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

Rick Lyons

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.