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IEEE UFFC Society Newsletter
Sept./Oct. 2012   UFFC Homepage  Editor-in-Chief: Nazanin Bassiri-Gharb
In this issue
Transactions on UFFC
For any comments, suggestions etc. please contact Editor-in-Chief Nazanin Bassiri-Gharb at

5. Plenary Presentation, In-Memoriam Session, Panel Discussion and Other Symposium Events

Plenary Talk: Harsh Environment MEMS for Energy & Power Applications
Single-Chip, Self-Powered, Wireless Sensor Systems

Albert (“Al”) P. Pisano, Professor, University of California at Berkeley

Professor Al Pisano, from University of California at Berkeley presented current research and future visions “for extreme harsh environment, MEMS wireless sensor systems fabricated from silicon carbide, aluminum nitride, and other materials with extreme chemical stability. These sensor systems are being designed, fabricated, optimized, characterized and applied to the special task of obtaining temperature, acceleration, pressure, strain, rotation rate information in such extreme environments as gas turbines, automobile engines and electrical power plants.”
     The discussed systems included high-temperature RF components, energy harvesting devices and SiC JFET circuits that can survive combustion environments, including some prototypes that have survived, without encapsulation, exposure to steam at 600ºC, and subsequent shocks of 64,000 g. A number of thin film materials, suitable for fabrication via MEMS methods, were also described as candidates for application to this sensor suite.


In Memoriam

Professor Norman F. Ramsey, one of the pioneers in the physics of atomic clocks, died in November 2011 at the age of 96. Ramsey’s career is comparable to few: he held a total of five degrees in physics, driven in large part by his thirst for knowledge; he worked on the development of radar and the atomic bomb in World War II; in the field of frequency control, Ramsey invented the separated oscillatory field interrogation technique, widely used today in atomic clocks, earning a Nobel Prize for this work in 1989; with Dan Kleppner, Ramsey invented the hydrogen maser; Ramsey taught at Harvard for nearly four decades, mentored 77 graduate students; Ramsey participated in the founding of Brookhaven NationalLaboratory; he was instrumental in the founding of Fermilab. Ramsey was described by aHarvard as a tall man with bright white hair who gestured energetically and walked briskly. “He had a messianic quality when talking about his work,”
     We will honor Norman Ramsey’s contributions and his work in a Memorial Session at IFCS 2012.

Sadly, our community has, since our last conference, lost five individuals whose technical contributions will be lasting and whose friendship will be fondly remembered.

     Additional information regarding the contributions of these individuals can be found on the IEEE UFFC website in the “In Memoriam” portion of the Frequency Control Section.

Kusters Leschiutta
John A. (Jack) Kusters
Sigfrido Leschiutta
Mansfeld Gagnepain
George D. Mansfeld
Jean-Jacques Gagnepain


Invited Papers
Group 1: Materials, Resonators, & Resonator Circuits
Farrokh Ayazi Tuning, Trimming, and Compensation of MEMS Resonators
Jan Kuypers, Wafer-Level Chip Scale MEMS Oscillator for Wireless Applications
Takeo Oita, Fabrication Aspects for RF Quartz MEMS Devices

Group 2: Oscillators, Synthesizers, Noise, & Circuit Techniques
Enrico Rubiola, Phase Noise in DDS
Mike Underhill, Time Jitter and Phase Noise – Now and in the Future?
Jeremy Everard, Low Phase Noise Signal Generation, Models and Theory, Oscillators and Their Key Elements, Fractional Regenerative Frequency Division, Teaching
Harmeet Bhugra, Introducing High Performance Crystal FreeTM pMEMS Oscillators

Group 3 & 6: Microwave Frequency Standards & Optical Frequency Standards and Applications
Gaetano Mileti, Double Resonance in Alkali Vapor Cells for High Performance and Miniature Atomic Clocks
Nils Huntemann, Optical Clock Based on the Octupole Transition in 171Yb+
Peter Rosenbusch, Spin-Pair Interactions in a Trapped Atom Clock
Ana Maria Rey, Probing Many-Body Spin Interactions with an Optical Lattice Clock
Hidetoshi Katori, Prospects for Frequency Comparison of Sr and Hg Based Optical Lattice Clocks Toward 10^-18 Uncertainties

Group 4: Sensors & Transducers
Robert Weigel, SAW and CMOS RFID Transponder-Based Wireless Systems and Their Applications
Mike Larsen, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Gyroscope
Michael Kraft, Control System for MEMS Gyroscope

Group 5: Timekeeping, Time and Frequency Transfer, GNSS Applications
Chris Hegarty, GNSS Signals - an Overview
Nicola Chiodo, A Coherent Optical Links for Free-Space Time and Frequency Transfer: Recent Results and Progress
Elisa Felicitas Arias, Timescales generation at the BIPM – Present and future

Judah Levine, NIST, assembled twelve lectures in Tutorials. The lectures, 2 hours long each, were delivered to 57 registered attendees with three parallel tracks.  The lecture topics and the lecturers were: the Principles of Atomic Clocks by Robert Lutwak, Symmetricom; Optical Frequency Standards by Michael J. Martin, JILA, University of Colorado; GPS Code/Carrier-Phase Time/Frequency Transfer by Christine Hackman, US Naval Observatory; Calibration of GNSS Receivers for Time Transfer by Marc Weiss, NIST, Boulder;  Noise and power spectral analysis by Craig Nelson, NIST; High Resolution Time and Frequency Counters by Enrico Rubiola, CNRS, Besancon; High Frequency Acoustic Resonator Quality Factor Measurements by Richard Ruby and Steve Ortiz, Avagotech; MEMS gyroscope theory and design by Gary K. Fedder, Carnegie Mellon University; Introduction to Quartz and MEMS Resonators and Oscillators by Farrokh Ayazi and John Vig; Compact Modeling of Resonators and Oscillators with Verilog-A by Koen van Caekenberghe; MEMS Resonators for Frequency Control and Sensing Applications by Gianlucca Piazza;  Nanoscale Electromechanical Sensors and their Emerging Applications by Philip Feng, Case Western Reserve University.

Exhibits Chair Doug Lowrie, Symmetricom, coordinated with exhibitors. A total of seventeen exhibitors participated: Advanced Chemical Solutions LLC; Advanced Modular Systems; Brilliant Instruments, Inc.; Excelitas Technologies; Frequency Electronics, Inc.; Guidetech; Holzworth Instrumentation; Noise XT; Pascal Electronics Ltd.; Polytech, Inc.; Precision Test Systems Ltd.; Sansei Showa Co., Ltd.; Saunders & Associates; Spectradynamics, Inc.; Symmetricom; Synergy Microwave Corp., XECO, Inc.

Special thanks go to the financial and volunteer supporting organizations: IEEE UFFC-S, National Institute of Standards and Technology, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Frequency Electronics, Inc., Symmetricom, Synergy Microwave, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems.

Panel Session
Session Chair: Warren Walls, U.S. Naval Observatory


Subject: What Comes after the Cs Beam Clock?
Panelists: Martin Bloch, Frequency Electronics, Inc., Dave Howe, NIST, Robert Lutwak, Symmetricom, Robert Tjoelker, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Lute Maleki, OEwaves, Inc.
Coordinated System Timing involves three fundamental parts: The reference standard, a time transfer method, and a local flywheel clock. The reference standard or Master Clock maybe comprised of an ensemble of many high performance, fixed or laboratory clocks, or even a peer in a network. The time transfer method may be fiber optic, copper, dedicated satellite link, a method that involves GPS, or even portable clock trips. The local or flywheel clock must maintain the local time reference to within the tolerance allowed by the mission during the time that the time transfer link may not be present.
     For over 40 years the Cesium Beam Tube Clock has been used for calibration trips, two-way satellite time transfer missions, flywheel clocks, and even the reference clock. Its particular niche in the Time and Frequency Community is a clock that has moderate size, weight, and power in exchange for premium long term stability.
     If one needs time on the order of nanoseconds then the time transfer method and the local flywheel clock needs to be very stable over an extended period. What types of missions and what types of clock technologies are available or should be pushed to provide the performance that meets or exceeds the cesium beam tube clock? Is there an upgrade path for the cesium beam tube clock? Are there promising new technologies from electronics to physics on the horizon?

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