We present an approach to the speckle interferometry techniques of Labeyrie and Weigelt that is based on the use of the moment-generating function (MGF). The remarkable properties of the MGF’s of photodetected images make it possible to obtain the expression for the photon-bias terms by a method completely different from the usual Goodman–Belsher approach [ J. W. Goodman, Statistical Optics ( Wiley, New York, 1985)]. It gives us the mathematical relations to predict the effect of a clipped photodetection of the image on the autocorrelation and triple correlation functions. As a result, clipping ruins the linear relationship between object and reference source for these functions. The effect of photon recentering is also investigated and is directly related to a single-photon clipping effect. Analytical expressions for a normal speckle pattern are given.
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