Phase Tracking Receivers

© Brooke Clarke, N6GCE

Background

Phase tracking receivers were used in applications where very feeble received signals were needed to be received.  One example is the case of  a deep space satellite where the telemetry signals can be received here on Earth.  Nems-Clark (catalog.pdf) telemetry receivers comes to mind.  Another example is the case of a precision timing receiver that is tracking either the Mark or Space signal of a narrow shift encrypted military VLF RTTY station or WWVB on 60 kHz  or WWVL (when it was on 20 kHz) maybe they also used to track the Omega navigation signals when they were on the air

Receivers

EEC 880A VLF Receiver

10 to 30 kHz & 60 kHz
requires external 100 kHz input
See patent 3163523 below for details
bandwidth can be a narrow as 0.001 Hertz i.e. 1 milli Hertz.

EEC 881-M VLF Receiver

Modular construction, 3 front removable sections
10 to 30 kHz & 60 kHz
requires external 100 kHz input

Textran 599 VLF Tracking Receiver

Modular construction:
  • 599-500 Power Supply
  • 599-402 Phase Servo
  • 599-300 AGC-Phase
  • 599-102 Synthesizer   10 to 29.9 kHz
  • 599-200 Receiver

Patents

3163523 Digital Receiver Tuning System Dec 29, 1964  (EEC) 455/182.1; 324/76.47; 324/76.55; 324/76.79; 327/113; 327/220; 331/18; 331/23;455/183.1; 455/260

3130376 Wide Range Signal Generator April 21, 1964 (Hull Instruments)  331/18; 327/101; 327/114; 331/1A; 455/119 - PLL synthesizer

3117280 Timing Signal Receiver Jan 7, 1964 (Sperry Rand Corp.) 455/208; 327/141; 342/356; 342/387; 455/216; 455/260 - used to set the local clock in deep space satellite tracking stations.  300 kHz carrier signal?

2854579 Frequency Division Circuit Arrangment Sep 30, 1958 (N. American Philips) 327/117; 327/115; 331/16; 331/18; 331/23; 331/51; 331/76; 331/175 - phase locking TV timing signals

2743362 Automatic Frequency Control Apr 24, 1956 (Bell Labs)  331/2; 318/606; 331/4; 331/11; 331/13; 331/22; 331/31; 331/33; 331/35; 331/36R; 331/64; 455/119

2678347 Television Control System May 11, 1954 ( 380/221; 327/231; 331/150 - anly authorized viewers can see image

2595608  Automatically Tuned Wide Range Receiver and Transmitter May 6 1952 (RCA) Class 455/180.1; 331/11; 331/13; 331/22; 331/31; 455/77

2521789 Frequency Control by Electronic Counter Chains, I.E. Grosdoff, RCA, Sep 12, 1950,  331/18 ; 327/6; 327/7; 331/34; 331/51; 377/2

2492218 Harmonic Generator, G. Gunanella, Dec 27, 1949, Radio Patents Corp.,  331/43 ; 331/180; 331/77; 332/120

2452601 Frequency Control Means, R.H. Ranger, U.S. Army, Nov 2, 1948, 331/40 ; 331/177R; 331/26; 331/29; 331/35; 334/28; 455/75

2406125 Frequency Stablizing System, M. Ziegler, Aug 20, 1946, 331/10 ; 331/31; 331/32; 331/34; 331/64

2405765

2248442

2240428

2175320

2152336

References

NBS Special Publication 559 Time and Frequency User's Manual - Page 66 & 67 paragraph 4.8 Phase Lock Techniques has a general description of how this works

Table of Frequencies -

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