Characterization of Nonstationary Phase Noise Using the Wigner-Ville Distribution

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Oscillators and atomic clocks, as well as lasers and masers, are affected by physical mechanisms causing amplitude fluctuations, phase noise, and frequency instabilities. The physical properties of the elements composing the oscillator as well as external environmental conditions play a role in the coherence of the oscillatory signal produced by the device. Such instabilities demonstrate frequency drifts, modulation, and spectrum broadening and are observed to be nonstationary processes in nature. Most of the tools which are being used to measure and characterize oscillator stability are based on signal processing techniques, assuming time invariance within a temporal window, during which the signal is assumed to be stationary. This letter proposes a new time-frequency approach for the characterization of frequency sources. Our technique is based on the Wigner-Ville time-frequency distribution, which extends the spectral measures to include the temporal nonstationary behavior of the processes affecting the coherence of the oscillator and the accuracy of the clock. We demonstrate the use of the technique in the characterization of nonstationary phase noise in oscillators.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1685762
JournalMathematical Problems in Engineering
StatePublished - 2020


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