FFT with Spectral Leakage

NI High-Speed Digitizers Help (NI-SCOPE)

Edition Date: January 2017

Part Number: 370592AB-01

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In the following figure, you see the spectral representation when you sample a noninteger number of cycles of the time waveform (namely 10.25). The periodic extension of this signal creates a discontinuity similar to the figure shown in Spectral Leakage.

Notice how the energy is now spread over a wide range of frequencies, so the relative height difference between the FFT peak amplitude and the neighboring bins is reduced. This smearing of the energy is called spectral leakage.

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