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High Power Solid State Amplifiers


OBJECTIVE: Develop High Peak and Average Power solid-state amplifiers for Surface Navy Radars. DESCRIPTION: This topic seeks to replace existing klystron tubes with state of the art solid state amplifiers (see references 1-4) The required innovation is implementation of solid state power amplifiers to replace high power Klystron tubes, the developed approach must replace the functionality of existing Klystron tubes through solid state amplifiers combining with minimized losses and maximized efficiency. The existing klystron tubes are exhibiting decreasing availability; they have complicated shipboard maintenance causing increased maintenance costs and performance impacts. Availability and reliability of existing vacuum tube klystrons are important issues currently impacting Navy cost and system availability due to obsolescence and diminishing manufacturing sources. The klystron is an RF amplifier used in surface search Navy radar. The Navy is seeking innovative reliable solid-state, modularized, amplifier that will provide graceful degradation capability, allow hot swapping of amplifier units, and increase critical path Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) for the radar system. Developer of the new amplifier may use technology such as, high power Laterally Diffused Metal Oxide Semiconductor (LDMOS) circuits or alternative innovative reliable solid-state electronics circuits, utilizing a minimum number of amplifier modules combined to approximate the output power of the klystron utilized in shipboard radars. This technology will eliminate high voltage radar transmitter components typical of a klystron amplifier. The Navy is seeking a solid-state amplifier design that will be retrofitable in existing transmitter cabinets and will be forward fit capable for new installations. Successful technology implementation will depend on radio frequency (rf) combiner technology which minimizes combining losses for maximum efficiency. Also, automatic switching of standby amplifier units, rf driver amplifiers, and dc power supplies is desirable to minimize maintenance intervention. The operational requirements of radars and the components used in the radars can vary significantly based upon frequency of the application and the physical and electrical parameters. Because of the unique requirements of the Navy, the Navy has determined that commercial radar technology does not meet Navy radar requirements. Innovation is needed to increase capability and performance of existing state of the art to enable form, fit, and function replacement of klystrons. The new transmitter will need to demonstrate greater than 99% Transmitter Availability with one transmitter. The transmitter will incorporate Lowest Repairable Unit (LRU) Hot Swapping with Automatic LRU replacement for both final power amplifiers and driver amplifier units. Automatic failover using Standby Units will be demonstrated. Graceful end-of-life degradation shall be demonstrated utilizing automatic rf combiner impedance transformation circuitry, without interruption to transmitter radiate operation. Additionally, innovation is needed to assure that Final Power Amplifiers, Driver Amplifiers, and Power Supplies shall be hot-swappable, thus reducing total ownership costs. For example the Transmitter is fully operating, and without interrupting the Transmitter output power, any amplifier LRU must be capable of physical removal and replacement. This capability will be performed while the unit is operating under full load without shutting down the Transmitter or adjusting any settings on the unit or the Transmitter, without incurring any damage to the LRU or Transmitter, and without any harmful rf exposure to the operator. No special tools will be required to hot-swap the LRU. PHASE I: The company will develop concepts for an improved solid-state amplifier that meet the requirements described above. The company will demonstrate the feasibility of the concepts in meeting Navy needs and will establish that the concepts can be feasibly developed into a useful product for the Navy. Feasibility will be shown by material testing, design element testing, and analytical modeling. The small business will provide a Phase II development plan with performance goals and key technical milestones, and will address technical risk reduction. PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I and the Phase II development plan, the small business will develop a prototype for evaluation as appropriate. The prototype will be evaluated to determine its capability in meeting the performance goals defined in the Phase II development plan and the Navy requirements for the solid-state amplifier. System performance will be demonstrated through prototype evaluation and modeling or analytical methods over the required range of parameters including numerous deployment cycles. Evaluation results will be used to refine the prototype into an initial design that will meet Navy requirements. The company will prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology to Navy use. PHASE III: If Phase II is successful, the company will be expected to support the Navy in transitioning the technology for Navy use. The company will develop a solid-state amplifier for evaluation to determine its effectiveness in an operationally relevant environment. The company will support the Navy for test and validation to certify and qualify the amplifier for Navy use. PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: The potential for commercial applications includes airport weather radar systems and other than military government radars. REFERENCES: [1] Marchand, P.; Diop, M., Lopes; R, Polian, J.; Ribeiro, F.; Ruan, T.;"High Power (35 kW and 190 kW) 352 MHz Solid State Amplifiers for the Soleil Synchrotron"Particle Accelerator Conference, 2005. PAC 2005. Proceedings of the Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/PAC.2005.1590572 Publication Year: 2005, Page(s): 811 813. [2] Hu, Bei; Feng, Yanmin;"The 1000W microwave solid state power amplifier at Ku band Radar (Radar)", 2011 IEEE CIE International Conference on Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/CIE-Radar.2011.6159773 Volume: 2, Publication Year: 2011, Page(s): 1211 1214. [3] Fent, Ni Jianhong; Fang, Hao; Feng, Chaoyang; Wang, Jianwei, Liu; Design of an X-band high power solid state power amplifier based on GaN HEMT Microwave and Millimeter Wave Technology (ICMMT), 2010 International Conference on Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/ICMMT.2010.5524802 Publication Year: 2010, Page(s): 1916 - 1918. [4] Kim, Ki Ho; Lee, Yu Ri; Joo, Ji Han; Choi, Gil Woong; Kim, Hyung Jong; Choi, Jin Joo; Park, Dong Min; 2.7 - 3.1 GHz, 1.5 kW Pulsed Solid-State Power Amplifier with Automatic Gain Equalization Circuit for Radar Application Radar Conference, 2007 IEEE Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/RADAR.2007.374404 Publication Year: 2007, Page(s): 1044 - 1048.
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