Airbus Defence and Space


Quartz Crystal Oscillators (FOAMO)

The FOAMO (Foam-insulated Master Oscillator) is a miniature 10MHz ultra-stable quartz-controlled master oscillator for space applications. The oscillator provides a mission frequency control of less than ±1pp107, coupled with excellent medium and short-term stability and low phase noise. This oven-controlled quartz crystal oscillator (OCXO) uses a high-overtone SC-cut resonator fabricated from AIRBUS Group-Airbus Defence and Space-grown High Purity Quartz. This material is the purest and most highly qualified quartz in the world and provides the FOAMO resonator with excellent intrinsic radiation tolerance.

The quartz resonator at the heart of the FOAMO achieves excellent short-term and long-term stability as a result of rigorous fabrication process control and proprietary manufacturing techniques

The oscillator has been nuclear-hardened for commercial and military space applications and is designed to withstand the high levels of random vibration and shock associated with satellite missions.

Features / technical details

Main Features

  • Precision 5th-overtone SC-cut resonator
  • Uses High Purity Quartz
  • Low noise analogue RF and precision DC control circuitry in surface-mount format
  • Advanced thermal management
  • RF/supply/efc cavity for EMC
  • Co-axial voltage supply for EMC
  • EFC suitable for telecommand
  • Can be phase-locked, eg to atomic standards
  • Very light and compact for a quartz USO
  • Radiation tolerant
  • Mechanically robust – to withstand launch vibration and solar panel deployment


Frequency 10 MHz
Stability (all causes) <±1 x 10-7 (15 years)
Ageing <±1 x 10-11/day
Frequency/temperature <±1 x 10-11/ ÌŠC
Phase noise  
  1Hz -110 dBc/Hz
  10Hz -140 dBc/Hz
  100Hz -150 dBc/Hz
  >1kHz -155 dBc/Hz
Allan variance < 2 x 10 (1 s – 100 s)
Warm-up Less than ±1 x 10-8 in 10 minutes (-30 ÌŠC)
Output 10 dBm sine
Power consumption 2 W (steady state, 25°C)
Supply 10-15 volts
Size 84 x 54 x 42 mm
Weight 80-220grams, depending on configuration
Operating temperature i-30 ÌŠC to +70 ÌŠC
Radiation tolerance D100 krad
G sensivity <1 x 10-9/g

Reference customers

FOAMO master oscillators have been delivered for Inmarsat 4 and ANIK F1R, and also an identified military satellite applicatio