The DEFYS Project was created by DARPA in search of “innovative research proposals in the area of dynamics-enabled frequency sources. The program goal is to develop compact frequency sources capable of maintaining low phase noise under high accelerations or vibrations and over a wide temperature range.”
The program has three main objectives: to use nonlinearity to reduce phase noise, to tune the system to optimize performance for a certain noise level, and to implement innovative engineering.
The Turner group approaches this challenge by using laser doppler vibrometers to test and visualize the behavior of cutting-edge resonators, which allows us to see the physical locations where energy loss occurs. This knowledge is then used to improve on the geometry of these devices.
Data acquisition at a single spatial point is also useful in characterizing the nonlinear behavior of resonators as frequency and power sweeps are executed.