Publication
IEEE Trans. Instrum. Meas.
Paper

High-Sensitivity Picosecond Time-Domain Reflectometry

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Abstract

The combination of a time-domain reflectometer, signal averager, and lock-in amplifier is shown to increase the amplitude sensitivity of the reflectometer by a factor of about 200 for observing small, multiple transmission line reflections. Replacing the signal averager by a second lock-in amplifier increases the sensitivity further by a factor of 10, but this method is only suitable for measuring reflections from a single point. In the latter case, the minimum, detectable shunt capacitive discontinuity (signal-to-noise ratio of unity, Zo = 50Ω) is about 5 aF (1 aF = 10–6 pF); the corresponding value for a series inductive reflection is 10m (1m = 10–3 pH). The time window drift must be very low to achieve such sensitivity. Methods are described which reduce the intrinsic drift by about a factor of 500 to 20 fs. In precision 7 -mm coaxial line, relatively pure shunt “capacitors,” below 0.5 IF, and series “inductors,” below 1 pH, have been constructed and measured using these techniques. Copyright © 1976 by The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.

Date

01 Jan 1976

Publication

IEEE Trans. Instrum. Meas.

Authors

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