Airbus Defence and Space


OCXO Quartz Crystal Oscillator

The OCXO (Oven Controlled Crystal Oscillator) is a miniature, stable, high frequency quartz-controlled master oscillator for space applications. The oscillator provides a mission frequency control of less than ±2pp107, coupled with excellent medium and short-term stability and low phase noise. This oven-controlled quartz crystal oscillator uses a high-overtone SC-cut resonator fabricated from Airbus Defence and Space-grown High Purity Quartz. This material is the purest and most highly qualified quartz in the world and provides the OCXO resonator with excellent intrinsic radiation tolerance.

Features / technical details

Main features

  • Provides 100 MHz high stability output with excellent phase noise
  • Precision 5th-overtone SC-cut resonator
  • Uses Airbus Defence and Space-grown High Purity Quartz for radiation tolerance
  • Very small, with low mass and power consumption


Frequency 10 MHz – or custom, e.g. 5-15 MHz
Frequency/temperature <±1x10-11/°C
Stability (all causes) <±1x10-7 (15 years)
Ageing (over life) <±1x10-11/day
Low phase noise
Allan variance <2x10-12 (1s – 100s)
Warm-up Less than ±1x10-8 in 10 minutes (-30°C)
Output 6.5dBm sine
Power consumption <1W (steady state, 25C)
Supply 12 volts
Size 25 x 25 x 17mm
Weight 40 grams


  • Very light and compact
  • Radiation tolerant – total dose and prompt radiation
  • Mechanically robust – to withstand launch vibration and solar panel deployment


  • Co-axial voltage supply for EMC
  • EFC suitable for telecommand
  • Can be phase-locked, e.g. to a quartz master oscillator


  • Operating temperature: -20°C to +70°C
  • Radiation tolerance: 100krad
  • G-sensitivity: <1x10-9/g
  • Vibration: 44grms


The OCXO can be used as the master frequency reference in spaceborne applications where a high frequency is required, together with good frequency stability, low mass, and size and power consumption.

Also as a low noise VHF VCO in satellite-based frequency generation applications.

Reference customers

ESA Hylas, Telstar-II