Professional Education Course

Infrared Technology and Applications - Open Access

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Course Title: Infrared Technology and Applications - Open Access
Program ID: DEF 3001P Subject: Infrared and Electro Optical

Affiliated with the SENSIAC Education Program.


Registration DeadlineSection DatesFormat & LocationCEUsFeeStatus
Sep 23, 2014 (Tue)Sep 23, 2014 (Tue) - Sep 26, 2014 (Fri)Atlanta (Georgia Tech Global Learning Center) (this is an onsite course)2.55$1,795OPEN

Meeting Times
On the first day, check in at least 30 minutes before the class start time.

  • Tuesday, September 23, 2014 (8:00 AM-5:00 PM)
  • Wednesday, September 24, 2014 (8:00 AM-5:00 PM)
  • Thursday, September 25, 2014 (8:00 AM-5:00 PM)
  • Friday, September 26, 2014 (8:00 AM-12:30 PM)

Alternate Rates

  • Group discount available for companies that register 3 or more people at the same time.  Download our group registration form or call 855-812-5309 to register your group.
  • Georgia Tech employees should call 855-812-5309 to register, and have their PeopleSoft number ready.



Course Description

This course is an introductory tutorial on Infrared Systems Engineering. It is identical in content and duration to its legacy course predecessor, now entitled "Infrared Technology & Applications – Restricted Access," except DoD sensitive information has been removed. The overall objective is to describe the operating principles of infrared systems, with emphasis on military systems. In pursuit of this objective, the course addresses the performance limitations of present infrared (IR) systems, issues pacing the development of new systems, and key component technologies. The course describes problem-solving, design, and analysis techniques with emphasis on experience-based "rules of thumb." The goals are to describe system operation, explain underlying physical principles, introduce design tools and analysis concepts, and provide a perspective for evaluating new infrared technologies.

Who Should Attend

  • Engineers
  • Scientists
  • Technical managers
  • Marketers
  • Procurement decision-makers
  • Military planners

How You Will Benefit

Participants will learn to:

  • Describe the operating principles of infrared systems
  • Explain the major functions and components of an infrared system
  • Explain the differences between FLIRs, IRSTs, NVGs, and between missile seeker types
  • Explain the goals and promise of advanced generation sensors
  • Predict graybody radiation signatures
  • Describe the differences between cooled and uncooled detectors
  • Predict FLIR target acquisition and seeker lock-on range

What Is Covered

Basic Concepts

  • Blackbody Radiation
  • Selective Emitters
  • Thermal Radiation Contrast
  • Radiometry
  • Atmospheric Transmission 
IR Imaging Systems    
  • Gen 1 FLIRs
  • Picture Forming Process 
  • Parallel & Serial Scan Systems
  • Scanners, Coolers, & Accessories
  • Gen 2 FLIRs
  • Focal Plane Arrays (FPAs)
  • MOSFET Switches
  • Readout Integrated Circuits (ROICs)
  • Charge Skimming
  • Nonuniformity Correction (NUC)
  • Recent Developments – Scanning
  • Recent Developments – Staring
  • Room Temperature Microbolometers
  • Example Systems & Features
  • Example Video Imagery
  • IR Imaging Systems
  • Gen 3 FLIRs
  • Advantages & Challenges
  • Ambient Light Imagers
  • 2D & 3D Imaging Laser Radars (Ladars)
  • Image Fusion & Advanced Concepts

Properties of Scenes and Targets

  • Signature Generation Mechanisms
  • Target Characteristics
  • Backgrounds & Clutter
  • Clutter Metrics
  • Time Lapse Thermal Imagery
  • Hyperspectral Discrimination
  • Polarimetric Discrimination

Terminal Homing Seekers/IRSTs

  • Guidance Laws & Implementation
  • CLOS, Laser Beam-Rider, PNG...
  • AM/FM Reticle Seekers
  • Pseudo‑imaging Seekers
  • Imaging Systems
  • Merit Functions
  • Terminal Homing Seekers
  • Nonimaging Autonomous Acquisition
  • Adaptive Spatial Filters
  • Spectral Discrimination
  • Infrared Search and Track (IRST)

Video Trackers

  • Tracker Types & Algorithms
  • Example Video Imagery
  • Tracker Performance Issues 

IR Optical Design

  • Light Properties & Deflection
  • Infrared Windows & Signature Control
  • Ray Tracing & Terminology
  • Real System Configurations & Examples
  • Telescopes & Displays
  • Shading & Narcissus Control
  • Cold Shields & Cold Filters
  • Aberrations & Resolution Control
  • Scanning & Dither Techniques


  • Detection Mechanism Overview
  • Cooling Requirements
  • Merit Functions
  • PC, PV, nBn, QWIP & Superlattice Principles
  • Uncooled Microbolometer Principles
  • Example Video Imagery
  • Focal Plane Array Cost & Yield

Evaluation Tools

  • Modulation Transfer Functions (MTF)
  • Aperiodic Transfer Functions (ATF)
  • Typical System MTFs & super resolution
  • Cascading MTFs
  • Example Problem & Solution

System Performance Analysis

  • Minimum Resolvable Temperature (MRT)
  • Contrast Threshold Function (CTF)
  • Performance Prediction Models
  • System Requirements Flowdown
  • Recent Developments in Modeling & Analysis
  • Overlooked or Incorrect Analytical Assumptions

Course Materials

Participants receive a hard copy of the course charts and the text associated with each chart. The text is sufficiently detailed to eliminate most note taking.


None, but a degree in science, math, or engineering is assumed.

Course Administrator

Dave Schmieder

Certificate Information

This course is: