A traditional frequency analysis is not appropriate for observation of properties of non-stationary signals. This stems from the fact that the time resolution is not defined in the Fourier spectrum. Thus, there is a need for methods implementing joint time-frequency analysis (t/f) algorithms. Practical aspects of some representative methods of time-frequency analysis, including Short Time Fourier Transform, Gabor Transform, Wigner-Ville Transform and Cone-Shaped Transform are described in this paper. Unfortunately, there is no correlation between the width of the time-frequency window and its frequency content in the t/f analysis. This property is not valid in the case of a wavelet transform. A wavelet is a wave-like oscillation, which forms its own “wavelet window”. Compression of the wavelet narrows the window, and vice versa. Individual wavelet functions are well localized in time and simultaneously in scale (the equivalent of frequency). The wavelet analysis owes its effectiveness to the pyramid algorithm described by Mallat, which enables fast decomposition of a signal into wavelet components.
The main objective of this paper is to produce an applications-oriented review covering infrared techniques and devices. At the beginning infrared systems fundamentals are presented with emphasis on thermal emission, scene radiation and contrast, cooling techniques, and optics. Special attention is focused on night vision and thermal imaging concepts. Next section concentrates shortly on selected infrared systems and is arranged in order to increase complexity; from image intensifier systems, thermal imaging systems, to space-based systems. In this section are also described active and passive smart weapon seekers. Finally, other important infrared techniques and devices are shortly described, among them being: non-contact thermometers, radiometers, LIDAR, and infrared gas sensors.