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Simplified digital lock-in amplifier algorithm

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3 Author(s)
J. Leis ; University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia ; P. Martin ; D. Buttsworth

The phase-sensitive or `lock-in` amplifier is a fundamental tool in experimental physics, and is able to extract exceedingly small signals in the presence of noise. Recently, there has been some interest in portable or embedded lock-in amplifiers for instrumentation and sensing. One difficulty with digital lock-ins is the required degree of numerical precision. Presented is a fast algorithm for combined phase-sensitive multiplication and filtering. It exploits symmetry to reduce the number of arithmetic operations, and is suitable for low-power embedded devices. As well as being computationally much simpler than a direct digital implementation, the results presented show that it yields a lower error in the estimation of the underlying signal amplitude.

Published in:

Electronics Letters  (Volume:48 ,  Issue: 5 )