Evaluation of the Minimum Size of a Window for Harmonics Signals

Windowing applied to a given signal is a technique commonly used in signal pro- cessing in order to reduce spectral leakage in a signal with many data. Several windows are well known: hamming, hanning, beartlett, etc. The selection of a window is based on its spectral characteristics. Several papers that analyze the amplitude and width of the lobes that appear in the spectrum of various types of window have been published. This is very important because the lobes can hide information on the frequency components of the original signal, in particular when frequency components are very close to each other. In this paper it is shown that the size of the window can also have an impact in the spectral information. Until today, the size of a window has been chosen in a subjective way. As far as we know, there are no publications that show how to determine the minimum size of a window. In this work the frequency interval between two consecutive values of a Fourier Transform is considered. This interval determines if the sampling frequency and the number of samples are adequate to differentiate between two frequency components that are very close. From the analysis of this interval, a mathematical inequality is obtained, that determines in an objective way, the minimum size of a window. Two examples of the use of this criterion are presented. The results show that the hiding of information of a signal is due mainly to the wrong choice of the size of the window, but also to the relative amplitude of the frequency components and the type of window. Windowing is the main tool used in spectral analysis with nonparametric periodograms. Until now, optimization was based on the type of window. In this paper we show that the right choice of the size of a window assures on one hand that the number of data is enough to resolve the frequencies involved in the signal, and on the other, reduces the number of required data, and thus the processing time, when very long files are being analyzed.

Minimum Size of a Window, Windowing, Spectral Resolution


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