Tutorial Speakers

Tutorial Information:

Prerecorded videos of the tutorials, 1.5 to 2 hours in duration, will debut in a series of parallel live sessions with the tutorial speakers between the 7th and the 10th of July at 4 PM CET/2 PM UTC. In these sessions the tutorials will be played and the speakers will be available for answering questions via chat. Following the playing of the tutorial video, a 30 minute live question and answer (Q&A) session with the tutorial speaker will be held. The live Q&A sessions will be recorded and will be available on the conference website along with the prerecorded tutorials through the end of July.  Attendees who register for the tutorials will have access to all of the tutorial materials.

Microwave Atomic Frequency Standards and Clocks

Atomic frequency standards form the basis of the definition of the second, enable ultra-stable timekeeping and timescales, and provide frequency and time references and metrology for a multitude of earth and space-based applications.  There are many different atomic frequency standard and clock implementations to support a wide range of application specific requirements for telecommunication, navigation, radio science, and fundamental physics. Depending on the approach, achievable frequency standard accuracy, stability, size/mass/power, reliability and cost can vary by orders of magnitude.  This tutorial will present the fundamentals behind microwave atomic frequency standards and survey the range of approaches.

Almost All About Phase Noise

Many scientific and technological applications rely on precise timing, with main focus on system consistency rather than on absolute time accuracy vs UTC.  In this class of problems, phase noise, short-term frequency stability and jitter are therefore appropriate to describe time fluctuations from low RF to optics.  This tutorial is an introduction to phase noise and frequency stability.  We cover the following topics:
  • What is phase noise and amplitude noise. Definitions and principles.  Phase noise spectrum, Allan variance and other types of variance.  Jitter
  • The origin of phase noise in electronic devices. Shot, thermal, additive, parametric, time-like noise and phase-like noise
  • Phase noise mechanisms in oscillators, aka the Leeson effect
  • Phase noise in analog and digital systems. Frequency synthesis, mixing, quantization noise, aliasing, etc.
  • Useful measurement methods
  • The architecture of analog and digital instruments
  • Common pathologies and pitfalls
  • Examples from laboratory practice

Optical frequency combs: Fundamentals, technology and applications

Optical frequency combs provide the means to phase-coherently unite the electromagnetic spectrum, from the RF through the XUV. This tutorial with provide an overview of the fundamentals of frequency comb operation, the most common technologies employed, and several of the most impactful applications.

Optical Atomic Clocks

With the advent of numerous technologies that allow for the stabilization and measurement of optical frequencies, atomic clocks have progressed rapidly towards new levels of stability and systematic uncertainty. Progress in laser cooling, atom trapping and state detection has led to a diversity of atomic systems that are now amenable for use as high-accuracy frequency references. At the same time the breadth of the scientific and technological applications of these frequency measurements has increased.   In this tutorial I will provide an overview of the principles of optical atomic clocks, the technologies that make them possible and the applications that motivate their development. I will survey some recent developments in the field that I hope will put some of the new results we hear about during the conference in context.

Precise Time Scales for Timekeeping & Navigation Systems 

A time scale is the answer to the question “what time is it?” and keeping time, with several synchronized devices, is a must for metrological institutions as well as for navigation systems, and many other applications as energy transmission, telecommunication, and even managing the financial transactions. Keeping time means having appropriate clocks, measurement systems, mathematical algorithms, synchronization techniques, and a reference time. These time scale components will be reviewed in the case of the generation of the international reference time scale UTC, the coordinated universal time, and also in the timekeeping activities of the Global Satellite Navigation Systems, showing similarities, challenges, and the most promising research directions.

Frequency and Time Dissemination With Optical Fibers

The dissemination of time and frequency reference signals using optical fibers provides higher resolution than satellite techniques and is therefore the preferred choice for comparing distant atomic clocks at their ultimate accuracy over continental scales. Various techniques are possible, depending on the target application, required resolution and, last but not least, network constraints. In this tutorial, I will review the fundamentals and technical details of most relevant ones, then focus on critical aspects of their real-world implementation, characterization and data analysis. Finally, I will give an overview of novel scientific applications that become possible thanks to the capability of transferring the phase of a laser source with negligible degradation over thousands kilometers.
FEMTO-ST/Time & Frequency department, Besancon, France

Software Defined Radio for Time & Frequency Metrology: Demonstration with GNU Radio

Software Defined Radio (SDR) aims at replacing analog radiofrequency (RF) signal processing with digital implementation: following digitization of the analog signal as early as possible, all signal processing steps are implemented as software, benefiting from stability, flexibility and reconfigurability. In this tutorial we remind the audience of the basic architecture of SDR receivers and the requirements for time and frequency transfer or characterization. Basic concepts are demonstrated using the free, opensource framework GNU Radio [1] allowing not only to address signal processing methods on synthetic signals but most significantly real time processing of datastreams collected from various RF frontends. Development frameworks aimed at simplifying the FPGA/CPU co-design are introduced. The rich fields addressed using SDR hardware are illustrated with precise time of flight measurement (RADAR systems) and the general means of spectrum spreading for improving timing resolution, how digital implementations allow for correcting analog circuit imperfection (I,Q imbalance) and how this strategy is used in spaceborne RADARs and vector network analyzers, GNSS reception and spoofing/jamming mitigation by analyzing the raw radiofrequency signal characteristics and yet generating 1-PPS output whose characteristics is consistent with commercial off the shelf receivers, acoustic wave field mapping and scanning probe microscopy in general, concluding with passive RADAR for time-frequency (range-Doppler) target mapping and selection of available hardware.

Acoustoelectric Amplifier Modeling, Analysis, and Device Performance

This tutorial will present recent efforts and results for surface acoustic wave (SAW) acoustoelectric amplification (AEA), which include modelling, analysis, experimental results and predictions. The topic of the acoustoelectric effect has been studied since the 1960s with a goal of producing a simple monolithic, continuous wave (CW), low power, low noise AEA. Although the conceptualization is understood, the practical implementation has been elusive. As material and fabrication technology has advanced, recent efforts have demonstrated embodiments and paths that may  achieve a practical AEA, having net gain, terminal gain, and CW operation. The tutorial will begin with a brief review of the wave propagation model as a foundation of past efforts of acoustoelectric theory and published experimental results into the 1980s. Next, a novel theoretical and modeling approach for a SAW AEA applicable to thin film overlay resistive or semiconductor material that is within or outside the acoustic path is developed. The theory is developed for a direct coupled SAW and thin film resistive interaction layer. The analysis uses the combination of coupling of modes and charge control analysis to develop a complete model describing the small signal operation and the large signal saturation effect. The model is developed for the case of direct coupling of thin films in the propagation path or coupling electrodes either inside or outside the propagation path. The approach describes the phenomenological physics and amplifier’s key parameters. Predictions are compared to published experimental results on lithium niobate using a monolayer graphene film and bonded film overlays that yielded continuous-wave operation and a net terminal gain. Experimental results that demonstrate the SAW amplification and attenuation properties will be discussed for communication and sensor applications.

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