An optical correlator that can operate with totally incoherent light is presented. Such a correlator can be designed to compensate completely for the inherent chromatic aberrations by resorting to elements with specialized, possibly impractical, dispersion characteristics. Nevertheless, a practical configuration that exploits available achromatic lenses and Fresnel zone plates was designed, built, and tested experimentally. The results reveal that detectable correlation peaks can be obtained with totally incoherent white light. The designs, experimental procedures, and results are presented.
© 1999 Optical Society of America
(050.1970) Diffraction and gratings : Diffractive optics
(070.0070) Fourier optics and signal processing : Fourier optics and signal processing
(070.4550) Fourier optics and signal processing : Correlators
(070.5010) Fourier optics and signal processing : Pattern recognition
(070.6110) Fourier optics and signal processing : Spatial filtering
Avi Pe'er, Dayong Wang, Adolf W. Lohmann, and Asher A. Friesem, "Optical correlation with totally incoherent light," Opt. Lett. 24, 1469-1471 (1999)