36th Annual
NIST Time and Frequency
Metrology Seminar

June 7 - 10, 2011



NIST Boulder Laboratories
325 Broadway
Boulder, CO 80305


The National Institute of Standards and Technology is offering a comprehensive 4-day course on understanding the characteristics of clocks and oscillators, making precise time and frequency measurements, and synchronizing precision time systems.

The 2011 Seminar will include lectures in direct-digital PM noise measurements, how to specify frequency uncertainty, oscillator needs for new radars and surveillance systems, GPS vs. other global navigation satellite systems, photonic (laser-based) oscillators, chip-scale atomic clocks, femtosecond laser dividers, active PM-noise reduction techniques in oscillators, millimeter-wave applications and noise measurements, and ultra-low noise amplifier design techniques.

Notable 2011 lecturers include:

David Allan, creator of the famous Allan variance

John Vig, quartz oscillator expert and 2009 IEEE President

Judah Levine, NIST's "Dr. Time" authority on timekeeping

Neil Ashby, expert on relativity


Basic Definitions of Terms

  • Frequency, Time, Phase, Accuracy, Stability, Noise, Jitter, Standards, Calibration, Traceability, Certification, Quality Assurance
  • Time and Frequency Fundamentals

Measurement Methods and Analysis of Oscillators, Synchronization Systems, and Phase-locked Loops

  • Digital Signal Processing Techniques
  • Frequency-Domain Performance: PM and AM Noise Measurements of Oscillators and Amplifiers
  • Time-Domain Performance: Allan Variances, Total Estimators, and other Time and Frequency Variances
  • Characterizing Clock Jitter

How to Collect, Analyze, and Interpret Real Data

  • Measurement Techniques and Analysis Examples
  • How to Use Stability Analysis Software (included in fee)

What You Need to Know about Oscillators and Frequency Standards

  • Vibration, Acceleration, and other Environmental Sensitivities
  • Quartz Crystal Resonators and Oscillators
  • Atomic Standards: Rubidium and Cesium
  • Comparing Laboratory and Commercial Frequency Standards

Testing Oscillators and Frequency Standards

  • Measurements and Instrumentation
  • Digital and Analog Approaches
  • Demonstrations of Lab Measurements
    • Time Stability
    • Frequency Stability
    • Phase Noise and Spectral Purity
    • Jitter Analysis

Using the Global Positioning System (GPS) as a Transfer Standard

  • GPS Time: What is it, How is it used, What is Typical Accuracy and Precision
  • Time and Frequency Transfer Using Common-view GPS for Highest Accuracy
  • Carrier-phase Common-view Time Transfer Using GPS for Highest Precision
  • Limitations of GPS Synchronization

Special Time and Frequency Applications

  • Two-way Satellite Time and Frequency Transfer
  • Synchronization in Telecommunications Systems, Internet Time Service, Network Time Protocols
  • Emerging Frequency, Time, and Synchronization Techniques on-chip (Chip-Scale) Cesium Standard
  • Optical Standards, Laser Cooling, and Optical Frequency Division
  • Future Applications and User Requirements

Other topics will include introductory and advanced frequency synthesis techniques, uncertainty analysis, applications in wireless cellular phones and broadband telecommunications, and aspects of legal metrology, traceability, ISO compliance, and laboratory accreditation.

This seminar is a must for planners, managers, scientists, engineers, laboratory technicians, and educators involved in the use of time and frequency systems. It presents techniques related to the analysis and evaluation of oscillators and frequency standards. It is particularly appropriate for those who are or might be responsible for certification of oscillator performance at levels where traceability to national standards is a useful part of this certification.

To see a sample of the types of time and frequency questions that are answered at the seminar, go to our Example Seminar Questions page.


What will I receive at the seminar? You will receive a concentrated, 4-day course, lecture notes and reprints, a CD and a USB key containing lecture presentations, lab demonstrations, metrology certificate of completion, the latest version of STABLE for Windows (software for frequency stability analysis), tour of NIST's primary standards and research activities, an evening reception, continental breakfasts, three lunches, refreshments, and a seminar gift.

How much experience do I need to benefit from this course? This seminar begins with the basics and proceeds to advanced topics by the end of the week. Therefore, attendees of all levels of experience are welcome.

Is this a "hands-on" course? Yes. The seminar includes a full afternoon of lab demonstrations at NIST. Several hours are devoted to analyzing a wide range of frequency and time stability data using STABLE for Windows, which is provided for you. Interactive sessions throughout the seminar allow you to ask questions to our expert lecturers.


The registration fee is $1900.

REGISTRATION DEADLINE (subject to change):
U.S. Domestic Registrants: June 1, 2011.
International Registrants: May 25, 2011.

There are two ways to register:

1.   Online Registration

2.   Fax printable registration form to (303) 206-2950

Class size is particularly limited. Attendance will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Any cancellation requests must be received in writing or by email by May 8, 2011 to be eligible for a refund of the entire registration fee. Cancellation requests received after May 8, 2011 and before 5:00 p.m. ET May 23, 2011 will be subject to a 25% cancellation fee. After 5:00 p.m. ET May 23, 2011 the attendee shall be liable for 100% of the registration fee. There is a 25% reprocessing fee to change to a different payment method once payment has been received.

Completion of this registration form constitutes an agreement between the attendee and the Federal Business Council, Inc.

NON U.S. CITIZENS PLEASE NOTE: All foreign national visitors who do not have permanent resident status and who wish to register for the Time and Frequency Metrology Seminar will be asked to provide additional information on the registration form. Failure to provide this information prior to arrival on the site will result, as a minimum, in significant delays (up to 24 hours) in entering the facility. Authority to gather this information is derived from United States Department of Commerce Department Administrative Order (DAO) number 207-12.

Questions regarding seminar topics, hand-outs, format, and participation should be sent to:

Danielle Lirette
325 Broadway, Div. 847
Boulder, CO 80305
phone: 303-497-3069, fax: 303-497-4305

Questions on hotels, transportation, activities, and registration should be sent to:

Wendy McBride
NIST-Conference Program Manager
325 Broadway, Div. 847
Boulder, CO 80305
phone: 303-497-3693, fax: 303-497-5208


A limited number of rooms are being held at The Best Western Boulder Inn and The Boulder Outlook Hotel and Suites. Reservations should be made early to ensure the group rate. Requests received after May 02, 2011 will be filled on a space available basis. For hotel reservations, please contact:

Best Western Boulder Inn
770 28th Street
Boulder, CO 80303
Phone: 303-449-3800 or 800-233-8469
Fax: 303-402-9118
Click here for internet reservations
Rates: $104 + 12.4% tax. Daily rate includes hotel's deluxe continental breakfast.
The online promotion code is "NIST".

Boulder Outlook Hotel and Suites
800 28th Street
Boulder, CO 80303
Phone: 303-443-3322 or 800-542-0304
Fax: 303-443-0397

Click here for internet reservations
Rates: $89 + 12.4% tax.**
**Group rate not available online.

Please mention NIST TIME AND FREQUENCY for the group rate.

Additional visitor information is located at: www.boulder.nist.gov/visitor-info.htm


David Howe can be reached by email: metrology@boulder.nist.gov or by phone: 303-497-3277

If you would like to receive information on the seminar, please e-mail tfsemina@boulder.nist.gov and type SUBSCRIBE in the subject line.

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