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RF Phase Noise measurement basics

This page covers RF Phase Noise measurement basics. It mentions test setup used for RF phase noise measurement.

As we know phase noise is the measurement which helps in verifying the purity of the RF signal under test. It is measured for various RF components, devices and systems which include crystal oscillator, Local Oscillator, Synthesizer, Up/Down Frequency converters etc.
Refer RF phase noise and phase jitter basics and conversion➤.

Phase Noise is specified as follows:
"Phase Noise is equal to -60dBc/Hz at 1KHz" for say RF synthesizer output of say 6 GHz.

RF Phase Noise measurement test setup

RF phase noise test setup

The best method to measure phase noise with the use of RF spectrum analyzer. The figure-1 depicts typical setup used for RF phase noise measurement. As shown in the figure, RF output of DUT (Device Under Test) say RF synthesizer is connected with RF INPUT of Spectrum Analyzer.

Following settings need to be done in the spectrum analyzer to measure phase noise with optimum accuracy for the above specification.
➨Center Frequency(Fc) = 6 GHz
➨Span = 10 KHz
➨ Marker (δ) = 1KHz
➨RBW (Resolution Bandwidth) = 100 Hz
➨VBW (Video Bandwidth) = 1 KHz (Check the display and set accordingly to obtain desired result).

RF phase noise measurements

As shown in the figure, RBW has great effect on the measurement of RF phase noise in the Spectrum Analyzer. Hence the optimum RBW is selected for the best measurement corresponding to RF output and span.

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