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OPTICAL DATA PROCESSING WITH APPLICATION TO RADAR PARAMETER ESTIMATION.
STANFORD UNIV CALIF STANFORD ELECTRONICS LABS
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The ease with which an optical system can achieve an extremely large time-band-width product makes optical filters and autocorrelation function generators attractive for signal detection and parameter estimation when signal-to-noise ratios are very low. The theory of autocorrelation function generation is given, and the principles of a new optical filter that overcomes the severe positioning requirements of conventional optical filters are described. The relationship between the signal amplitude and matched-filter impulse response amplitude is discussed, and a method for reducing a noise component that is common to all optical filters is given. A matched filter was constructed and used to detect a radarlike pulse when the signal-to-noise ratio was -40 dB. A digital computer, used with an optical system, to filter time signals was found to be as accurate as an all-digital system, but a significant reduction in computation time was realized. The theory of an optical-digital filter is presented also, the theory of distortions caused by nonlinearities in optical filters and autocorrelation function generators is developed in an appendix. A radar pulse parameter estimator that uses an autocorrelator and another that uses a bank of matched filters are proposed. Both estimators may be realized with optical techniques. Author
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE