Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Getting Up Close And Personal With Your Local Oscillator

Recently I had an article published that discusses using a counter with gap-free measurement capability to perform signal analysis on local oscillators in communication, radar, and electronic warfare designs. Below you will find the intro to the article and a link to the article in its entirety. The article appears in Electronic Military & Defense.

A local oscillator (LO) is the heart of any modern radar, electronic warfare or communication system. LOs produce carrier signals for our transmitters and reference signals for our receivers. With more and more data being squeezed into small bandwidths and the continual need to resolve targets accurately in crowded areas,  ensuring an LO has high stability and spectral quality is a critical part of modern transmitter and receiver design.

To verify stability and spectral quality, instruments like signal analyzers provide a great wide-area view of the noise and spectral content around the LO carrier signal. Where they fall short is providing a clear picture of the phase noise close to the carrier. Modern frequency counters can pick up where instruments like signal analyzers leave off. This article discusses how the high resolution and gap-free measurement capability found in modern counters can be used to get you closer to your LO signal.


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