Fundamentals of IRST Sensing - Basics

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Requirements & Materials

Fundamentals of IRST Sensing - Basics

Course Description

This course introduces the science and technologies underlying infrared search and track (IRST) systems. IRSTs represent a class of passive infrared systems whose functions aim to detect, locate, and track objects embedded in complex and dynamically varying backgrounds. As an introductory course, the lectures and topics covered focus on providing the necessary background to understand the drivers for system design requirements and operational system performance. Course topics emphasize basic infrared (IR) physics related to targets, backgrounds, and atmospherics. This course is the first of two courses addressing IRST science and technology. 

Course Content


  • Target signatures 
  • Atmospheric propagation 
  • Background clutter 


  • Current IRST system characteristics 
  • Basic system components and function 
  • IRST modeling and simulation 
Requirements & Materials

Course book containing compilation of lecture slides 

Session Details

Who Should Attend

This course is designed for engineers, scientists, system analysts, defense professionals, and technical program managers. 

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What You Will Learn

  • Fundamentals of IRST operation 
  • Phenomenological drivers for IRST design and operation 
  • Target signature drivers and observables 
  • Modeling and simulation techniques 
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How You Will Benefit

  • Review the phenomenological principles underlying IRST operation. 
  • Understand IRST operational principles and constraints. 
  • Review target signature characteristics 
  • Understand background clutter effects 
  • Review atmospheric effects 
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The course schedule was well-structured with a mix of lectures, class discussions, and hands-on exercises led by knowledgeable and engaging instructors.

- Abe Kani


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