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Noise - Noise is any signal present in your system that you do not want to be in the

system.

Signal-to-Noise Ratio

The signal to noise ratio is the most important statistic in any communication system.

Intelligibility is dependent upon having a good signal to noise ratio.

10 noise power 10 noise voltage

Noise Sources

External:

Natural:

Atmospheric ( mostly lightning ) - 1/f

Solar

Cosmic

Man-Made:

Welders

Ignition

60 Hz and harmonics

Radio

TV

etc.

Internal Noise Sources

White noise - also known as Johnson or thermal noise

Discovered by J.B. Johnson in 1928

Caused by thermal interaction of free electrons and vibrating ions

Random in nature

Varies in amplitude

Equal power throughout the spectrum

The equation for white noise in a metal resistor is given by:

P = kTf

n

e = 4kTfR

n

Where:

P = noise power in watts

n

e = noise voltage in volts rms

n

-23

k = 1.38 x 10 J/ K

T = temperature in K

f = bandwidth of circuit/system in Hz

Pink noise - also known as 1/f noise

Amplitude is 1/f

Of little consequence except at low frequencies

Should be infinite @ an infinite period - "big bang"

Shot noise - also known as transistor noise

Shot noise is caused by random movement of electrons within semiconductor devices.

The equation for shot noise in a diode is:

i = 2qI dc f

n

Where:

-19

q = 1.6 x 10 coulombs (C)

I = dc current in amps

dc

f = bandwidth of circuit/system in Hz

There is no exact formula for shot noise in a transistor. Shot noise generally increases

with an increase in bias current except in MOSFET's where it is relatively independent.

Noise Figure

The noise figure of an amplifier is a relative indication of the ability of an amplifier to

amplify signals without amplifying noise. It is given by the following:

NF = 10 x log = 10 x log NR

10 10

NR =

f = f

eq 2

Real filters do not have square bandpasses. Rather bandwidth is defined by the 3 db

points. Noise beyond the 3 db points contributes to noise but at a reduced rate. These

effects may be accounted for by using an equivalent bandwidth called the noise equivalent

bandwidth. It is given by:

Friss' Formula

NR = NR + + ...+

1

1. The formula for white noise is only true for metal resistors; other materials are

worse.

2. Noise effects may be minimized by cooling.

3. Noise effects may be minimized by limiting the bandwidth of the circuit/system.

4. Noise amplification may be minimized by impedance matching to transfer the

maximum noise possible out of the circuit/system.

5. Noise minimization is most important in the first stage of amplification.

Coherent Noise

Definition: - Coherent noise is noise that is in phase with the signal. If there is no signal,

there is no noise.

Amplitude Distortion: - Distortions in a signal are referred to as amplitude distortion if

we are working in the time domain.

Harmonic Distortion: - Distortions in a signal are referred to as harmonic distortion if

we are working in the frequency domain.

harmonic distortion = x 100%

Example Problem

A three stage amplifier has a 3-db system bandwith of 200 kHz determined by an LC tuned

circuit at it's input, and operates at 22 C. The first stage has a power gain of 14 db and a

NF of 3 db. The second and third stages are identical, with power gains of 20 db and NF

= 8 db. The output is 300 . The input noise is generated by a 10 k resistor. Calculate:

a. The noise and power at the input and output of the system assuming

noiseless amplifiers

b. The overall noise figure for the system

c. The actual noise voltage and power.

(a)

5

eq 2 2

-23 5 -15

P = kTf = 1.38 x 10 x (273 +22) x 3.14 x 10 = 1.28 x 10 W

n

e = 4kTfR = = 7.15 V

n

5

Total power gain = 14 db + 20 db + 20db = 54 db = 2.51 x 10

For noisless amplifiers:

5 -15 -10

P = 2.51 x 10 x 1.28 x 10 = 3.22 x 10 W

noise out

10

3.22 x 10 x 10 W=

e = 0.311 mV

noise out

(b)

With noisy amplifiers:

Pg = 14 db = 25.1

1

Pg = Pg = 20 db = 100

2 3

NF = 3 db NR = 2

1 1

NF = NF = 8 db NR = NR = 6.31

2 3 2 3

NR = NR + + ... +

1

NR = 2 + + = 2.212

NF = 10 x log NR = 10 x log (2.212) = 3.45 db

10 10

(c)

NR = = 2.212

5

P = = 2.51 x 10

g

2.212 = =

2.212 =

-10

N = 7.11 x 10 W

o

-10

7.11 x 10 W=

e = 0.462 mV

noise out

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