Optical correlation techniques have been used successfully in applications involving the detection of signals in noise, in multichannel processing, and in pattern and character recognition. The systems are advantageous in that signals having a large space-bandwidth product can be processed rapidly. In this chapter, we discuss some of the analog optical correlation techniques and give an example of the use of each type of system discussed. No attempt is made to discuss all correlator systems or applications as this would be well beyond the scope of this chapter. The subjects of correlation and convolution and their comparisons were treated previously in Chapter 28.
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