Abstract

Coherent optical processing starting with spatially noncoherent illumination is described. Good spatial coherence is introduced in the far field by modulating a noncoherent source when masks with sharp autocorrelation are used. The far-field mutual coherence function of light is measured and it is seen that, for the masks and the source size used here, we get a fairly large area over which the mutual coherence function is high and flat. We demonstrate traditional coherent processing operations such as Fourier transformation and image deblurring when coherent light that is produced in the above fashion is used. A coherence–redundancy merit function is defined for this type of processing system. It is experimentally demonstrated that the processing system introduced here has superior blemish tolerance compared with a traditional processor that uses coherent illumination

© 1992 Optical Society of America

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