This software extends the well-known error-reduction Gerchberg-Saxton method to imaging of dark objects, assuming that such an object partially shadows a well-characterized thermal light source, while the shadow cannot be used for inferring the object’s shape. These assumptions are reasonable for a wide class of astronomic objects of interest, such as exoplanets, asteroids, neutron stars, dust clouds, black holes, dark matter, etc.

The software restores an image from intensity interferometry data. It also includes a part that can numerically simulate such data from a given object, which can be used for testing and diagnostics purposes.

Imaging dark objects by intensity interferometry is a novel capability that has recently been developed at JPL. Solving this problem is a unique capability of the novel software. To achieve this, it implements the error-reducing Gerchberg-Saxton algorithm, which has been extensively modified in order to apply to a dark (light-absorbing) object. This is contrasted with the traditional application of the intensity interferometry imaging algorithms capable of only imaging bright (light-emitting) objects. The adaptive transfer function has been a significant improvement as well as a unique feature applicable only to dark objects imaging.

The software restores an image from intensity interferometry data. It also includes a part that can numerically simulate such data from a given object, which can be used for testing and diagnostics purposes.

This work was done by Dmitry V. Strekalov of Caltech for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Dan Broderick at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Refer to NPO-49465.


This Brief includes a Technical Support Package (TSP).
Intensity Interferometry Image Recovery

(reference NPO49465) is currently available for download from the TSP library.

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This article first appeared in the July, 2015 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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