Cryogenic Behavior of the High Temperature Crystal Oscillator PX-570Microprocessors, data-acquisition systems, and electronic controllers usually require timing signals for proper and accurate operation. These signals are, in most cases, provided by circuits that utilize crystal oscillators due to availability, cost, ease of operation, and accuracy. Stability of these oscillators, i.e. crystal characteristics, is usually governed, amongst other things, by the ambient temperature. Operation of these devices under extreme temperatures requires, therefore, the implementation of some temperature-compensation mechanism either through the manufacturing process of the oscillator part or in the design of the circuit to maintain stability as well as accuracy. NASA future missions into deep space and planetary exploration necessitate operation of electronic instruments and systems in environments where extreme temperatures along with wide-range thermal swings are countered. Most of the commercial devices are very limited in terms of their specified operational temperature while very few custom-made and military-grade parts have the ability to operate in a slightly wider range of temperature. Thus, it is becomes mandatory to design and develop circuits that are capable of operation efficiently and reliably under the space harsh conditions. This report presents the results obtained on the evaluation of a new (COTS) commercial-off-the-shelf crystal oscillator under extreme temperatures. The device selected for evaluation comprised of a 10 MHz, PX-570-series crystal oscillator. This type of device was recently introduced by Vectron International and is designed as high temperature oscillator . These parts are fabricated using proprietary manufacturing processes designed specifically for high temperature and harsh environment applications . The oscillators have a wide continuous operating temperature range; making them ideal for use in military and aerospace industry, industrial process control, geophysical fields, avionics, and engine control. They exhibit low jitter and phase noise, consume little power, and are suited for high shock and vibration applications. The unique package design of these crystal oscillators offers a small ceramic package footprint, as well as providing both through-hole mounting and surface mount options.
Patterson, Richard (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Hammoud, Ahmad (ASRC Aerospace Corp. Greenbelt, MD, United States)