Abstract

A statistical analysis of propagation, modulation and detection of signals in a generic optical processor is presented. The effects of diffraction, interchannel cross talk, and background radiation on system operation are considered. The mean, the mutual coherence function, and the probability density function of the optical output signal are derived in terms of those of the sources and the modulators in the processor. We then analyze the photodetection process, taking into acount the effects of nonideal detector characteristics and electronic postprocessing, and the mean and the autocorrelation function of the electrical output signal are obtained. The analytical form of the signal dependence of noise at the processor output is thus established. An integral equation, with a corresponding series solution, and a series expression are also derived for the probability density function of the photodetector output voltage. Use of these expressions is then demonstrated under certain simplifying conditions. These results form the foundation for future research on accuracy enhancement in analog optical processors.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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