Overview of the course

About the topic

The Fourier transform is a fundamental concept in signal processing. It is used in many applications that surround us. This course introduces the Fourier transform, its properties and applications.

Aim of the course

The course is aimed at learning fundamentals of the Fourier transform and signal processing applications such as filtering, modulation and compression. Skill are acquired that would aid in the selection of signal processing techniques for solving real life problems.

Required preliminary knowledge

Introductory level of knowledge in physics as well as good understanding of calculus are required. Knowledge of English is required as some of the lectures and all of the tests are in English.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course the student will be able to:

  • Apply continuous and discrete Fourier transform
  • Know the properties of the Fourier transform
  • Know the fundamentals of signal filtering, modulation and compression
  • Explain the concept of Synthetic aperture radar and know the signal processing techniques connected to it

Organization of the course material

The course (overall volume 0.25 ECTS) is organized in five sections. The following parts are found in the sections:

  1. The sections start with a brief introduction stating the main topic(s) and study outcomes of the section.
  2. The main topic of the respective section is explained in a video lecture.
  3. Each section has complementary slides that present the main points of the topic.
  4. All but one lecture is followed by a quiz about the covered topic.

The course culminates with a self-test meant to check the student's level of understanding of the topic.

Literature source

The course is mainly based on this book: H.P.Hsu, "Schaum's outline of theory and problems of Signals and Systems", McGraw-Hill, New York, 1995.


Kaupo Voormansik is a doctoral student at the University of Tartu. His primary research focus is on Synthetic Aperture Radar applications. He received the M.Sc. degree in Space Studies from the International Space University, France, in 2009 and M.Sc. degree in Computer Science from the University of Tartu, Estonia, in 2009. From September 2011 to April 2012 Kaupo Voormansik worked at the DLR Microwaves and Radar institute as a junior researcher.

Karlis Zalite received M.Sc. degree in computer sciences from the Ventspils University College, Ventspils, Latvia, in 2007. He is pursuing a Ph.D. degree in physics from the University of Tartu. Since 2011, he has been with the Tartu Observatory, in the Department of Space Technology. His current research is concentrated on application of SAR imagery for environmental monitoring.