Interferenceless coded aperture correlation holography (I-COACH) techniques have revolutionized the field of incoherent imaging, offering multidimensional imaging capabilities with a high temporal resolution in a simple optical configuration and at a low cost. The I-COACH method uses phase modulators (PMs) between the object and the image sensor, which encode the 3D location information of a point into a unique spatial intensity distribution. The system usually requires a one-time calibration procedure in which the point spread functions (PSFs) at different depths and/or wavelengths are recorded. When an object is recorded under identical conditions as the PSF, the multidimensional image of the object is reconstructed by processing the object intensity with the PSFs. In the previous versions of I-COACH, the PM mapped every object point to a scattered intensity distribution or random dot array pattern. The scattered intensity distribution results in a low SNR compared to a direct imaging system due to optical power dilution. Due to the limited focal depth, the dot pattern reduces the imaging resolution beyond the depth of focus if further multiplexing of phase masks is not performed. In this study, I-COACH has been realized using a PM that maps every object point into a sparse random array of Airy beams. Airy beams during propagation exhibit a relatively high focal depth with sharp intensity maxima that shift laterally following a curved path in 3D space. Therefore, sparse, randomly distributed diverse Airy beams exhibit random shifts with respect to one another during propagation, generating unique intensity distributions at different distances while retaining optical power concentrations in small areas on the detector. The phase-only mask displayed on the modulator was designed by random phase multiplexing of Airy beam generators. The simulation and experimental results obtained for the proposed method are significantly better in SNR than in the previous versions of I-COACH.
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