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Electromagnetic Measurements

High-speed Repetitive Waveform Measurements

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Technical Contacts:
Paul Hale (65100S, 65200S and 65400S)
Tel: 303-497-5367
E-mail: hale@boulder.nist.gov

Administration and Logistics
John Lomax (65100S, 65200S and 65400S)
Tel: 303-497-3842
Fax: 303-497-4286
E-mail: john.lomax@boulder.nist.gov

Please contact the administration and logistics staff before shipping instruments or standards to the address listed below.

Mailing Address
National Institute of Standards and Technology
325 Broadway, MC 815.01
Boulder, CO 80305-3328

Service ID Number Description of Services Fee ($)
65200S Fast Repetitive Waveforms At Cost
65400S Fiber-optic time delay (Formerly Pulse time delay interval) At Cost
Fees are subject to change without notice.

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Waveform Measurements-General Information

NIST offers special-test services for measuring the output of high-speed signal generators and the impulse response of sampling oscilloscopes, also known as samplers. The present 65200S measurement service supersedes services 65100S (Impulse Spectrum Amplitude), and 65400S (Pulse Time Delay Interval) in the case of passive electrical delay artifacts. Optical fiber delay lines are still characterized through the 65400S measurement service. Photodiodes that can be used as an impulse source for calibrating the impulse response of sampling oscilloscopes, vector signal analyzers, and other high-speed waveform measurement equipment are calibrated through the 42161S measurement service.

These Special Tests are performed at cost and by prearrangement.

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Fast Repetitive Waveform Measurement, 50Ω (65200S)

This special-test service is for measuring the impulse response of sampling oscilloscopes (samplers) and the output of calibration-grade signal generators such as pulse generators, digital pattern generators, arbitrary waveform generators, comb generators, and vector signal generators. The service is optimized for measuring very fast signals, such as pulse transitions less than 100 ps, i.e., 3 dB attenuation bandwidths greater than 3.5 GHz and whose spectral content is negligible above 110 GHz. The measurements are calibrated and traceable to the NIST electro-optic sampling (EOS) system, NIST microwave power standards, and NIST scattering parameter measurements. The service measures the voltage as a function of time on a 5 ns measurement epoch and is reported with point by point time-domain and/or frequency-domain uncertainties. From the time-domain waveform, pulse parameters can be calculated.  Example pulse parameters, ranges, and estimated uncertainty limits for this service are listed in  Table 9.21. The references below document the traceability path for the 65200S measurement service and give other useful information with respect to application of the NIST measurement service.

Table 9.21 Uncertainty for Calibration of Fast Repetitive Pulse Transition Parameters

Typical Expanded Uncertainty
Pulse Amplitude (A)   A < 400 mV 3.5mV
Transition Duration (td) 10 ps d <1 ns 1.0 ps
Pulse Duration (tp)
(between 50 % reference level instants)
10 ps < tp  <4 ns 1.4 ps 

Restrictions and Notes:

1. Customer's device must generate a repetitive signal with repetition rate greater than approximately 1 kHz.

2. Customer's device should have a nominal output impedance of 50 ohms.  The source reflection coefficient or load reflection coefficient (for samplers) is measured as part of the device characterization and is reported with the test report.

3. Customer's device must have a 1.00 mm precision coaxial output connector. The upper frequency of the calibration, 110 GHz, is limited by the over-mode frequency of the connector. Additional precision connector styles may also be calibrated by special arrangement.

4. Maximum input signal amplitude (including overshoot and undershoot) measurable without attenuators is 800 mV. For larger pulse amplitudes, the customer shall supply an attenuator to decrease the pulse amplitude to 800 mV or less. The permissible dc offset is ± 500 mV.

5. Due to the band-limited nature of the NIST calibration, spectral components above 110 GHz cannot be calibrated. Therefore, the minimum source pulse transition duration with the NIST oscilloscopes is approximately 10 ps. The complex frequency response of sampling oscilloscope (samplers) can be measured up to 110 GHz with a 1.00 mm connector.

6. Pulse durations are measured only for rectangular pulses or impulse-like pulses.

7. Measurement of the impulse response of some oscilloscope sampler models is subject to the availability of a software interface for the acquisition of data amenable to timebase correction.

Measurements of other pulse parameters, parameter ranges, or other waveforms may be provided by special arrangement. Consulting and advisory services also are available.

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Fiber-optic time delay (65400S)

NIST offers a special test service for measuring the time delay associated with insertion of an optical fiber into a fiber-optic network. Measurements are performed with a lightwave component analyzer at 850 nm in 50 µm or 62.5 µm core multi-mode fiber and in single-mode fiber at 1310 nm and 1550 nm.

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References-Fast Repetitive Waveform Measurement

IEEE Std. 181-2011, IEEE standard for transitions, pulses, and related waveforms, IEEE, New York, 6 September 2011.

P. D. Hale and A. Dienstfrey, "Waveform metrology and a quantitative study of regularized deconvolution," Instrum. Meas. Technol. Conf. 2010, I2MTC '10, IEEE, pp. 386-391.

P. D. Hale, A. Dienstfrey, C. M. Wang, D. F. Williams, A. Lewandowski, D. A. Keenan, and T. S. Clement, "Traceable waveform calibration with a covariance-based uncertainty analysis," IEEE Trans. Instrum. Meas., vol. 58, no. 10, pp. 3554-3568, Oct. 2009.

P. D. Hale and C.M. Wang, " Calculation of pulse parameters and propagation of uncertainty," IEEE Trans. Instrum. Meas., vol. 58, no. 3, pp.639-648, Mar. 2009.

H. C. Reader, D. F. Williams, P. D. Hale, and T. S. Clement, "Characterization of a 50 GHz comb generator," IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech., vol. 56, pp. 515-521 (Feb. 2008).

D. F. Williams, T.S. Clement, P.D. Hale, and A. Dienstfrey, "Terminology for High-Speed Sampling-Oscilloscope Calibration," 68th ARFTG Microwave Measurements Conference Digest, Boulder, CO, Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 2006.

T. S. Clement, P. D. Hale, D. F. Williams, C. M. Wang, A. Dienstfrey, and D. A. Keenan, "Calibration of sampling oscilloscopes with high-speed photodiodes, " IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech., vol. 54, pp. 3173-3181 (Aug. 2006).

A. Dienstfrey, P. D. Hale, D. A. Keenan, T. S. Clement, and D. F. Williams, "Minimum-phase calibration of sampling oscilloscopes," IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech., Vol. 54, pp. 3197-3208 (Aug. 2006).

D. F. Williams, A. Lewandowski, T. S. Clement, C. M. Wang, P. D. Hale, J. M. Morgan, D. A. Keenan, and A. Dienstfrey, "Covariance-based uncertainty analysis of the NIST electro-optic sampling system," IEEE Trans. Microwave Theory Tech., Vol. 54, pp. 481-491 (Jan. 2006).

P. D. Hale, C. M. Wang, D. F. Williams, K. A. Remley, and J. Wepman, "Compensation of random and systematic timing errors in sampling oscilloscopes," IEEE Trans. Instrum. Meas., vol. 55, pp. 2146-2154 (Dec. 2006).

K. J. Coakley, C. Wang, P. D. Hale, T. S. Clement, "Adaptive characterization of jitter noise in sampled high-speed signals," IEEE Trans. Instrum. Meas., vol. 52, pp. 1537-1547 (Oct. 2003).

C. R. Vogel, Computational Methods for Inverse Problems, ser. Frontiers in Applied Mathematics. Philadelphia, PA: SIAM, 2002.

K. J. Coakley and P. D. Hale, "Alignment of Noisy Signals," IEEE Trans. Instrum. Meas., vol. 50, pp. 141-149 (Feb. 2000).

C. M. Wang, P. D. Hale, and K. J. Coakley, "Least-squares estimation of time-base distortion of sampling oscilloscopes," IEEE Trans. Instrum. Meas., vol. 48, pp. 1324-1332 (Dec. 1999).

C. Mittermayer and A. Steininger, "On the determination of dynamic errors for rise time measurement with an oscilloscope," IEEE Trans. on Instruments and Measurement, vol. 48, no. 6, pp. 1103–1107, Dec. 1999.

Souders, T. M., Andrews, J., Caravone, A., Deyst, J. P., Duff, C., and Naboicheck, S., "A pulse measurement intercomparison," IEEE Trans. Instrum. and Meas., vol. 47, pp. 1031-1036 (Oct. 1998).

P. C. Hansen, Rank-deficient and discrete ill-posed problems, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, Philadelphia, 1997.

References-Fiber-optic Delay Measurement

S. E. Mechels, J. B. Schlager, and D. L. Franzen, "Accurate measurements of the zero-dispersion wavelength in optical fibers," J. Res. Nat. Inst. Standards Technol., vol. 102, no. 3, 1997.

Optical fibers, Part 1-22: Measurement methods and test procedures-Length measurement, IEC International Standard 60793-1-22, IEC, 2001.

J. C. Bermudez and W. Schmid, "Characterization of an optical fiber spool to be used as reference standard for OTDRs distance scale calibration," Proc. SPIE, vol. 5776, pp. 102-108, SPIE, Bellingham, WA, 2005.

FOTP-203: Launched Power Distribution Measurement Procedure for Graded-Index Multimode Fiber Transmitters, TIA/EIA Standard TIA/EIA-455-203, TIA/EIA, June 2001.

Fibre-optic communication subsystem test procedures – Part 4‑1: Installed cable plant – Multimode attenuation measurement, IEC International Standard 61280-4-1, IEC, June 2009.

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Program questions:
Phone: 301-975-5454, Fax: 301-975-2950
NIST, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8363, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8363