ChJAA Vol 6, No 4 (2006) (387-512) / Han

Comparison between Windowed FFT and Hilbert-Huang Transform for Analyzing Time Series with Poissonian Fluctuations: A Case Study

Dong Han, Shuang-Nan Zhang


Hilbert-Huang Transform (HHT) is a novel data analysis technique for nonlinear and non-stationary data. We present a time-frequency analysis of both simulated light curves and an X-ray burst from the X-ray burster 4U 1702--429 with both the HHT and the Windowed Fast Fourier Transform (WFFT) methods. Our results show that the HHT method has failed in all cases for light curves with Poissonian fluctuations which are typical for all photon counting instruments used in astronomy, whereas the WFFT method can sensitively detect the periodic signals in the presence of Poissonian fluctuations; the only drawback of the WFFT method is that it cannot detect sharp frequency variations accurately.

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