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V-Band Crosslink Solid-State Power Amplifiers



OBJECTIVE: Development of compact, lightweight high-power solid-state power amplifiers for V-band crosslinks. 

DESCRIPTION: Compact 59-65 GHz crosslink solid-state power amplifiers (SSPAs) are required to meet future millimeter-wave satellite communications transmit power requirements. Today’s high-power-density technologies offer significant output power increases over currently-fielded solid-state device technologies and solutions. These device technologies, coupled with innovative power combining, are expected to provide unmatched millimeter-wave power performance in compact form factors, providing increased transmit power and range benefits without increasing satellite size and weight requirements. Potential approaches for linear-efficient V-band solid-state power performance should address both the high-performance millimeter-wave transistor, innovative circuit approaches, and compact low-loss power combiner approaches. The SSPA’s performance goals include simultaneous >50-watt output power, >30 dB power gain with gain variation less than ±1 dB, and >25% power-added efficiency performance across 59-65 GHz. The SSPA’s AM-to-PM performance should reflect <5 degrees/dB through 50-watt output operation. Additional goals include an operating temperature range of -40 degrees to +85 degrees Celsius. The selected solid-state power amplifier approach should support reliable space operation and operation in radiation environments. Radiation hardening goals include greater than 1 Mrad total dose radiation tolerance. 

PHASE I: Concept design and circuit simulations of the linear-efficient 59-65 GHz microwave monolithic integrated circuit (MMIC) power amplifier based on a suitable, high-performance millimeter-wave transistor process, as well as the integrated design of the power-combined SSPA. 

PHASE II: Fabrication of the linear-efficient prototype power amplifiers (MMICs, power combiner, integrated SSPA) according to the Phase I design. Characterization of the MMICs, combiner and SSPA for linearity, output power, and efficiency under typical signal and environmental conditions. 

PHASE III: Military: Military high power amplifier applications include V-band satellite communications crosslink electronics for systems such as Advanced EHF. Commercial: Commercial V-band high power amplifier applications include ground/airborne/space electronics where millimeter-wave power sources are required. Technologies and methodologies under this effort will further benefit commercial communication networks in nearby frequency bands. 


1. K. Tsukashima, et al., An E-band 1 W-class PHEMT Power Amplifier MMIC, Microwave Integrated Circuits Conference Digest, 2015 10th European Microwave Integrated Circuits Conference.; 2. A. Brown, et al., High Power, High Efficiency E-Band GaN Amplifier MMICs, Wireless Information and Systems Digest, 2012 IEEE International Conference on Wireless Information Technology and Systems.; 3. J. Cheron et al., "High-Efficiency Power Amplifier MMICs in 100 nm GaN Technology at Ka-Band frequencies", Proc. Eur. Microw. Integ. Circuits Conf. (EuMIC), pp. 492-495, 2013.; 4. C.F. Campbell et al., "High Efficiency Ka-Band Power Amplifier MMICs Fabricated with a 0.15 um GaN on SiC HEMT Process", IEEE MTT-S Int. Dig., pp. 1-3, Jun. 2012.

KEYWORDS: V-band Crosslinks, Solid-state Power Amplifier, Power-added Efficiency, Satellite Communications 

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