Abstract

This paper describes an optical interferometric detection technique, known as the interferogram phase step shift, which detects narrowband, coherent, and partially coherent light in more intense broadband incoherent background light using changes in the phase gradient with the optical path difference of the coherence interferogram to distinguish the bandwidth or coherence of the signal from that of the background. The detection sensitivity is assessed experimentally by measuring the smallest signal-to-background ratio or signal-to-clutter ratio (SCR), which causes a detectable change in the self-coherence interferogram phase. This minimum detectable SCR (MDSCR) is measured for the multimode He–Ne laser, resonant-cavity light-emitting diode (LED), narrowband-filtered white light, and LED signal sources in a more intense tungsten-halogen-lamp white-light background. The highest MDSCRs to date, to the authors' knowledge, are -46.42 dB for coherent light and -31.96 dB for partially coherent light, which exceed those of existing automatic single-domain techniques by 18.97 and 4.51 dB with system input dynamic ranges of 19.24 and 11.39 dB, respectively. The sensitivity dependence on the signal-to-system bandwidth ratio and on the relative offset of their central wavelengths is also assessed, and optimum values are identified.

© 2006 IEEE

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References

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IEEE J. Lightw. Technol. (1)

R. C. Coutinho, D. R. Selviah, R. F. Oulton, J. W. Gray, P. N. Stavrinou, H. D. Griffiths, G. Parry, "Variable numerical aperture temporal coherence measurement of resonant cavity LED's," IEEE J. Lightw. Technol. 21, 149-154 (2003).

Opt. Lett. (1)

Sens. Actuators (1)

C. J. Duffy, D. Hickman, "A temporal coherence-based optical sensor," Sens. Actuators 18, 17-31 (1989).

Other (13)

S. M. Drum, The remote detection of gases using coherence measurement Ph.D. dissertation Univ. SouthamptonSouthamptonU.K. (1990).

J. E. Chamberlain, The Principles of Interferometric Spectroscopy (Wiley-Interscience, 1979).

"Melles Griot product catalogue," Helium Neon Lasers Data Sheet (1999) pp. 522.

R. C. Coutinho, H. A. French, D. R. Selviah, D. Wickramasinghe, H. D. Griffiths, "Detection of coherent light in an incoherent background," Proc. Annu. Meeting IEEE LEOS (1999) pp. 247-248.

R. C. Coutinho, D. R. Selviah, H. A. French, "Detection of partially coherent optical emission sources," Proc. SPIE (2000) pp. 238-248.

P. Sutton, A novel optical pre-detector signal processing technique Ph.D. dissertation Univ. SouthamptonSouthamptonU.K. (1982).

R. C. Coutinho, High sensitivity optical detection using temporal coherence interferogram phase changes Ph.D. dissertation Univ. LondonLondonU.K. (2003).

J. B. Montgomery, R. B. Sanderson, F. O. Baxley, "Tactical mid-infrared background suppression in heavy clutter environments," Proc. SPIE (2000) pp. 23-34.

M. T. Eismann, C. R. Schwarz, "Focal plane array nonlinearity and nonuniformity impacts to target detection with thermal infrared imaging spectrometers," Proc. SPIE (1997) pp. 164-173.

R. D. Hudson, Infrared System Engineering (Wiley-Interscience, 1969).

E. Hecht, Optics (Addison-Wesley, 1998).

H. A. French, P. Sutton, Electrical signal event marker circuit U.K. Patent 2261727A (1993).

H. A. French, "Introduction to optical transform image modulation techniques and their application to ESM data processing," Proc. Inst. Elect. Eng. Colloquium Signal Process. ESM Syst. (1988) pp. 9/1-9/2.

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