#### Zero-Padding for Interpolating Spectral Displays

Suppose we perform spectrum analysis on some sinusoid using a length window. Without zero padding, the DFT length is . We may regard the DFT as a*critically sampled DTFT*(sampled in frequency). Since the bin separation in a length- DFT is , and the zero-crossing interval for Blackman-Harris side lobes is , we see that there is

*one bin per side lobe*in the sampled window transform. These spectral samples are illustrated for a Hamming window transform in Fig.2.3b. Since in Table 5.2, the main lobe is 4 samples wide when critically sampled. The side lobes are one sample wide, and the samples happen to hit near some of the side-lobe zero-crossings, which could be misleading to the untrained eye if only the samples were shown. (Note that the plot is clipped at -60 dB.)

*zero pad*the Hamming-window by a factor of 2 (append 21 zeros to the length window and take an point DFT), we obtain the result shown in Fig.2.4. In this case, the main lobe is 8 samples wide, and there are two samples per side lobe. This is significantly better for display even though there is

*no new information*in the spectrum relative to Fig.2.3.

^{3.10}Incidentally, the solid lines in Fig.2.3b and 2.4b indicating the ``true'' DTFT were computed using a zero-padding factor of , and they were virtually indistinguishable visually from . ( is not enough.)

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Zero-Padding for Interpolating Spectral Peaks

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Zero-Padding to the Next Higher Power of 2