At the lunch meeting, we were thinking about the exess high frequency content of the MICH control signal, which leads to railing against the FM output limiter and lock loss. I propsed that POPDC sensor/ADC noise was the culprit.
In short, I was wrong. Just now, I locked the PRMI with a MICH offset as we normally do, and then froze the POPDC output. The MICH spectrum did not change in any noticible way.
However, increasing the analog ASDC whitening gain showed a direct improvement of the error signal noise floor, and thus a reduction in the control signal spectrum. I.e. we have been suffereing from ASDC ADC noise.
We had previously set the ASDC whitening gain so that half fringe of the PRMI would be well within the ADC range, but since we're actually only ever going to 25%, I feel fine upping this gain. Interestingly, when increasing the whitening gain by 12dB, the control signal spectrum has fallen by more like 20 dB in the 400Hz-1kHz region, which is great.
The only potential hurdle I can think of is that when we start reducing the MICH offset at zero CARM offset, we may approach ADC saturation in ASDC before we can hand off to RF signals, in which case we would have to dynamically lower the whitening gain, which introduces offsets, which could get hairy. But, since MICH railing has been directly seen to lead to lock-loss, I'd rather solve that problem first.