Abstract

Optical correlation, or matched filtering, can now be applied more widely than before, because the light is now allowed to be totally incoherent, spatially and spectrally. Two such correlators were demonstrated recently. Their state of chromatic correction can be called achromatic, since the scaling error has two zero crossings within the visible range of wavelengths. We present a new apochromatic correlator, in which the scaling error has three zero crossings. The maximum error and the rms error are reduced by a factor of 5. Our apochromatic correlator is composed of two highly dispersive heavy flint lenses that are in contact with two diffractive lenses and two chromatic corrected refractive lenses. The uncommon combination of flint dispersion and diffractive dispersion enabled us to achieve apochromatic correction of the scaling factor of the correlator.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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