With its growing influence in next-generation applications, a DRO’s phase noise performance must be accurately captured and validated to ensure optimal operation. Correspondingly, its low phase noise mechanical tuning and tendency to drift due to temperature present a significant test and measurement challenge. The noise floor of the test instrument’s internal, broadband local oscillators (LOs) can dominate results, while frequency drift can severely distort data. This white paper first provides an overview of phase noise measurements of high-frequency signals. Next, it discusses the test challenges of DROs with its very low phase noise levels and temperature instability.

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