parametric amplifier

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parametric amplifier

(pa-ră-met -rik) A type of negative-resistance amplifier that employs a nonlinear circuit element, such as a varactor diode, to act as a time-varying capacitance. These amplifiers have low noise figures at high frequencies and are useful in radio telescopes in the range 1–30 gigahertz.

Parametric Amplifier


a radio-electronic device in which the power level of a signal is increased by means of energy from an external source—a pump—that periodically varies the capacitance or inductance of a nonlinear reactive element in the electric circuit of the amplifier. Parametric amplifiers are used mainly in radio astronomy, in long-range space and satellite communication, and in radar low-noise amplifiers of weak signals at the input of radio-receiving equipment, principally in the

Figure 1. Equivalent circuits of parametric amplifiers: (a) negative resistance amplifier, (b) amplifying-up converter. Symbols: (uin) input signal at carrier frequency fx; (uin) pump voltage; (uout) output signal at carrier frequency fx; (uout) output signal at carrier frequency (fs+ fp);(Tr1) input transformer; (Tr2) output transformer; (Trp) transformer in the pump circuit; (D) varactor diode; (L) inductance coil in the oscillatory circuit tuned to the frequency (fs + fp); (Φs), (Φsp), and (Φp) electric filters that have low impedance at, respectively, the frequencies fs, (fs + fp), and fo and sufficiently high impedance at all other frequencies.

superhigh-frequency range. The reactive element commonly used in these amplifiers is a varactor diode. In addition, electron-beam parametric amplifiers are used in the superhigh-frequency range, and ferrite, or ferromagnetic, in the low-frequency (audiofrequency) region.

Two-frequency, or two-circuit, parametric amplifiers are the most common. In the centimeter range these are negative resistance amplifiers that maintain the signal frequency (Figure 1,a), and for the decimeter range these are amplifying-up converters (Figure 1,b). The receiving oscillatory circuit and the oscillatory circuit tuned to the auxiliary, or idler, frequency (which is usually equal to the difference or the sum of the signal and pump frequencies) are generally in the form of cavity resonators containing varactor diodes. The pumps use avalanche transit time diodes, Gunn diodes, varactor frequency multipliers, and, more rarely, reflex klystrons. In most cases, the pump and the idler frequencies are chosen close to the critical frequency fcr of the varactor diode—that is, close to the frequency at which the parametric amplifier no longer amplifies; in addition, the signal frequency must be substantially less than fcr. In order to achieve minimal noise temperatures (10°-20°K or less), parametric amplifiers are cooled to the temperature of liquid nitrogen (77°K), the temperature of liquid helium (4.2°K), or intermediate temperatures (usually 15°-20°K). For amplifiers that are not cooled, the noise temperature is 50°-100°K or more. The maximum obtainable gain and bandwidth of a parametric amplifier depend basically on the parameters of the reactive element. Power gains of 10 to 30 decibels and bandwidths of 10 to 20 percent of the signal carrier frequency have been achieved.


Etkin, V. S., and E. M. Gershenzon. Parametricheskie sistemy SVCh na poluprovodnikovykh diodakh. Moscow, 1964.
Lopukhin, V. M., and A. S. Roshal’. Elektronnoluchevye parametricheskie usiliteli. Moscow, 1968.
SVCh—poluprovodnikovye pribory i ikh primenenie. Moscow, 1972. (Translated from English.)
Kopylova K. F., and N. V. Terpugov. Parametricheskie emkostnye usiliteli nizkikh chastot. Moscow, 1973.
Penfield, P., and R. Rafuse. Varactor Applications Cambridge, Mass., 1962.


parametric amplifier

[¦par·ə¦me·trik ′am·plə‚fī·ər]
A highly sensitive ultra-high-frequency or microwave amplifier having as its basic element an electron tube or solid-state device whose reactance can be varied periodically by an alternating-current voltage at a pumping frequency. Also known as mavar; paramp; reactance amplifier.
A device consisting of an optically nonlinear crystal in which an optical or infrared beam draws power from a laser beam at a higher frequency and is amplified.
References in periodicals archive ?
The problem with many parametric amplifiers and sensitive devices like it, however, is that they can only amplify a narrow frequency range and often have a poor dynamic range.
Ivanovs, "Investigation of fiber optical parametric amplifier performance in DWDM transmission systems", Elektronika Ir Elektrotechnika, vol.
Due to the facts mentioned above, recently a lot of attention has been focused on implementation of alternative types of optical amplifiers in optical transmission systems, especially to fiber optical parametric amplifiers (FOPA).
Influence of zero dispersion wavelength variations on cross-talk in single-pumped fiber optic parametric amplifiers // Optics Communications.
Q penalties due to pump phase modulation and pump RIN in fiber optic parametric amplifiers with non-uniform dispersion // Optics Communications.
Hedekvist, "Fiber-based optical parametric amplifiers and their applications", IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, vol.
Peucheret, "Demonstration of cascaded in-line single-pump fiber optical parametric amplifiers in recirculating loop transmission", in European Conf.
Agrawal "Fiber-optic parametric amplifiers in the presence of polarization-mode dispersion and polarization-dependent loss", J.
Agrawal, "Fiber-optic parametric amplifiers for lightwave systems", University of Rochester, 2005, pp.
Contract notice: Amplified laser system and optical parametric amplifiers to form the core of their new Laser laboratory.
The University of Sheffield~s Faculty of Science is out to tender for an amplified laser system and optical parametric amplifiers to form the core of their new Laser laboratory.
with two optical parametric amplifiers (opa) for the spectroscopic study of molecules at interfaces in the ultraviolet, visible, near-infrared and infrared spectral range.