Digital Envelope Detection: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Rick Lyons
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Recently I've been thinking about the process of envelope detection. Tutorial information on this topic is readily available but that information is spread out over a number of DSP textbooks and many Internet web sites. The purpose of this blog is to summarize various digital envelope detection methods in one place. Here I focus of envelope detection as it is applied to an amplitude-fluctuating sinusoidal signal where the positive-amplitude fluctuations (the sinusoid's envelope) contain some sort of information. Let's begin by looking at the simplest envelope detection method.