Proceedings PaperFundamental Resolution Limits For Incoherently-Averaged Coherent Images
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We investigate the way errors arise in photon-limited, coherent imaging systems and how such errors fundamentally limit the quality of images formed. To reflect the best possible imaging performance with a given optical system, we utilize a continuous detection model to describe the operation of the image recording mechanism, where the image plane camera records the exact x- and y-position of each photoevent produced by the detected coherent field intensity. Using this continuous detection model and well-known statistical properties of laser-speckle patterns, we compute the signal-to-noise ratio of the complex Fourier amplitudes estimated by the detected coherent image. We explore physical insights provided by this expression and illustrate key points with the help of computer-simulated coherent imagery.