capability (ARC) to produce backlighting X-ray illumination to capture implosion dynamics of NIF experiments with picosecond temporal resolution. In the current operational configuration, four independent short-pulse ARC beams are created and combined in a split-beam configuration in each of two NIF apertures at the entry of the pre-amplifier. The subaperture beams then propagate through the NIF beampath up to the ARC compressor. Each ARC beamlet is separately compressed with a dedicated set of four gratings and recombined as sub-apertures for transport to the parabola vessel, where the beams are focused using parabolic mirrors and pointed to the target. Small angular errors in the compressor gratings can cause the sub-aperture beams to diverge from one another and prevent accurate alignment through the transport section between the compressor and parabolic mirrors. This is an off-normal condition that must be detected and corrected. The goal of the off-normal check is to determine whether the ARC beamlets are sufficiently overlapped into a merged single spot or diverged into two distinct spots. Thus, the objective of the current work is three-fold: developing a simple algorithm to perform off-normal classification, exploring the use of Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) for the same task, and understanding the inter-relationship of the two approaches. The CNN recognition results are compared with other machine-learning approaches, such as Deep Neural Network (DNN) and Support Vector Machine (SVM). The experimental results show around 96% classification accuracy using CNN; the CNN approach also provides comparable recognition results compared to the present feature-based off-normal detection. The feature-based solution was developed to capture the expertise of a human expert in classifying the images. The misclassified results are further studied to explain the differences and discover any discrepancies or inconsistencies in current classification.
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Md. Zahangir Alom, Abdul A. S. Awwal, Roger Lowe-Webb, Tarek M. Taha, "Optical beam classification using deep learning: a comparison with rule- and feature-based classification", Proc. SPIE 10395, Optics and Photonics for Information Processing XI, 103950O (12 September 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2282903; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2282903

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