In 1978, Fred Harris was a relatively unknown faculty member at the San Diego State University when he published his landmark paper titled On the use of windows for harmonic analysis with the discrete Fourier transform. That paper made him a superstar in DSP community. It presented a brief overview of signal windows and their impact on the detection of harmonic signals in the presence of broad-band noise and nearby harmonic interference. More importantly, he pointed out several common errors in the application of windows when used in the context of Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT). Today I am going to

Continue reading# Tag: Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT)

## Convolution and Fourier Transform

One question I am frequently asked is regarding the definition of Fourier Transform. A continuous-time Fourier Transform for time domain signal $x(t)$ is defined as \[ X(\Omega) = \int _{-\infty} ^{\infty} x(t) e^{-j\Omega t} dt \] where $\Omega$ is the continuous frequency. A corresponding definition for discrete-time Fourier Transform for a discrete-time signal $x[n]$ is given by \[ X(e^{j\omega}) = \sum _{n=-\infty} ^{\infty} x[n] e^{-j\omega n} \] where $\omega$ is the discrete frequency related to continuous frequency $\Omega$ through the relation $\omega = \Omega T_S$ if the sample time is denoted by $T_S$. Focusing on the discrete-time Fourier Transform for

Continue reading## Generating Signals and Viewing the Spectrum

One of the most common questions DSP beginners have is how to generate the signals (particularly, sinusoids) and view their spectrum. They have a rough idea what time domain and frequency domain are about but struggle to construct the first few lines of code that open the gates towards a deeper understanding of signals. For this reason, I produce below an Octave (or Matlab) code that you can simply copy and paste to view and modify the results. Keep in mind that the code has been written for an explanation purpose, not conciseness or optimization. As you progress towards developing

Continue reading## Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT) as a Filter Bank

We have discussed before what a Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT) is and how to find the DFT of some commonly used signals. Here, we will see how a DFT acts as a (crude) bank of filters that can pass the signal contents around a desired frequency while blocking the rest. Let us start with the definition of the DFT. \begin{equation*} \begin{aligned} S_I[k]\: &= \sum \limits _{n=0} ^{N-1}\left[ s_I[n] \cos 2\pi\frac{k}{N}n + s_Q[n] \sin 2\pi\frac{k}{N}n\right] \\ S_Q[k] &= \sum \limits _{n=0} ^{N-1}\left[ s_Q[n] \cos 2\pi\frac{ k}{N}n – s_I[n] \sin 2\pi\frac{k}{N}n\right] \end{aligned} \end{equation*} for each $k$. In complex notation, this DFT is

Continue reading## Effect of Time Shift in Frequency Domain

Children usually ask questions like “How many hours have passed?” And they have no idea about the start time to be taken as a reference. Just like the zero of a measuring tape, a zero reference for time plays a crucial role in analyzing the signal behaviour in time and frequency domains. Until now, we assumed that reference time $0$ coincides with the start of a sine and a cosine wave to understand the frequency domain. Later, we will deal with symbol timing synchronization problem in single-carrier systems and carrier frequency synchronization problem in multicarrier systems, both of which address

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