Efficient Representation, Generation and Compression of Digital Holograms

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Digital holography is a discipline of science that measures or reconstructs the wavefield of light by means of interference. The wavefield encodes three-dimensional information, which has many applications, such as interferometry, microscopy, non-destructive testing and data storage.
Moreover, digital holography is emerging as a display technology. Holograms can recreate the wavefield of a 3D object, thereby reproducing all depth cues for all viewpoints, unlike current stereoscopic 3D displays. At high quality, the appearance of an object on a holographic display system becomes indistinguishable from a real one.
High-quality holograms need large volumes of data to be represented, approaching resolutions of billions of pixels. For holographic videos, the data rates needed for transmitting and encoding of the raw holograms quickly become unfeasible with currently available hardware. Efficient generation and coding of holograms will be of utmost importance for future holographic displays.
The properties and statistics of holographic signals, which consist of complicated interference patterns, differ substantially from natural photographic imagery. That is why novel mathematical transforms and algorithms tailored to holographic data should be designed to solve the problem of efficiently representing, generating and compressing of holograms.
This PhD work consists of various contributions to address this challenge. New algorithms for sparsity-based computer-generated holography are proposed, an inverse method for improving resolution recovery in holographic recording setups, a classification algorithm for a holographic cell sorter, a novel non-linear wavelet transform designed for wrapped phase data which can accelerate phase unwrapping, an extension to JPEG 2000 for coding digital holograms, a new motion compensation algorithm for coding holographic video, and a novel mathematical transform generalizing the Fresnelet approach using unitary time-frequency warping for coding holograms of deep scenes are investigated.
Date of Award23 May 2018
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorPeter Schelkens (Promotor) & Heidi Ottevaere (Promotor)


  • holography
  • image coding
  • video coding
  • computer generated holography
  • wavelets
  • time-frequency transforms

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