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Title: Timing signals and radio frequency distribution using ethernet networks for high energy physics applications
Author: Oliveira Fernandes Moreira, P. M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5365 7348
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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Timing networks are used around the world in various applications from telecommunications systems to industrial processes, and from radio astronomy to high energy physics. Most timing networks are implemented using proprietary technologies at high operation and maintenance costs. This thesis presents a novel timing network capable of distributed timing with subnanosecond accuracy. The network, developed at CERN and codenamed “White- Rabbit”, uses a non-dedicated Ethernet link to distribute timing and data packets without infringing the sub-nanosecond timing accuracy required for high energy physics applications. The first part of this thesis proposes a new digital circuit capable of measuring time differences between two digital clock signals with sub-picosecond time resolution. The proposed digital circuit measures and compensates for the phase variations between the transmitted and received network clocks required to achieve the sub-nanosecond timing accuracy. Circuit design, implementation and performance verification are reported. The second part of this thesis investigates and proposes a new method to distribute radio frequency (RF) signals over Ethernet networks. The main goal of existing distributed RF schemes, such as Radio-Over-Fibre or Digitised Radio-Over-Fibre, is to increase the bandwidth capacity taking advantage of the higher performance of digital optical links. These schemes tend to employ dedicated and costly technologies, deemed unnecessary for applications with lower bandwidth requirements. This work proposes the distribution of RF signals over the “White-Rabbit” network, to convey phase and frequency information from a reference base node to a large numbers of remote nodes, thus achieving high performance and cost reduction of the timing network. Hence, this thesis reports the design and implementation of a new distributed RF system architecture; analysed and tested using a purpose-built simulation environment, with results used to optimise a new bespoke FPGA implementation. The performance is evaluated through phase-noise spectra, the Allan-Variance, and signalto- noise ratio measurements of the distributed signals.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available