X-Band and Ka Band Low Noise Block Downconverter

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-11-M-1077
Agency Tracking Number: F103-178-0797
Amount: $99,238.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: AF103-178
Solicitation Number: 2010.3
Small Business Information
2071 Lemoine Avenue Suite 302, Fort Lee, NJ, -
DUNS: 145051095
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Donald Kimball
 (858) 272-8800
Business Contact
 Houman Ghajari
Title: Director
Phone: (858) 272-8800
Email: houman@maxentric.com
Research Institution
MaXentric proposes to focus on a low noise, high linearity and high reliability of the downconversion chain for this effort, and especially the AlGaN/GaN HEMT low noise block downconverter. MaXentric will employ a noise cancellation design in AlGaN/GaN low noise amplifiers (LNA) to reduce the overall noise, in conjunction with optimal gate biasing and digital predistortion to enhance the overall linearity. The technology will yield low noise amplifier"s noise figure of less than 1.5dB with 100MHz bandwidth at all powers and all receiving bands (X-band and Ka band). A tunable network provides adaptive inter-stage matching to improve the frequency agility and the linearity. BENEFIT: The X-band and Ka-band LNAs proposed by MaXentric have unprecedented interference tolerance, and distortion mitigation. For Air Force applications, the LNAs could be used on jammer aircraft. Harmonic and spurious emissions from jammers can be relatively large, and using these X-band and Ka-band LNAs may allow the aircraft to continue to communicate even when the jammers are active. The crowded conditions on decks of Navy aircraft carriers can also lead to large interfering signals, so these LNAs would be desirable for topside applications. Air Force UAVs often feature various communication pod payloads, and sometimes substitute for satellite communication relays due to their long endurance times. The communication pods may become targets for hostile jammers, and even friendly miss-pointing of other antennas. Using our proposed LNAs on the pods will allow for minimum noise figure, maximum interference tolerance, and minimum distortion. In civilian applications, X-band and Ka-band radars are sometimes used to map the earth"s crust for earthquake activity, and plate tectonics. The low noise figure and high interference tolerance of the LNA will allow for the use of lower mass diplexers with improved topological resolution. NASA also uses X-band and Ka-band for deep space communication, so the LNA can be used adjacent to low mass high power amplifiers with improved link margin. The LNAs will allow for improved link margins with and reduced filtering requirements.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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