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Amplifier Linearization Module


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this SBIR is to design, develop and build a prototype linearization module which can be incorporated/attached into a commercial-of-the-shelf (COTS) RF amplifier with no modification. DESCRIPTION: Many military programs/systems use commercial-of-the-shelf (COTS) products in their design, including RF amplifiers. However, these amplifiers commonly produce spurious emissions (2nd harmonic, 3rd order intermodulation, etc) due to their wideband, high power and lower cost nature. In highly sensitive, state of the art military systems this can present a problem; this is especially an issue during laboratory based R & D efforts. It is desired to have a modular solution which can be attached to a COTS amplifier with no modification which will remove, or at least greatly reduce, these spurious signals so that the amplifier can be driven near it"s compression point (to maintain efficiency) but not suffer from non-linear spurious signals. This could be accomplished through various methods and there is no preference to the method used; either a software or hardware based approach is equally acceptable. The solution needs to be compatible with high power amplifiers (~200W), provide wideband performance (~1GHz) and be operable in the VHF, UHF and low microwave (100MHz-2GHz). The system should be compact and low power to not overly increase the requirements of laboratory setups or systems. The contractor should design a system and provide a technical discussion of why it will be successful for removing/suppressing spurious signals. PHASE I: The contractor shall conduct a feasibility study to develop a compact amplifier linearization module which can improve non-linear spurs from commercial RF amplifiers. The contractor shall submit a report which shall detail the results of the feasibility study of the system to be used to perform this mission. The report should contain a description of the system, as well as technical details of how the system will perform the required task(s) and expected performance. A brief high level plan for phase II work should be included in this report in the event of a phase II selection. PHASE II: The contractor shall develop a robust prototype system based on the results of the Phase I effort. The prototype system will be able to be attached to a commercial amplifier and demonstrate an ability to remove and/or improve the spurs present in the output of the amplifier caused by non-linear affects of the amplifier. A demonstration of the system will be done at a location determined by the government. PHASE III: Based upon Phase II results the system will be improved upon and optimized for commercialization. Multiple military programs and commercial applications can benefit from this system including: R & D laboratories, cell phone providers, and electronics developers/manufactures. REFERENCES: 1. Mohamed Nezami,"Feedforward Power Amplifier Linearization for 4G Basestation", IEEE 9th Malaysia International Conference on Communications Proceedings, 2009. 2. I Meier, J B De Swardt,"Error-Feedback for Amplifier Linearization", IEEE South African Symposium on Communications Proceedings, 1998. 3. Youg-Sub Lee, Mun-Woo Lee, Yoon-Ha Jeong,"High-Power Amplifier Linearization Using the Doherty Amplifier as a Predistortion Circuit", IEEE Microwave and Wireless Components Letters, Vol 18, No 9, 2008.
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