MS Defense: Optimal Point-Spread-Function Engineering with Dynamic Optics and Event Cameras

Sachin Shah
04.25.2024 15:30 to 17:00

IRB 4107


Computational imaging systems co-design optics and algorithms to observe phenomena beyond the reach of traditional cameras. Point-spread-function (PSF) engineering is a powerful technique wherein a custom phase mask is integrated into an optical system to encode additional information into captured images. Used in combination with deep learning, such systems now offer state-of-the-art performance at three-dimensional molecule localization, extended depth-of-field imaging, lensless imaging, and other tasks.Recent hardware breakthroughs are unlocking unprecedented ultrafast capabilities such as micro-electromechanical system based spatial light modulators will allow us to module light at kilohertz rates and neuromorphic event cameras will enable kilohertz lower-power and high-dynamic-range capture. Unfortunately, existing theories and algorithms are unable to fully harness these new capabilities. This work answers a natural question: Can one encode additional information and achieve superior performance by leveraging the ultrafast capabilities of spatial light modulators and event cameras. We first prove that the set of PSFs described by static phase masks is non-convex and that, as a result, time-averaged PSFs generated by dynamic phase masks displayed on a spatial light modulator are fundamentally more expressive. We then derive the theoretical limits on three-dimensional tracking with PSF-engineered event cameras. Using these bounds, we design new optimal phase masks and binary amplitude masks. We demonstrate the efficacy of our designs through extensive simulations and validate our method with a simple lab prototype.

Examining Committee


Dr. Christopher Metzler

Department Representative:

Dr. John Aloimonos


Dr. Giuliano Scarcelli