The objective of this activity is to design, develop and test a 10-20W class Ka-band European Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit high power amplifier with improved efficiency as needed for applications in active array antennas. This shall include the development of a European solid state fabrication process.
Targeted Improvements: At least a 10-20% improvement of power added efficiency compared with state of the art GaN-on-SiC transistors.
Future geostationary and non-geostationary communication satellites will significantly rely on active antennas. Highly efficient solid state power amplifiers are key building blocks ofsuch antennas. Currently, European sources cannot match the performance offered by non-European companies. In addition, some of thenon-European technology is expected to have export restrictions. On the other hand, process modifications, such as the use of low thermally resistive substrates, downscaling of gate length and changes of the device topology, have shown the potential to reach close to 50% Power Added Efficiency (PAE) in the lower Ka-band frequency range.
In this activity, solid state techniques shall be developed exploring European solid state processes performing better than the state-of-the-art 150 nm gate length GaN processes. A number of processing trials will be carried out to achieve a 10 - 20W class Ka-band amplifier breadboard with close to 50% PAE. This performance shall be demonstrated under continuous wave operation and in line with the derating requirements according to ECSS-Q-ST-30-11C. The developed process must be transferrable for commercialisation.