Fundamental structure of Fresnel diffraction: natural sampling grid and the fractional Fourier transform
Fresnel integrals corresponding to different distances can be interpreted as scaled fractional Fourier transformations observed on spherical reference surfaces. We show that by judiciously choosing sample points on these curved reference surfaces, it is possible to represent the diffracted signals in a nonredundant manner. The change in sample spacing with distance reflects the structure of Fresnel diffraction. This sampling grid also provides a simple and robust basis for accurate and efficient computation, which naturally handles the challenges of sampling chirplike kernels.