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Methods and Devices of Speckle-Noise Suppression (Review)

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Document pages: 33 pages

Abstract: Speckles in images formed by a laser beam are interference noise arising due to coherent nature of laser radiation. As the number of projection systems using laser light sources increases, new methods and devices appear for reducing the contrast of speckle-noise and thereby suppressing it. Taking into account the long-standing nature of the problem and the continuing relevance of its solution, this review discusses modern practical methods and devices—despecklers, used to reduce the speckle contrast and to achieve high quality of projected images. The review discusses the nature of the speckles appearance, considers their statistical properties, and describes the measurement of the speckle contrast. The requirements for despecklers are considered, the most important of which are speckle suppression efficiency, simplicity of design and compactness, low power consumption and low optical loss. The characteristics of different types of despecklers, including diffusers, devices based on electroactive polymers, optical waveguides, colloidal solutions and liquid crystals, as well as orthogonal phase matrices and diffraction gratings proposed as despeckers, are examined in detail. It is shown that despecklers with decorrelation of the phase front based on the mirror deformation and optical fiber have less light losses. Electro-optical-liquid crystal despecklers do not have mechanically deformable or moving elements that reduce the reliability and durability of operation, and are more compact and simple in design. A comparative table of characteristics of the most effective despecklers in which the speckle contrast is reduced to ten percent or less, with an indication of their advantages and disadvantages, is given.

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