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Concept# Fractional Fourier transform

Summary

In mathematics, in the area of harmonic analysis, the fractional Fourier transform (FRFT) is a family of linear transformations generalizing the Fourier transform. It can be thought of as the Fourier transform to the n-th power, where n need not be an integer — thus, it can transform a function to any intermediate domain between time and frequency. Its applications range from filter design and signal analysis to phase retrieval and pattern recognition.
The FRFT can be used to define fractional convolution, correlation, and other operations, and can also be further generalized into the linear canonical transformation (LCT). An early definition of the FRFT was introduced by Condon, by solving for the Green's function for phase-space rotations, and also by Namias, generalizing work of Wiener on Hermite polynomials.
However, it was not widely recognized in signal processing until it was independently reintroduced around 1993 by several groups. Since then, there has been a surge of interest in extending Shannon's sampling theorem for signals which are band-limited in the Fractional Fourier domain.
A completely different meaning for "fractional Fourier transform" was introduced by Bailey and Swartztrauber as essentially another name for a z-transform, and in particular for the case that corresponds to a discrete Fourier transform shifted by a fractional amount in frequency space (multiplying the input by a linear chirp) and evaluating at a fractional set of frequency points (e.g. considering only a small portion of the spectrum). (Such transforms can be evaluated efficiently by Bluestein's FFT algorithm.) This terminology has fallen out of use in most of the technical literature, however, in preference to the FRFT. The remainder of this article describes the FRFT.
The continuous Fourier transform of a function is a unitary operator of
space that maps the function to its frequential version (all expressions are taken in the sense, rather than pointwise):
and is determined by via the inverse transform
Let us study its n-th iterated defined by
and when n is a non-negative integer, and .

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