A Simplified Matlab Function for Power Spectral Density

Neil Robertson

In an earlier post, I showed how to compute power spectral density (PSD) of a discrete-time signal using the Matlab function pwelch.  Pwelch is a useful function because it gives the correct output, and it has the option to average multiple Discrete Fourier Transforms (DFTs).  However, a typical function call has five arguments, and it can be hard to remember how to set them all and how they default.

In this post, I create a simplified PSD function by putting a wrapper on pwelch that sets some parameters and converts the output units from W/Hz to dBW/bin.  The function is named psd_simple.m, and its code is listed in the appendix.


Fractional Delay FIR Filters

Neil Robertson

Consider the following Finite Impulse Response (FIR) coefficients:

b = [b0 b1 b2 b1 b0]

These coefficients form a 5-tap symmetrical FIR filter having constant group delay [1,2] over 0 to fs/2 of:

D = (ntaps - 1)/2 = 2      samples

For a symmetrical filter with an odd number of taps, the group delay is always an integer number of samples, while for one with an even number of taps, the group delay is always an integer + 0.5 samples.  Can we design a filter with arbitrary delay, say 9.3 samples?  The answer is yes -- It is possible to design a non-symmetrical FIR filter with arbitrary group delay which is approximately constant over a wide band, with approximately flat magnitude response [3,4].  Let the desired group delay be:

D = (ntaps - 1)/2 + u 

   = D0 + u     samples,            (1)

where we call u the fractional delay and -0.5 <= u <= 0.5.  D0 is the fixed portion of the total delay; it is determined by ntaps.  The appendix lists a simple Matlab function frac_delay_fir.m to compute FIR coefficients for a given value of u and ntaps.  The function provides coefficients with approximately flat delay and frequency responses over a frequency range approaching 0 to fs/2.

In this post, we'll present a couple of examples using the function, then discuss the theory behind it.  Finally, we'll look at an example of a fractional delay lowpass FIR filter with arbitrary cut-off frequency.


Digital Filtering in the Frequency Domain

Andreas Schwarzinger

Time domain digital filtering, whether implemented using FIR or IIR techniques, has been very well documented in literature and been thoroughly used in many base band processor designs. However, with the advent of software defined radios as well as CPU support in more recent baseband processors, it has become possible and often desirable to filter signals in software rather than digital hardware. Whereas, time domain digital filtering can certainly be implemented in software as well, it becomes highly inefficient as the number of filter taps grows. Frequency domain filtering, using FFT and IFFT operations, is significantly more efficient and surprisingly easy to understand. This document introduces the reader to frequency domain filtering both in theory and in practice via a MatLab script.


The DFT of Finite-Length Time-Reversed Sequences

Rick Lyons

Recently I've been reading papers on underwater acoustic communications systems and this caused me to investigate the frequency-domain effects of time-reversal of time-domain sequences. I created this article because there is so little coverage of this topic in the literature of DSP.


Model Signal Impairments at Complex Baseband

Neil Robertson

In this article, we develop complex-baseband models for several signal impairments: interfering carrier, multipath, phase noise, and Gaussian noise. To provide concrete examples, we'll apply the impairments to a QAM system. The impairment models are Matlab functions that each use at most seven lines of code. Although our example system is QAM, the models can be used for any complex-baseband signal.


Update To: A Wide-Notch Comb Filter

Rick Lyons

This article presents alternatives to the wide-notch comb filter described in Reference [1].


A Wide-Notch Comb Filter

Rick Lyons
1 comment

This article describes a linear-phase comb filter having wider stopband notches than a traditional comb filter.


The Risk In Using Frequency Domain Curves To Evaluate Digital Integrator Performance

Rick Lyons

This article shows the danger in evaluating the performance of a digital integration network based solely on its frequency response curve. If you plan on implementing a digital integrator in your signal processing work I recommend you continue reading this article.


Reduced-Delay IIR Filters

Rick Lyons
2 comments

This document describes a straightforward method to significantly reduce the number of necessary multiplies per input sample of traditional IIR lowpass and highpass digital filters.