An adaptive null-steering phased-array optical processor that utilizes a photorefractive crystal to time integrate the adaptive weights and null out correlated jammers is described. This is a beam-steering processor in which the temporal waveform of the desired signal is known but the look direction is not. The processor computes the angle(s) of arrival of the desired signal and steers the array to look in that direction while rotating the nulls of the antenna pattern toward any narrow-band jammers that may be present. We have experimentally demonstrated a simplified version of this adaptive phased-array-radar processor that nulls out the narrow-band jammers by using feedback-correlation detection. In this processor it is assumed that we know a priori only that the signal is broadband and the jammers are narrow band. These are examples of a class of optical processors that use the angular selectivity of volume holograms to form the nulls and look directions in an adaptive phased-array-radar pattern and thereby to harness the computational abilities of three-dimensional parallelism in the volume of photorefractive crystals. The development of this processing in volume holographic system has led to a new algorithm for phased-array-radar processing that uses fewer tapped-delay lines than does the classic time-domain beam former. The optical implementation of the new algorithm has the further advantage of utilization of a single photorefractive crystal to implement as many as a million adaptive weights, allowing the radar system to scale to large size with no increase in processing hardware.
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