The Stability of Phase-locked Oscillators and the Measurement of Allan Deviation

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  • Author: Bill Slade

This paper is a review of some of the basics of phase locked oscillators and the mechanics of “Cycle Slipping” in low carrier-to-noise environments. The concept of Allan deviation as a measure of phase error in situations where phase locking is not always guaranteed is explored.

This paper also proposes an improved version of the heterodyne method for measuring the Allan deviation of a phase-locked oscillator for use in characterizing the performance of a deep-space coherent transponder prototype.