Coherent imager module with a large field of view for synthetic aperture interferometry applications

Optical areal profilometry of large precision-engineered surfaces require high-resolution measurements over large fields of view. Synthetic Aperture Interferometry (SAI) offers an alternative to the conventional approach of stitching small fields of view (FOV) obtained with Coherent Scanning Interferometry (CSI) using high-NA objectives. In SAI, lowresolution digital holograms are recorded for different illumination and observation directions and they are added coherently to produce a high-resolution reconstruction over a large FOV. This paper describes the design, fabrication and characterization of a large FOV, compact and low-cost coherent imager (CI) as a building block of a coherent sensor array for a SAI system. The CI consists of a CMOS photodetector array with 1.12 µm pixel pitch, a square entrance pupil and a highly divergent reference beam that emerges from a pinhole milled with a focused ion beam on the cylindrical cladding at the tip of an optical fibre. In order to accurately reconstruct the digital holograms, the wavefront of the reference beam is estimated by localizing the reference source relative to the photodetector array. This is done using an optimization approach that simultaneously reconstructs plane waves that reach the aperture from 121 different illumination directions and guarantees a phase root-mean-squared (RMS) error of less than a fifth of the wavelength across the CI entrance pupil at a boundary of the FOV. The CI performance is demonstrated with a holographic reconstruction of a 0.110 m wide object placed at a distance of 0.085 m, i.e. a FOV = ±0.57 rad, the highest reported to date with a holographic camera.