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Radio Frequency stability basics

Radio frequency Stability is the variation of the frequency of the signal source or device generating some frequency due to temperature change or time variation. It is measured using ppm(parts per million). Local Oscillator, synthesizer or reference oscillator drift decides the overall frequency stability of the RF(Radio Frequency) transmitter or receiver. The smaller the frequency drift better is the performance of the system.

Short term frequency stability vs Long term frequency stability

Short term frequency stability refers to stability of radio frequency system for shorter period of time usually in days.

For example, specification mentions short term frequency stability of RF Up converter is 0.001 ppm/day. OR 1 x 10-6 over temperature variation from 0 degreeC to 50 degreeC.

Long term frequency stability refers to stability of radio frequency system for longer period of time usually in years.

For example, specification mentions long term frequency stability of RF Up converter is 0.1 ppm/year. OR 1 x 10-7 per day for RF transceiver.

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