The Z transform of the first N samples of a unit step function is given by the following equation.

The applet below shows how the frequency spectrum of the limited step varies as the number of samples N changes. The spectrum is compared with the Fourier Transform of a pulse with the same width. The applet shows the periodicity of Z(w) compared with G(w). The spectrum of Z(w) also shows some aliasing for frequencies < w

One of the problems with sampling the time limited step is that it has spectral components at higher than half of the sampling frequency. The applet below shows one way in which this effect can be reduced. Here the first and last sample A(0, N - 1) are reduced in amplitude to 'smooth' out the edges. As shown below, the real part, imaginary part and magnitude of the spectrum at half the sampling frequency can be made negligible by varying A(0,N-1).

© 2000 Cuthbert A. Nyack.