Machine Vision refers to the application of technologies to analyze and extract information from optical signals that exhibit complex spatial modes. It is a multidisciplinary field which uses computer vision, image processing, and machine learning techniques to enable machines (computers or robots) to interpret, understand, and interact with visual information from the world.


Size and Alignment Independent Classification of the High-order Spatial Modes of a Light Beam Using a Convolutional Neural Network

The higher-order spatial modes of a light beam are receiving significant interest. They can be used to further increase the data speeds of high speed optical communication, and for novel optical sensing modalities. As such, the classification of higher-order spatial modes is ubiquitous. Canonical classification methods typically require the use of unconventional optical devices. However, in addition to having prohibitive cost, complexity, and efficacy, such methods are dependent on the light beam’s size and alignment. In this work, a novel method to classify higher-order spatial modes is presented, where a convolutional neural network is applied to images of higher-order spatial modes that are taken with a conventional camera. In contrast to previous methods, by training the convolutional neural network with higher-order spatial modes of various alignments and sizes, this method is not dependent on the light beam’s size and alignment. As a proof of principle, images of 4 Hermite-Gaussian modes (HG00, HG01, HG10, and HG11) are numerically calculated via known solutions to the electromagnetic wave equation, and used to synthesize training examples. It is shown that as compared to training the convolutional neural network with training examples that have the same sizes and alignments, a?~2×?increase in accuracy can be achieved.