In ground-based astronomy, the inverse problem of phase retrieval from speckle images is a means to calibrate static aberrations for correction by active optics. It can also be used to sense turbulent wavefronts. However, the number of local minima drastically increases with the turbulence strength, mainly because of phase wrapping ambiguities. Multifocal phase diversity has been considered to overcome some ambiguities of the phase retrieval problem. We propose an effective algorithm for phase retrieval from a single focused image. Our algorithm makes use of a global optimization strategy and an automatically tuned smoothness prior to overcome local minima and phase degeneracies. We push the limit of achieved by Irwan and Lane [J. Opt. Soc. Am. A. 15, 2302 (1998 )] up to , which is a major improvement owing to the drastic increase in the problem complexity. We estimate the performances of our approach from consistent simulations for different turbulence strengths and noise levels (down to 1500 photons per image). We also investigate the benefit of temporal correlation.
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