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Error and Transient Analysis of Stepwise-Approximated Sinewaves Generated by Programmable Josephson Voltage Standards



Charles J. Burroughs, Alain Rufenacht, Samuel Benz, Paul Dresselhaus, Bryan C. Waltrip, Thomas L. Nelson


We are developing a quantum-based 60 Hz power standard that exploits the precision sinusoidal reference voltages synthesized by programmable Josephson voltage standards (PJVS). PJVS technology was chosen for this application because we need to generate voltages up to 1.2 Vrms. PJVS systems use many series arrays of Josephson junctions operating as a multibit digital-to-analog converter to produce accurate quantum-based dc voltages. Using step-wise approximation synthesis, a PJVS can also produce sinewaves with calculable rms voltage and spectral content. The primary drawback to this ACPJVS digital synthesis technique is the uncertainty that results from switching between the discrete voltages as a result of finite rise times and transient signals. In this paper, we present measurements and simulations that elucidate some of the error sources that are intrinsic to the ACPJVS when it is used for rms measurements. In particular, we consider sinewaves synthesized at frequencies up to the audio range, where the effect of these errors is more easily measured because the fixed transition time becomes a greater fraction of the time compared to each quantized voltage state. Our goal for the power standard is to reduce all error sources and uncertainty contributions from the PJVS-synthesized waveforms at 60 Hz to a few parts in 1E+7, so that the overall uncertainty in an ac power standard is a few parts in 1E+6.
Proceedings Title
Conference Proceedings of NCSL International Workshop and Symposium
Conference Dates
July 29-August 2, 2007
Conference Location
St. Paul, MN, USA


Programmable Josephson Voltage Standard, Quantum Watt, PJVS, Josephson Systems


Burroughs, C. , Rufenacht, A. , Benz, S. , Dresselhaus, P. , Waltrip, B. and Nelson, T. (2008), Error and Transient Analysis of Stepwise-Approximated Sinewaves Generated by Programmable Josephson Voltage Standards, Conference Proceedings of NCSL International Workshop and Symposium, St. Paul, MN, USA, [online], (Accessed May 27, 2024)


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Created June 30, 2008, Updated October 12, 2021