Real-Time Holographic Optical Correlator
Navy SBIR FY2010.3

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2010.3
Topic No.: N103-206
Topic Title: Real-Time Holographic Optical Correlator
Proposal No.: N103-206-0104
Firm: Physical Optics Corporation
Photonic Systems Division
20600 Gramercy Place, Bldg. 100
Torrance, California 90501
Contact: Sergei Orlov
Phone: (310) 320-3088
Web Site:
Abstract: To address the Navy's need for an optical correlator to filter sensor data streams searching for and automatically recognizing, classifying, and identifying multiple battlefield targets, Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes to develop a new Real-Time Holographic Optical Correlator (RHOC). This proposed automatic target recognition (ATR) system is based on a shift-invariant optical correlator combined with a volumetric holographic memory (VHM) for storage and fast optical retrieval of the multiple (thousands) templates of different targets of interest. This innovation in the compact optical correlator system design will enable the RHOC system to automatically recognize, classify, and identify multiple battlefield targets at input video rates or faster. Notably this system offers high speed, small size, low weight, and capability to check each frame of video against thousands of target templates, which directly addresses the PMA-281 Cruise Missile Command & Control and Joint Mission Planning Systems requirements. In Phase I, POC will demonstrate the feasibility of the RHOC system by developing the system design and analyzing its functionality and suitability for relevant UAS environments. In Phase II, POC plans to develop a prototype RHOC system, conduct validation and performance tests, and evaluate and modify the RHOC design based on the test results.
Benefits: Successful development of the RHOC technology will benefit any application that requires real-time, accurate identification of targets or specific patterns in two-dimensional (2D) images. The RHOC system is directly applicable to the ATR application for UAS and UAV platforms for real-time target search, recognition, identification, and classification. Additionally, any data generated by military platforms (such as radar or LIDAR imagery) that can be rendered into an optical 2D array can be rapidly searched or processed by using the RHOC technology. Potential commercial applications of RHOC include medical imagery, fingerprint identification, security applications such as luggage scanning and facial recognition, and machine vision. The RHOC technology directly addresses the image-processing hardware market segment of the machine vision technology which accounts for approximately 25% of the total machine vision market and which is projected to reach over $4.0B per year in 2015.