Multipaction Resistant RF Components for Satellites
Satellite RF components suffer from an additional design limitation that does not concern their terrestrial counterparts: multipaction, an electron avalanche effect that can reduce performance or permanently damage devices under certain conditions. To avoid the onset of this effect, the traditional options are increasing the component size (more specifically, gap widths) or reducing operating power. Given the cost per weight to deploy satellite systems, both of these options result in exponential increases in the price per watt of transmission. In the Phase I, Nokomis demonstrated the potential of a new approach to multipactor mitigation for the development of multipactor-resistant components that allow for increased power handling and performance with improved reliability. In the Phase II, Nokomis will build and test components enhanced with the mitigation technology at high power under vacuum and compare them to otherwise identical unenhanced components to assess their relative multipactor susceptibility and demonstrate the value of the coating technology. Based on Phase I results, it is expected that the enhancement effects of the coatings will allow for increases of more than an order of magnitude in power handling without reducing performance.
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