Filtering: Extracting What We Want from What We Have

Filtering is the process of removing or separating the unwanted part of a mixture. In signal processing, filtering is specifically used to remove or extract part of a signal, and this can be accomplished using an analog circuit or a digital device (such as a computer). In this lesson, students learn the impact filtering can have on different types of signals, the concepts of frequency and spectrum, and the connections these topics have to real-world signals such as musical signals. Students also learn the roles that these concepts play in designing different types of filters. The lesson content prepares students for the associated activity in which they use an online demo and a variety of filters to identify the message in a distress signal heavily corrupted by noise.