DSP has found its way into nearly every facet of our lives: digital mobile phones, stereo and MP3 systems, weather and economic forecasting, seismic signal processing for oil exploration, industrial process controls, X-ray, CAT and MRI scans and more. The principal applications of inter- est to us are in radar, sonar and VHF and SSB radio.
All of these electronics are useful only if the information contained in the signals they
receive can be heard, seen and understood. Three things can interfere with or prevent this:
noise, interference and natural deterioration of the transmission media. It is the purpose of
the DSP system to remove or repair these things and enhance the target signal.
All of the information or intelligence we receive comes to us in the form of analog signals—sound, light, heat, pressure, etc.—all analog. These are signals whose intensity
(amplitude, magnitude) changes continuously as a function of time. Analog signals need
to be processed so that the information they contain can be displayed, analyzed or converted to be useful. Analog processors were implemented in special-purpose hardware; if
the system needed to be changed, repaired, or updated, existing hardware components
Digital Signal Processing (DSP) has
been around for nearly two decades.
However, only recently has the cost of
this technology come down to where
its use in the highly competitive
marine electronics market can begin
to realize its tremendous advantages.
As the use of digital signals to transfer
and communicate data increases, we
can expect to see DSP show up
in a lot of other electronic
equipment, as well.
BY EV COLLIER
Many marine electronics devices have made good use of digital technology for years. Digital
filters are extremely important in DSP achieving top performance.
Enhancing target signals