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I. Problem Statement:

In spectrum analysis, the resolution refers to the ability of the processing system to distinguish

between two separate signals whose frequencies are nearly the same. In this project we study the

objective measure of resolution. We study the effect of the main-lobe width on the resolution and

the effect of window length is also studied.

II. Introduction :

In this section few basic preliminaries are covered. One of the major applications of the Discrete

Fourier Transform (DFT) is the analysis of the frequency content of the signal. To compute the

spectrum of a signal, the signal values for all time are required. But in practice the signal is

observed for only a finite duration. This finite observation can be thought of as multiplying the

signal with a rectangular window of length equal to the duration of observation.

Let the signal to be analysed be the sequence {x(n)}. Limiting the duration to L samples, for

n=0,1,2...L-1 , is equivalent to multiplying {x(n)} with rectangular window, r[n], of length L.

That is,

ˆ

x [n] = x[n]r[n] ….(1)

If the sequence x[n] is a single sinusoid, say cos(w0n), then the fourier transform of (1) is given

by

ˆ

X (ω) = 0.5{R(ω-ω0)+R(ω-ω0)}.

R(w) if the fourier transform of r[n]. As illustrated in figure (1) the fourier transform of the

windowed sequence is not localized to a single frequency, but instead is spread out over the

whole range of frequencies. Thus the power of the original sequence is spread by the window

into the entire range of frequencies. This phenomenon is called leakage.

FIG 1.

Windowing not only distorts the spectral estimate due to leakage effects, it also reduces the

spectral resolution. This problem is considered in depth in this project.1

1

III. Approach employed to study the problem.

To study the effect of windowing on the resolution , the problem has been divided into three

parts.

1. In the first part, the spectrum of the sum of 2 complex exponential signals x1 and x2 with

frequencies ω1 and ω2, respectively, is studied by varying the ∆ω = |ω2-ω1|. The

corresponding frequency spectrum is plotted. And the part is repeated for different

lengths of FFT.

1. The second part is dedicated to identifying the peaks of the frequency spectrum that

were plotted in the first part. A code to detect the peak automatically is developed (is

adapted from [4]) . The code is used to find the peaks and hence the number of peaks

will give us the number of frequencies in the spectrum if correctly resolved. If the

spectrum is affected to a large extent then the number of peaks detected will be less than

2, and hence all the frequencies in the spectrum are not properly resolved.

2.

3. The third part builds on the first two parts. The automatic peak detector is used to find

the peaks. A new quantity, Score is introduced here. The score is defined as the percent

of the successfully resolved peaks in the spectrum. The scores are collected and a graph

scores v/s the (∆ω)/(2Π/L) is plotted. This gives us the ?ω for which the frequencies in

the spectrum can be resolved perfectly. This part is repeated for different windows

namely Hamming, Hann and Kaiser.

The plots obtained after the simulations are shown. The figures (1a1) to (1e5) show the

frequency spectrum of the signal for the different values of ∆ω along with the detected peaks.

An interesting observation is in figure (1d3), the peaks are not detected. The spectrum in the

figure is plotted for a 64-point FFT. But the same frequencies are detected when the spectrum is

plotted using the 128-point FFT and 256 point FFT as shown in figures (1d4) and (1d5)

respectively. This might be because of the smoothing effect of the interpolation in using higher

point FFT. Though the FFT length does not effect the resolution drastically, it can sometimes be

useful to smoothen the spectrum and hence help in the detection of a previously unresolved peak.

Zero-padding changes the frequency spacing. The minimum separation of the resolvable

frequencies more or less remains the same. This is what the part one of the problem says ' the

interpolation effect of the longer FFT's permits some increased resolution.'

Next if we observe the figures score-1 to score-5 we find that the resolution is decreasing from

the rectangular window to the other windows. We also observe that the main lobe widths of the

hamming and the Hann window almost being the same the resolution is also more or less the

same. If we observe the Kaiser filter the main lobe width and the resolution can be compared as

follows:

We know that the main lobe width of the Kaiser filter is given by the equation 2:

2

For the Kaiser filter with L=64 and β=3.5 , =3.075 and for β=8 we have =3.953.

If we observe the figures score-4 and score-5 the resolution of the spectrum (around 2.8 for

figure score-4 and around 3.5 for the figure score-5) is also close to the theoretical values

obtained above.

From this we can conclude that the width of the main lobe of the selected window severely

affects the performance in the spectral analysis.

V. Conclusions:

In this project I studied the performance of Hamming, Hann and Kaiser filters when used for

windowing the sequence in spectral analysis. I learnt that the rectangular window which has the

minimum main lobe width has the best resolution. Also the empirically calculated values of

resolution also agree with fact that the 3-dB main lobe width is used as the appropriate value of

resolution.

I also learnt that the use of higher point FFT for the spectral analysis ,though does not change the

resolution which is a function of the window length and main lobe width, gives a finer spectrum

which might be sometimes useful in detecting a previously unresolved frequency.

VI. Bibliography:

1. John G. Proakis and Dimitris G. Manolakis, Digital Signal Processing ,

Principles, Algorithms, and Applications 3rd edition ,Prentice-Hall India, ch 5,

pp. 433-440 and ch 8, pp. 625-630.

2. Alan V. Oppenheim et al. , Discrete-Time Signal Processing (2nd Edition)

(Prentice-Hall Signal Processing Series) ,ch 10.

3. Class Notes Lesson 6. Chapter 10: Signal Analysis with the DFT

4. http://www.billauer.co.il/peakdet.html , The peak detection code in matlab.

3

2From equation 10.14 in [2].

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