Optical Review

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 380–390 | Cite as

Comparison and combination of three spatial phase unwrapping algorithms

  • Qican ZhangEmail author
  • Yu Han
  • Yingshan Wu
Regular Paper


Two-dimensional (2D) phase unwrapping is a key step in the existing advanced metrology technologies such as optical interferometry, optical three-dimensional (3D) measurement, and satellite radar interferometry (SAR). In this paper, the performance of three spatial phase unwrapping algorithms, branch-cut phase unwrapping algorithm (BC), minimum discontinuity algorithm (MD), and fast phase unwrapping algorithm (FPU) were compared in the case of noise pollution. The results show that the MD algorithm has satisfactory behavior in anti-noise, but it is time consuming compared with the other two algorithms. Therefore, two hybrid algorithms, combining the MD algorithm with the BC algorithm and the FPU algorithm, respectively, were proposed in this paper. In these two new algorithms, the merits of fast speed of BC algorithm and FPU algorithm were fully taken into account, and the advantage of the strong anti-noise of MD algorithm was also exploited. The accuracy of the new algorithms is improved compared with the BC and FPU, and the speed of the new algorithms is improved compared with the MD. The effectiveness of two hybrid algorithms is verified by the results of simulation and actual experiments.


Phase unwrapping Branch-cut phase unwrapping algorithm Minimum discontinuity algorithm Fast phase unwrapping algorithm 



The authors acknowledge the support by National Key Scientific Instrument and Development Project (2013YQ49087904) and the National Natural Science Foundation (no. 61675141) of China.


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Copyright information

© The Optical Society of Japan 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Electronics and Information EngineeringSichuan UniversityChengduChina

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