Abstract

We have performed a general analysis of optical correlators with spatal light modulators (SLM’s) whose primary defect is a finite contrast ratio (CR). Our mathematical analysis identifies three noise terms that appear in addition to the correlation term. The filter SLM contains either a phase-only filter (POF) or a binary-phase-only filter (BPOF). Insertion of a dc block at the center of the filter SLM decreases the noise background in the correlator plane; this dc block is larger than that required for the same level of performance in a correlator whose SLM’s have transmissive (or reflective) dead zones. With a noise-free input and the dc block, our computer simulations that show the peak intensity falling off as the CR decreases are in quantitative agreement with the correlation term of the mathematical model. For a cluttered, disjoint noise input this agreement is only qualitative, and at low CR’s the dc block is definitely required for the BPOF correlator if the secondary peaks in the output are to be brought below the correlation peak.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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