Skip to Main Content
In frequency standards in which the atoms have a continuous interaction with the probe signal, local oscillator phase noise may limit medium term frequency stability. This spurious effect cannot be suppressed whenever there Is any truncation in the spectrum of the resonator response. Nevertheless, a simultaneous processing of the probe signal, similar to that of the NIST, and of the resonator response (by means of an appropriate demodulation) makes it possible to reduce this limiting effect. Previously achieved with a square wave frequency modulation, this result is now extended to various frequency modulations. An uncontrolled distortion in the demodulation waveform may significantly degrade the performance. For the case of a square wave phase modulation, the limiting effect also exists, but it is smaller than for a frequency modulation. When the phase noise of the local oscillator is naturally "not flat", it is possible to easily reduce the spurious effect: using the quasi-static approximation, one can calculate various optimized demodulation waveforms and the corresponding improvements. For the simplest optimized demodulation (f/sub M/, 3f/sub M/), theoretical predictions are experimentally confirmed for flicker phase noise and flicker frequency noise.