TIA's Glossary of Telecommunication Terms

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parametric amplifier (paramp)

An amplifier that (a) has a very low noise level, (b) has a main oscillator that is tuned to the received frequency, (c) has another pumping oscillator of a different frequency that periodically varies the parameters, i.e., the capacitance or inductance, of the main oscillator circuit, and (d) enables amplification of the applied signal by making use of the energy from the pumping action. Note: Paramps with a variable-capacitance main-oscillator semiconductor diode are used in radar tracking and communications Earth stations, Earth satellite stations, and deep-space stations. The noise temperature of paramps cooled to the temperature of liquid helium, about 5 K, is in the range of 20 to 30 K. Paramp gains are about 40 dB. [From Weik '89]