Abstract

It has been shown that phase-only matched filtering can provide 100% optical efficiency in an optical correlator while at the same time producing a very well-defined correlation spot. This analysis has been carried forward and applied to the case of a broad spectral band or white-light optical correlator. The optical correlator under white-light illumination operates at a multiplicity of wavelengths which favorably affect the noise performance of the system. Computer simulations have been used to study the noise suppression qualities of the correlator when noise is present at the filter plane. The result indicates that the noise level at the correlation plane can be reduced by utilizing a higher number of spectral band filters. We show that the output SNR improves approximately as the square root of N, where N is the number of spectral bands employed in the phase-only matched filter. Quantitative results and 3-D plots of the correlation functions are presented and discussed.

© 1986 Optical Society of America

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