Power Spectral Density

Abbreviated as PSD, this is a method of scaling the amplitude axis of spectra of random rather than deterministic signals. Because a random signal has energy spread out over a frequency band rather than having energy concentrated at specific frequencies, it is not meaningful to speak of its RMS value at any specific frequency. It only makes sense to consider its amplitude within a fixed frequency band, usually 1 Hz. PSD is defined in terms of amplitude squared per Hz, and is thus proportional to the power delivered by the signal in a one-Hz band.

See also: Frequency, Signals.

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Subjects: Mechanical Engineering Noise & Vibration Physics