We present an optical architecture and image processor capable of detecting and locating temporally coherent radiation that may be dominated by incoherent background radiation. The optical architecture makes use of a coherent light modulator that modulates light of sufficient coherence length while it leaves light of short coherence length unmodulated. The design of the coherent light modulator offers a substantially wider field of view than did past designs, permitting its application within an imaging system. The image processor synchronously detects the modulation imposed on coherent light while it rejects incoherent light fluctuations. Results of a laboratory test are presented. The system tested in the laboratory had a 26° field of view and was able to detect and locate coherent radiation >30 dB below the background incoherent light level.
© 1997 Optical Society of AmericaPDF Article