Phase noise is being minimized as a performance limit for many electronic-warfare (EW) systems thanks to a line of direct and phase-locked signal source modules from FEI-Elcom Tech, Inc., a subsidiary of Frequency Electronics, Inc. The “Pro” series of silent (SPDROs) are based on analog direct-frequency-synthesis technology and maintain stable frequency and noise performance in bands through 40 GHz and in modular housings measuring just 2.25 × 2.25 × 0.65 in. (see the figure). They can maintain low noise with stable frequency outputs over an operating temperature range of -45 to +85°C for EW as well as electronic-intelligence (ELINT) system applications.
The phase-noise levels of these small phase-locked dielectric resonator oscillator (SPDRO) sources for a 10.3-GHz carrier frequency are impressive: typically -128 dBc/Hz offset 10 kHz from the carrier, -134 dBc/Hz offset 100 kHz from the carrier, -152 dBc/Hz offset 1 MHz from the carrier, and -160 dBc/Hz offset 10 MHz from the carrier, with a noise floor of -165 dBc. These noise levels are accompanied by signal output power of +15 dBm and typical spurious noise of -90 dBc. The signal sources are also available with a built-in oven-controlled crystal oscillator (OCXO) reference as an option.
FEI-Elcom Tech, www.fei-elcomtech.com