The effects of space-invariant blurring in the frequency plane of a coherent optical correlator on the system’s performance are considered. The correlator performance criteria used include loss in output correlation peak amplitude, output signal-to-noise ratio, and variation in the probability of a false alarm for a fixed probability of detection. A statistical approach is used to derive general expressions for the mean <i>m</i> and variance var of the output correlation. Expressions for the three correlator performance criteria are then obtained in terms of <i>m</i> and var. When these results are applied to several specific cases, we find that the performance of a correlator can be described and controlled by a new parameter, the space-blur bandwidth product.
© 1980 Optical Society of America
B. V. K. Vijaya Kumar and David Casasent, "Space-blur bandwidth product in correlator performance evaluation," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 70, 103-110 (1980)