4 October 2011 Tests for assessing beam propagation algorithms
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Given a beam propagation algorithm, whether it is a commercial implementation or some other in-house or research implementation, it is not trivial to determine whether it is suitable either for a wide range of applications or even for a specific application. In this paper, we describe a range of tests with "known" results; these can be used to exercise beam propagation algorithms and assess their robustness and accuracy. Three different categories of such tests are discussed. One category is tests of self-consistency. Such tests often rely on symmetry to make guarantees about some aspect of the resulting field. While passing such tests does not guarantee correct results in detail, they can nonetheless point towards problems with an algorithm when they fail, and build confidence when they pass. Another category of tests compares the complex field to values that have been experimentally measured. While the experimental data is not always known in precisely, and the experimental setup might not always be accessible, these tests can provide reasonable quantitative comparisons that can also point towards problems with the algorithm. The final category of tests discussed is those for which the propagated complex field can be computed independently. The test systems for this category tend to be relatively simple, such as diffraction through apertures in free space or in the pupil of an ideal imaging system. Despite their relative simplicity, there are a number of advantages to these tests. For example, they can provide quantitative measures of accuracy. These tests also allow one to develop an understanding of how the execution time (or similarly, memory usage) scales as the region-of-interest over which one desires the field is changed.
© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Bryan D. Stone "Tests for assessing beam propagation algorithms", Proc. SPIE 8171, Physical Optics, 81710E (4 October 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.896933; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.896933

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