Spectrally sparse optical coherence tomography

Swept-source optical coherence tomography (OCT) typically relies on expensive and complex swept-source lasers, the cost of which currently limits the suitability of OCT for new applications. In this work, we demonstrate spectrally sparse OCT utilizing randomly spaced low-bandwidth optical chirps, suitable for low-cost implementation with telecommunications grade devices. Micron scale distance estimation accuracy with a resolution of 40 Um at a standoff imaging distance greater than 10 cm is demonstrated using a stepped chirp approach with approximately 23% occupancy of 4 THz bandwidth. For imaging of sparse scenes, comparable performance to full bandwidth occupancy is verified for metallic targets.