I'm reading about spectrum analyzers from Keysight's AN 150 and I have two questions regarding phase noise.
The AN states:
No oscillator is perfectly stable. Even though we may not be able to see the actual frequency jitter of a spectrum analyzer LO system, there is still a manifestation of the LO frequency or phase instability that can be observed. This is known as phase noise (sometimes called sideband noise).
Another paragraph that confuses me is this one:
If we reduce the resolution bandwidth by a factor of 10, the level of the displayed phase noise decreases by 10 dB.
My two questions are:
- Why is it that lack of accuracy in LO system leads to the skirt we see on the display when looking at phase noise? I would expect that, if the frequency of the LO shows some error, then the peak in amplitude on the display should by displaced by that error. Why is it that the peak is on the correct place and those weird skirts are produced? I'm not being able to intuitively understand how the display recieves that shape due to LO unstability.
- I think that if the IF filter is wide enough, then the phase noise would be hidden under the skirt of the filter itself, thus the phase noise wouldn't be easy to appreciate. If the IF filter is narrow, the phase noise shows up. Thus, I believe that reducing the RBW increases phase noise. So why does the AN state that reducing the RB decreases the level of phase noise?