Tutorial on Theory, Characterization & Measurement Techniques of Phase Noise

In this episode Shahriar demonstrates the fundamentals of Phase Noise. The theory behind phase noise is presented both from a time-domain and frequency domain points of view. Various mathematical equations which represent phase noise behavior is also presented.

Phase noise measurement challenges and techniques are covered. Capabilities and limitations of different instruments for phase noise characterization is explained. The experiments show AM/PM modulations both in time and frequency domain and their relationships to phase noise measurements. Using a spectrum analyzer the phase noise of several synthesizers are shown. However, it is clear that the phase noise of an ultra-clean 1-GHz reference signal cannot be measured using traditional methods.

The concept of cross-correlation is introduced as a means of measuring phase noise below the phase noise of the measurement instrument. The block diagram of the an Agilent Phase Noise Analyzer is presented followed by a short teardown. The measured phase nose of the ultra-clean 1-GHz source is shown using correlation techniques which matches the datasheet.

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