What engineering decisions are made by measuring a power spectrum?

By power spectrum we are talking about an ASD (Auto Spectral Density) or PSD (Power Spectral Density). In fact PSD is often used when really ASD would be more correct.

Taking any signal and performing a frequency analysis using an ASD or a PSD will give the energy over a range of frequencies. (more…)

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What is Auto Spectral Density?

The Auto Spectral Density or Auto RMS spectrum analyses uses Fourier Transforms to process optionally overlapped sections of the input data. The result of each Fourier analysed section is called a periodogram. We then process all the resulting periodograms to produce a spectral result. (more…)

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There are tachometer signals available on the vehicle CAN-bus. Can I use these signals instead of connecting my own tachometer signal?

A simple question should have a simple answer and that answer is “No”.

As usual, however, life is never that simple. (more…)

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The Intelligent Way To Sort, Extract & Analyze Signals

This note is based on a real requirement presented to Prosig by a prospective user. It’s the sort of challenge that we relish. This case is a great example of a real-world signal processing requirement and also great test of some of the unique features of Prosig’s DATS software. It also shows the power and flexibility of the new DATS V7.0 worksheets.


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10 Great Fourier Transform Links

Joseph Fourier

Following a discussion in the office about Fourier Transforms we did a little searching on the web. As always, we discovered that the Internet is packed with some great resources on Fourier and his work. So rather than keep all of the information to ourselves we thought we should share it with our readers. We have whittled our list down to 10 links that we think represent the whole range of information from beginners guides to reference pages. So there should be something for everyone whether you’re a grizzled signal processing veteran or a student looking to learn something new. If you have your own favourite Fourier links then please add them to the comments. Maybe we could use them for a future blog post. Or if you have other comments please feel free to add them below.


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Human Exposure To Vibration In Buildings (DIN 4150-2:1999-06 & DIN 45669-1:1995-06)

Standards DIN 4150-2:1999-06 and DIN 45669-1:1995-06 provide a means of assessing the effect on human beings of vibration caused by vehicle traffic, trains both above and below ground, construction work and occasional impulsive type vibration caused by, say, blasting and the like.

DIN 45669-1 describes the signal processing actions and DIN 4150-2 details how these are used. Provisions are included for day or night levels and for five categories of building:

  • Industrial
  • Predominantly Commercial
  • Mixed Commercial and Residential
  • Residential
  • Special Areas such as Hospitals


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Order Cuts And Overall Level

Order cuts are taken from a set of FFTs, each one at a different rpm. The rms level is then found as the Square root of the Sum of the squares of each of the FFT values. Mathematically, if x_{ks} is the modulus (magnitude) of the k^{th} value of the FFT at speed s for k = 1,\dots,N-1 then the rms value at that speed is given by

rms_s = \sqrt{\sum_{k=0}^{N-1}{x_{ks} ^2}}

This takes into account the entire energy at that speed both the order and the non order components, including any noise.


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Measuring For Success With A Hammer Impact Test

The following application note shows the steps taken to perform structural analysis using a hammer impact test on an automotive exhaust pipe structure to improve the structural damping properties of the exhaust pipe mount. This application note follows up to a previous article – “Preventing Component Failure In The Fast Lane”.

A recent signal processing application note described how the Prosig sponsored Dalmeny Racing Formula Ford Team, whilst contesting the UK Formula Ford 1600cc championship, suffered several minor structural failures on a particular part of an exhaust pipe mount. Prosig dispatched a team of engineers, and after a brief survey of the damage, the engineers made an outline assessment. They concluded that “the exhaust itself is resonating at particular engine speeds. This is causing some shear forces in the mount. This in turn is causing stresses in the material leading to cracking and eventually failure.”


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Fatigue & Durability Testing

The following application note describes the test and measurement process for the fatigue & durability testing and development cycle of an automotive suspension component, specifically a tie rod. The component had been known to fail at various intervals. An estimate of the predicted fatigue life of the component was required in order to assess the feasibility of its continued use and to see if a design change was required. The component under test is shown in Figure 1. The testing was carried out by a major automotive manufacturer. Strain gauges were used to monitor the strain levels.


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