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Phase noise measurement

I wrote my diploma thesis about phase noise measurement near the carrier. Even more than a decade later the topic is still actual and critical, because phase noise influences the accuracy of our communication systems. It makes a difference in how good your smartphone works in the high frequency range e.g. Wi-Fi and cellular communication. This gets even more important when applied in critical system devices.

measuring station

The diploma thesis was written in German, but with frequent requests in the past years, I decided to re-publish on my new site. Please feel free to reference, but do not place copies on websites.

The phase noise of voltage-controlled quartz oscillators is created by its fluctuations in the phase and causes a spreading of the spectrum.
The basics of noise, oscillators, PLL, and four-diode ring mixers as phase detectors are explained in this diploma thesis.

All of the following concepts of measuring phase noise have been evaluated:

  • simplest method: measurement with the spectrum analyzer.
  • frequency discriminator method
  • frequency discriminator method with cross-correlation
  • phase detector method
  • phase detector method with cross-correlation
  • phase detector method with PLL (phase locked loop)
  • phase detector method with cross-correlation and PLL and one reference oscillator
  • phase detector method with cross-correlation and PLL and two reference oscillators

The conclusion of this diploma thesis is, that phase noise measurements are possible from 3 Hz down to a noise floor of -132 dBm, based on available components in 2008.

Phase noise measurement
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I wrote my diploma thesis about phase noise measurement near the carrier. Even more than a decade later the topic is still actual and critical, because phase noise influences the accuracy of our communication systems. It makes a difference in how good your smartphone works in the high frequency range e.g. Wi-Fi and cellular communication. This gets even more important when applied in critical system devices.

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