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Avoiding the photon-counting hole in speckle imaging by means of cross-correlation techniques

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Abstract

Real photon-counting detectors are unable to distinguish overlapping photon events. This defect limits considerably the performance of speckle-imaging methods. In particular, this defect results in the so-called photon-counting hole in the center of the average image autocorrelation. Cross-correlation techniques are investigated, and it is demonstrated that they avoid the photon-counting defect for the purpose of speckle imaging with the bispectrum and the Knox–Thompson methods. Furthermore, a method that requires the recording of only two sets of simultaneous images is proposed for obtaining a quasi-unbiased estimator of the bispectrum. The validity of these methods is checked against simulated data and under various flux levels. Signal-to-noise-ratio considerations are addressed.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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