A new phase-shifting interferometry analysis technique has been developed to overcome the errors introduced by nonlinear, irregular, or unknown phase-step increments. In the presence of a spatial carrier frequency, by observation of the phase of the first-order maximum in the Fourier domain, the global phase-step positions can be measured, phase-shifting elements can be calibrated, and the accuracy of phase-shifting analysis can be improved. Furthermore, reliance on the calibration accuracy of transducers used in phase-shifting interferometry can be reduced; and phase-retrieval errors (e.g., fringe print-through) introduced by uncalibrated fluctuations in the phase-shifting phase increments can be alleviated. The method operates deterministically and does not rely on iterative global error minimization. Relative to other techniques, the number of recorded interferograms required for analysis can be reduced.
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