A Simplified Matlab Function for Power Spectral Density

Neil Robertson

In an earlier post, I showed how to compute power spectral density (PSD) of a discrete-time signal using the Matlab function pwelch.  Pwelch is a useful function because it gives the correct output, and it has the option to average multiple Discrete Fourier Transforms (DFTs).  However, a typical function call has five arguments, and it can be hard to remember how to set them all and how they default.

In this post, I create a simplified PSD function by putting a wrapper on pwelch that sets some parameters and converts the output units from W/Hz to dBW/bin.  The function is named psd_simple.m, and its code is listed in the appendix.