Root Mean Square (rms)

This is the square root of sum of squares of individual observations divided by the total number of observations made.

The r.m.s. value of a function, x(t), over a time interval between t1 and t2 is specified by the following formula:

Because energy varies as the square of amplitude, rms tracks the amount of energy in a complex signal. In noise data, the rms value should be approximately the same as the standard deviation.

The simple 3 step process to calculate the RMS is:

  1. square all the individual entries
  2. average the numbers you get
  3. take the square-root of that average

Overall RMS Level

A measure of the total RMS magnitude within a specified frequency range.

See also: Crest Factor.

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Subjects: Signal Processing