A wideband spectrometer with RFI detection

Dale Gary, L. I.U. Zhiwei, Gelu Nita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


We report on the design and construction of a wideband spectrometer of 500 MHz instantaneous bandwidth that includes automatic radio frequency interference (RFI) detection. The implementation is based on hardware developed at the Center for Astronomical Signal Processing and Electronics Research (CASPER). The unique aspect of the spectrometer is that it accumulates both power and power-squared, which are then used to develop a spectral kurtosis (SK) estimator. The SK estimator statistics are used for real-time detection and excision of certain types of RFI embedded in the received signal. We report on the use of this spectrometer in the Korean Solar Radio Burst Locator (KSRBL). This instrument utilizes four of these 500 MHz bandwidth SK spectrometers in parallel, to achieve a 2 GHz instantaneous bandwidth that is time multiplexed over the entire 0.24-18 GHz radio frequency range, to study solar bursts. The performance of the spectrometers for excising RFI over this range is presented. It is found that the algorithm is especially useful for excising highly intermittent RFI but is less successful for RFI due to digital signals. A method we call multiscale SK is presented that addresses the known blindness of Kurtosis-based estimators to 50% duty-cycle RFI. The SK algorithm can also be applied to spectral channels prior to correlation to remove unwanted RFI from interferometer data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)560-572
Number of pages13
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Issue number891
StatePublished - May 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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