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The Role of Phase Noise Research and Metrology

Published

Author(s)

David A. Howe

Abstract

The oscillating, or repeating, signal that is the basis for constructing all signals is a voltage that exactly follows simple periodic sine and cosine functions of time. The synthesis of such signals, using an oscillator coupled with a ¿frequency synthesizer,¿ can never be perfectly realized because the voltages from these devices are perturbed by random noise from real electronic components. Frequency synthesis plays a role in virtually all present-day commercial, industrial, and military technologies. State-of-the-art low-noise frequency synthesis is a particularly important technical asset to high-speed telecommunications, efficient management of the wireless spectrum, and high-resolution imaging. It is worth noting that overall performance of various technologies depends on, and is often limited by, phase and amplitude noise fluctuations in oscillators and frequency synthesizers. NIST¿s Time and Frequency Metrology Group has the world's most advanced measurement and calibration facilities for characterizing noise components in oscillators and frequency synthesizers. It engages in many activities to determine the cause of various kinds of noise for the purpose of isolating and reducing it, leading to improved components, instruments and techniques that are often necessary in new applications.
Citation
The Role of Phase Noise Research and Metrology
Created February 19, 2008, Updated February 17, 2017