FFT Power units for a time series?

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Jonathan on 16 Oct 2013
Edited: Jonathan LeSage on 17 Oct 2013
I have a time series of the concentration of a gas (in parts per million, or ppm) in the atmosphere with time over several years. The concentration with time approximates a sinusoid with frequency 2*pi/365 days, but it also has a 6-monthly term (first harmonic) of frequency 4*pi/365 days. I've run an fft of this time series, which comes out showing peaks at 1-year and 6-month frequencies. My only issue is that I'm not sure what the units on the y axis ("power") are. Can anyone help with this?

Answers (1)

Jonathan LeSage
Jonathan LeSage on 17 Oct 2013
Edited: Jonathan LeSage on 17 Oct 2013
Commonly, you can express the y-axis units in terms of power/frequency. If you use the logarithmic decibel scale, the units of your y-axis would be dB/(Hz or 1/days... what ever your time scale is).
This documentation article might help clarify things: http://www.mathworks.com/help/signal/ug/psd-estimate-using-fft.html?BB=1


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