Spherical Harmonic Transforms (SHTs) which are non-commutative Fourier transforms on the sphere are critical in global geopotential and related applications. Among the best known global strategies for discrete SHTs of band-limited spherical functions are Chebychev quadratures and least squares for equiangular grids. With proper numerical preconditioning, independent of latitude, reliable analysis and synthesis results for degrees and orders over 3800 in double precision arithmetic have been achieved and explicitly demonstrated using white noise simulations. The SHT synthesis and analysis can easily be modified for the ordinary Fourier transform of the data matrix and the mathematical situation is illustrated in a new functional diagram. Numerical analysis has shown very little differences in the numerical conditioning and computational efforts required when working with the two-dimensional (2D) Fourier transform of the data matrix. This can be interpreted as the spectral form of the discrete SHT which can be useful in multiresolution and other applications. Numerical results corresponding to the latest Earth Geopotential Model EGM 2008 of maximum degree and order 2190 are included with some discussion of the implications when working with such spectral sequences of fast decreasing magnitude. Keywords: Fourier transforms • geocomputations • geopotential modeling • spherical harmonic
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