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IEEE 1139 1999 Edition, March 26, 1999
Complete Document
Definitions of Physical Quantities for Fundamental Frequency and Time Metrology - Random Instabilities
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Methods of describing random instabilities of importance to frequency and time metrology is covered in this standard. Quantities covered include frequency, amplitude, and phase instabilities; spectral densities of frequency, amplitude, and phase fluctuations; and time-domain variances of frequency fluctuations. In addition, recommendations are made for the reporting of measurements of frequency, amplitude and phase instabilities, especially as regards the recording of experimental parameters, experimental conditions, and calculation techniques.

Techniques to characterize and to measure the frequency, phase, and amplitude instabilities in frequency and time devices and in received radio signals are of fundamental importance to all manufacturers and users of frequency and time technology.

In 1964, the Standards Coordinating Committee 14 and, in 1966, the Technical Committee on Frequency and Time were formed to prepare an IEEE standard on frequency stability. In 1969, these committees completed a document proposing definitions for measures of frequency and phase stabilities (Barnes [B12] a). In 1988, an updated IEEE standard on frequency stability was published by the IEEE as IEEE Std 1139-1988, Standard Definitions of Physical Quantities for Fundamental Frequency and Time Metrology. The recommended measures of instabilities in frequency generators have gained acceptance among frequency and time users throughout the world.

This standard is a revision of IEEE Std 1139-1988, which had been prepared by a previous Standards Coordinating Committee 14 consisting of Helmut Hellwig, Chairman; David Allan; Peter Kartaschoff; Jacques Vanier; John Vig; Gernot M. R. Winkler; and Nicholas F. Yannoni. Some clauses of the 1988 standard remain unchanged.

Most of the major manufacturers now specify instability characteristics of their standards in terms of the recommended measures. This standard thus defines and formalizes the general practice.

This revision was prepared by the Standards Coordinating Committee 27.

This standard covers methods of describing random instabilities of importance to frequency and time metrology. Quantities covered include frequency, amplitude, and phase instabilities; spectral densities of frequency, amplitude, and phase fluctuations; and time-domain measures of frequency fluctuations. In addition, recommendations are made for the reporting of measurements of frequency, amplitude and phase instabilities, especially as regards the recording of experimental parameters, experimental conditions, and calculation techniques. Basic concepts and definitions, time prediction, confidence limits when estimating the variance from a finite data set, and confidence limits for frequency domain measures are covered in the annexes. The annexes also cover translation between the frequency-domain and time-domain measures, examples on how to calculate the time-domain measures of frequency fluctuations, and an extensive bibliography of the relevant literature. Systematic instabilities, such as environmental effects and aging, are discussed in IEEE Std 1193-1994 [B40] 1 .