In this study, a reference infrared (IR) image of an object or a target was analyzed, and the IR signature was calculated. Background and atmospheric effects were decomposed so that the calculation errors were minimized. Depending on the reference IR image, the IR signature at any distance and any angle was estimated while considering atmospheric effects. Calculated results were obtained from IR images taken from the same distance and angle, and were compared with the estimated results. The comparison of the measured and calculated signatures demonstrated the accuracy of the proposed method of estimation. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.