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Characterization of the Vectron PX-570 Crystal Oscillator for Use in Harsh EnvironmentsComputing hardware, data-acquisition systems, communications systems, and many electronic control systems require well-controlled timing signals for proper and accurate operation. These signals are, in most cases, provided by circuits that employ crystal oscillators due to availability, cost, ease of operation, and accuracy. In some cases, the electronic systems are expected to survive and operate under harsh conditions that include exposure to extreme temperatures. These applications exist in terrestrial systems as well as in aerospace products. Well-logging, geothermal systems, and industrial process control are examples of ground-based applications, while distributed jet engine control in aircraft, space-based observatories (such as the James Webb Space Telescope), satellites, and lunar and planetary landers are typical environments where electronics are exposed to harsh operating conditions. To ensure these devices produce reliable results, the digital heartbeat from the oscillator must deliver a stable signal that is not affected by external temperature or other conditions. One such solution is a recently introduced commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) oscillator, the PX-570 series from Vectron International. The oscillator was designed for high-temperature applications and as proof, the crystal oscillator was subjected to a wide suite of tests to determine its ruggedness for operation in harsh environments. The tests performed by Vectron included electrical characterization under wide range of temperature, accelerated life test/aging, shock and vibration, internal moisture analysis, ESD threshold, and latch-up testing. The parametric evaluation was performed on the oscillator's frequency, output signal rise and fall times, duty cycle, and supply current over the temperature range of -125 C to +230 C. The evaluations also determined the effects of thermal cycling and the oscillator's re-start capability at extreme hot and cold temperatures. These thermal cycling and restart tests were performed at the NASA Glenn Research Center. Overall, the crystal oscillator performed well and demonstrated very good frequency stability. This paper will discuss the test procedures and present details of the performance results.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Li, Jacob
(Vectron International Hudson, NH, United States)
Patterson, Richard L.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Hammoud, Ahmad
(ASRC Aerospace Corp. Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 26, 2013
Publication Date
May 8, 2012
Subject Category
Electronics And Electrical Engineering
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
International Conference on High Temperature Electronics (HiTEC 2012)(Albuquerque, NM)
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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