A joint Fourier-transform optical correlator for image recognition based on a novel hybrid photoconducting polymer–nematic liquid-crystal structure is described. The optically addressed active element that we have designed is capable of performing real-time image processing 20 times/s, at light-intensity levels of with dc operating voltage of the order of 10 V. We present the results of correlation of simple objects as well as complicated photographs. The sensitivity, durability, and reliability of the presented system open possibilities for many applications.
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