Abstract

One of the most successful optical signal-processing applications to date has been the use of optical processors to convert synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data into images of the radar reflectivity of the ground. We have demonstrated real-time input to a high-space–bandwidth optical SAR image-generation system by using a dynamic organic holographic recording medium and SAR phase-history data. Real-time speckle reduction in optically processed SAR imagery has been accomplished by the use of multilook averaging to achieve nonlinear modulus-squared accumulation of subaperture images. We designed and assembled an all-optical system that accomplished real-time target recognition in SAR imagery. This system employed a simple square-law nonlinearity in the form of an optically addressed spatial light modulator at the SAR image plane to remove the effects of speckle phase profiles returned from complex SAR targets. The detection stage enabled the creation of an optical SAR automatic target recognition system as a nonlinear cascade of an optical SAR image generator and an optical correlator.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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