The development of real-time coherent optical signal processors has increased the appeal of optical computing techniques in signal processing applications. A major limitation of these real-time systems is the. fact that the optical processing material is generally of a phase-only type. The result is that the spatial filters synthesized with these systems must be either phase-only filters or amplitude-only filters. The main concern of this paper is the application of optical feedback techniques to obtain simultaneous and independent amplitude and phase control of the light passing through the system. It is shown that optical feedback techniques may be employed with phase-only spatial filters to obtain this amplitude and phase control. The feedback system with phase-only filters is compared with other feedback systems that employ combinations of phase-only and amplitude-only filters; it is found that the phase-only system is substantially more flexible than the other two systems investigated.
Neal C. Gallagher, Jr., "Real-time optical signal processors employing optical feedback: amplitude and phase control," Appl. Opt. 15, 882-885 (1976)