Phase Retrieval and Design with Automatic Differentiation

Benjamin Pope, UQ

Slides available at

Work in collaboration with Sydney students

Alison Wong (PhD)

and Louis Desdoigts (Honours),

Yinzi Xin (Caltech),

and faculty Peter Tuthill (Sydney)

and Laurent Pueyo (STScI).

Phase Problems in Direct Imaging

The main limitation on direct imaging is from wavefront aberrations which corrupt phase information.

Good and Bad PSFs

Problem 1: Phase Retrieval

Given an image, what were the aberrations in the telescope?

HST Servicing Mission

Problem 2: Phase Design

Given an objective, how do we engineer an optimal PSF?

Emiel Por Coronagraph

Phase Apodized Coronagraph: Por, 2019, arXiv:1908.02585

Problem 3: Kernel Phase

How do we correct phase errors in postprocessing?

See our paper: arXiv:2011.09780!

Automatic Differentiation

So how do we design such complicated optical systems in a principled way?

What if we want to linearize an arbitrary optical system?

Optics is mathematically like machine learning: matrix multiplications and simple nonlinear functions

Can use automatic differentiation!

Autodiff is not finite differences, and it is not symbolic differentiation.

Using the chain rule you can decompose almost-arbitrary code!

Autodiff is the enabling technology for deep neural networks - you use the chain rule to take derivatives of nearly-arbitrary numerical functions.

Implementations in TensorFlow, Theano, PyTorch, Julia...

Here we use Google Jax, which resembles NumPy, to rewrite the Fourier/Fresnel optics code poppy to take derivatives


Jax permits

Phase Retrieval

Alison Wong - phase retrieval and design by gradient descent

Phase Retrieval
Phase Retrieval with Saturation

Phase Design

Coronagraph Designs

Coronagraph Phase Mask Design - try it yourself!

Toliman Mission

Detect planets with μ-arcsec astrometry

Astrometric precision proportional to gradient energy

Use diffractive optic to maximize this subject to constraints

Toliman Pupil and Stars
Toliman Designs
Toliman Mask

Louis Desdoigts - sensitivity of Toliman to Zernike modes

Toliman Image

Continuous Latent-Image Mask Binarization (CLIMB)


Basis used in CLIMB

The Future

Get using morphine and read arXiv:2107.00952!

What else can we use this for?