Cryogenic Self-Calibrating Noise Parameter Measurement System
A system for measuring the noise parameters of a device at cryogenic temperatures is described. The method includes the thermal calibration of a module consisting of a noise diode, a dispersive coupling network, a temperature sensor, heater, and a bias-tee. The magnitude and phase of the reflection coefficient presented by the module vary rapidly with frequency and the noise output of the module can be thermally calibrated by changing the temperature of the module with an internal heater. The resulting variable impedance-calibrated noise source can be used to measure noise parameters of transistors or amplifiers over a frequency range of 0.4 to 12 GHz via the wideband frequency-variation method. The calibration scheme is not unique to the module and may be applied in general to any noise source. Calibration and noise parameter measurements are made at cryogenic temperatures on a discrete transistor and two different low-noise amplifiers. The results are compared against theoretical values and those obtained using independent measurements. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first measurement of a transistor's noise parameters at cryogenic temperatures using such techniques.