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26 September 1989 Field Testing Of An Optical Correlator Based Tracking And Pointing System
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Abstract
A mobile optical test facility (MOTF) has been constructed for field testing optical pattern recognition systems. Currently a VanderLugt correlator is used to detect and track targets of interest. A nonlinearity in position of the correlation signal with respect to the location of the target has been detected and explained in terms of fundamental optics. This nonlinearity is present in any VanderLugt system and ultimately limits the tracking accuracy. A miniature optical correlator, mounted on gimbals, has demonstrated the ability to use correlation signal motion as a feedback to maintain accurate pointing of the sensor. Noise rejection and false correlations are characteristically not a problem for VanderLugt optical correlators, and targets occupying about one percent of the field of view have produced correlation signals well above background levels. A different correlator architecture, commonly referred to as the joint transform geometry, is being investigated in the laboratory while field testing of the VanderLugt correlators progresses. This arrangement does not require matched filters made in advance, but may not provide the required signal to noise when the target is surrounded by clutter. The ultimate goal of this research is to test the direction, pointing and tracking abilities of several optical correlators, all located in the MOTF , against a common target in the presence of background clutter.
© (1989) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
William M. Crowe and Don A. Gregory "Field Testing Of An Optical Correlator Based Tracking And Pointing System", Proc. SPIE 1111, Acquisition, Tracking, and Pointing III, (26 September 1989); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.977966
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