Electronic – a Jaffe-Rechtin PLL


Eberhardt Rechtin and Richard Jaffe (both involved in NASAs DSN) published this paper (paywalled) on PLL-design and -performance back in 1955. It is referenced quite often, so I wanted to understand what makes a "Jaffe-Rechtin"-loop or -filter. I would have expected a wiki-article on a seemingly important concept after such a long time, but found … nothing. Same for StackExchange.

From the abstract, I have the impression that a bandpass limiter in the loop is the distinctive element. Later JPL publications (this technical report f.e.) do mention bandpass limiting, but the term Jaffe-Rechtin-filter was apparently not formed in 1966.

On the other hand, I found some remarks in the IS-GPS redaction process (slide 2), that suggest that Jaffe-Rechtin-PLL is a vague term and needs clarification.

What do engineers mean when they speak about a Jaffe-Rechtin-PLL? What makes it special? Pointers to free publications are welcome if it would be lengthy to explain here.

Best Answer

Lots of maths involved in the paper.

What I read of it they contend, with mathematical proofs, that a servo controlled variable filter (bandpass limiter) that matches the error signal bandwidth (rather than the input signal) will be better (they go so far as to say approximately optimal) than simple bandpass filtering.

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