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This paper deals with the amplitude estimation in the frequency domain of low-level sine waves, i.e. sine waves spanning a small number of quantization steps of an analog-to-digital converter. This is a quite common condition for high-speed low-resolution converters. A digitized sine wave is transformed into the frequency domain through the discrete Fourier transform. The error in the amplitude estimate is treated as a random variable since the offset and the phase of the sine wave are usually unknown. Therefore, the estimate is characterized by its standard deviation. The proposed model evaluates properly such a standard deviation by treating the quantization with a Fourier series approach. On the other hand, it is shown that the conventional noise model of quantization would lead to a large underestimation of the error standard deviation. The effects of measurement parameters, such as the number of samples and a kind of the time window, are also investigated. Finally, a threshold for the additive noise is provided as the boundary for validity of the two quantization models
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