Analog-to-digital converter system uses optical clock and rapid transition from tracking mode to holding mode to improve data quality and decrease interference
The U.S. Navy seeks to commercialize U.S. Patent 7,307,266 (Optically clocked optoelectronic track and hold device).
Analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) process sensory data from real-world phenomena such as sound waves or RF waves and convert them into discrete digital numbers. This conversion process allows the data to be processed, stored or transmitted in a digital form. Applications include photograph enhancement, medical diagnostic imaging, movie special effects, telephone voice and data compression, speech recognition, radar, sonar, oil and mineral prospecting and earthquake analysis. Typical analog-to-digital converters use electronic “track and hold” devices to track (measure) the incoming data signal, then hold (transmit) the outgoing digital signal. These electronic track and hold devices have considerable errors and interference, resulting in relatively low-quality digital data. An improved track and hold device would allow an analog-to-digital converter to provide higher quality digital data with less interference.
SSC Pacific has developed a method and apparatus for an optically clocked optoelectronic track and hold device that could be used in an analog-to-digital converter to provide higher quality digital data with fewer errors. The device relies on an optical clock, which provides more accurate timing than an electronic clock, enabling the device to switch more quickly between measuring (tracking) and transmitting (holding) the analog signal. This increased rate of changing from measuring to transmitting the signal allows the device to process data more efficiently. In addition, relying on an optical clock reduces the errors in timing, known
as “jitter.” The result is an analog-to-digital conversion device that processes data more efficiently, with fewer errors and less interference, providing a clearer signal.
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- SD 860, July 2009. SSC Pacific, San Diego, CA 92152–5001. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.