We describe a simple pose estimation-based optoelectronic system for the recognition of facial images. The pose estimation described is a simple digital algorithm that is used to replace the composite image generation techniques while maintaining a low interclass cross-correlation. The optoelectronic fringe-adjusted joint transform correlator (FJTC) is then used to provide correlation. A description of the optoelectronic system and the entire process is presented. In addition, simulation results and comparison to synthetic discriminant function (SDF)-based recognition are provided to prove the effectiveness of the proposed system. © 2003 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.