Duty Cycle Measurement

In duty cycle measurements, the duty cycle of pulses is measured. Each pulse consists of a pulse top and a pulse bottom. The duty cycle measurement now determines the ratio of the two quantities, which can also be expressed by the ratio of pulse duration to period duration.

Example of a duty cycle measurement

If the frequency scans for 300 nanoseconds within a period duration of 1 microsecond, the duty cycle is 30 %.
The values of the duty cycle measurement are expressed either as a ratio percentage or by a real number between 0 and 1. A duty cycle of 50 % is also called a symmetrical pulse.

Significance and benefits of duty cycle measurement

The duty cycle measurement is of great importance for the transmission of signals or modulation methods such as pulse width modulation (PWM). The benefit of duty cycle measurements is that not only an average power of the pulse strength is given, but the duty cycle also allows statements to be made about the ratio of the pulse power to the period duration. Furthermore, by varying the duty cycle, the electrical voltage and power can be controlled without power loss.

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