We analyze the performance of two optical shadow-casting image correlators that use two-dimensional source arrays to encode the system point-spread function (PSF). The analysis of a standard shadowcasting correlator suggests that the angular divergence of the source array is a critical parameter in the determination of the maximum space-bandwidth product of the image and of the PSF that can be used with such a system. Further, the energy efficiency of a standard shadow-casting correlator is related inversely to the size of the PSF. We show that the constraints on energy efficiency and on the space-bandwidth product of the PSF can be overcome by beam steering the source elements. A modified shadow-casting correlator is proposed that uses phase-only blazed gratings to beam steer the sources. Experimental results generated by a mechanically beam-steered array are presented.
© 1993 Optical Society of America
Kannan Raj, Dennis W. Prather, Ravindra A. Athale, and Joseph N. Mait, "Performance analysis of optical shadow-casting correlators," Appl. Opt. 32, 3108-3112 (1993)