Photonic Delay-line Phase Noise Measurement System

Report No. ARL-TR-5791
Authors: Olukayode K. Okusaga
Date/Pages: September 2011; 44 pages
Abstract: Phase noise is the limiting factor in most state-of-the-art precision radio frequency (RF) oscillators. Measuring the phase noise of these oscillators is nontrivial because their phase noise levels are lower than those of even the best RF oscillators. In this work, I present an ultra-sensitive photonic delay-line measurement system capable of measuring the phase noise of the best RF oscillators available today. I begin with an analysis of phase noise and then describe our phase noise measurement system. Finally, I characterize the noise floor of the system.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2011