The use of nonlinear techniques in the Fourier plane of pattern-recognition correlators can improve the correlators' performance in terms of discrimination against objects similar to the target object, correlation-peak sharpness, and correlation noise robustness. Additionally, filter designs have been proposed that provide the linear correlator with invariance properties with respect to input-signal distortions and rotations. We propose simple modifications to presently known distortion-invariant correlator filters that enable these filter designs to be used in a nonlinear correlator architecture. These Fourier-plane nonlinear filters can be implemented electronically, or they may be implemented optically with a nonlinear joint transform correlator. Extensive simulation results are presented that illustrate the performance enhancements that are gained by the unification of nonlinear techniques with these filter designs.
© 1996 Optical Society of America
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