Three electronically addressed spatial light modulators (SLM’s) are tested for their utility in forming optical taps onto an acousto-optic delay line. The SLM’s are characterized as devices within a specific optical signal-processing application rather than as independent components. The signal-processing architecture described here uses a programmable tapped delay line for estimating multipath delays. Overall system performance specifications necessitate the SLM requirements. These requirements are compared with the measured performance characteristics of a magneto-optic SLM, a liquid-crystal display, and an acousto-optic deflector used as an SLM. The magneto-optic SLM and the liquid-crystal display are found to provide insufficient contrast and system light efficiency. The acousto-optic-based SLM is found to provide the best overall SLM performance for this particular optical signal processing application.
© 1992 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: January 11, 1991
Published: July 10, 1992
Michael J. Ward, Christopher W. Keefer, and Stephen T. Welstead, "Spatial light modulation techniques for system application to multipath delay estimation," Appl. Opt. 31, 4010-4015 (1992)