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Characterization of Vectron PX-570 Crystal Oscillator for Use in Harsh Environments
Keywords: Crystal Oscillator, Wide Temperature, Harsh Environment
Microprocessors, 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. In some cases, electronics are expected to survive and operate under harsh conditions that include exposure to extreme temperatures. These applications exist in terrestrial as well as in aerospace. While well-logging, geothermal systems, and industrial processes are examples of ground-based applications; distributed jet engine control, space-based observatories (such as the James Webb Space Telescope), satellites, and lunar and planetary landers are typical environs where electronics are exposed to harsh operating conditions. A new commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) oscillator was recently introduced by Vectron International designed for high temperature applications. This PX-570-series crystal oscillator was subjected to a wide suite of tests to determine its ruggedness for operation in harsh environments. These evaluations 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 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, as well as, determining the effects of thermal cycling and re-start capability at extreme hot and cold temperatures were performed at the NASA Glenn Research Center, the other tests were carried out by Vectron. The crystal oscillator operated quite well with very good frequency stability, and the results will be presented in detail.
Jacob Li, Director of Engineering and Business Development
Vectron International
Hudson, NH

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