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Noise in Oscillators

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1 Author(s)
Edson, W.A. ; General Electric Microwave Lab., Palo Alto, Calif.

Noise affects the behavior of oscillators in at least two important ways. During sustained oscillation, noise creates undesired perturbations or modulation in both the amplitude and the phase of the wave. The amplitude perturbations produce a continuous spectrum which in typical situations is quite weak and broader than the bandwidth of the resonator. The phase perturbations disperse the nominal frequency into a continuous distribution which is of the same form but much stronger and narrower than for the amplitude perturbations. During the initiation of oscillation, noise constitutes the starting voltage and therefore affects the time required for the wave to reach some pre-established amplitude. The resulting jitter in the starting time of pulsed oscillators is objectionable because it degrades the signal-to-noise ratio in systems employing super-regenerative receivers or pulse-time modulation. The time and spectral distributions of noise effects in typical oscillators are derived and discussed in the following sections.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IRE  (Volume:48 ,  Issue: 8 )