Objective of the activity is to design, manufacture and experimentally verify a multi-purpose Ku-band High Power Amplifier (HPA) building block and to assess the overall performance of a linearized Solid State Power Amplifier (SSPA) based on this HPA.
Targeted Improvements: Power added efficiency at SSPA level equivalent to a linearized travelling wave tube amplifier in multicarrier operation, i.e. in the range of 45% for the multicarrier operation point, not existing today in Europe.
Description: When it comes to power amplification on-board satellites, the travelling wave tube amplifier (TWTA) is quite often the preferred choice due toits inherent high RF power efficiency. However TWTA power efficiency tends to degrade quickly in back-off and the solid state poweramplifier (SSPA) may offer an alternative solution whilst retaining comparable efficiency. Gallium nitride technology (GaN) is gradually replacing the conventional gallium arsenide technology (GaAs) due to a number of advantages, including higher power density, higher junction temperature and better ruggedness. These factors can be translated into an improved efficiency at building block level and thus at equipment level.
The aim of this activity is to design a complete SSPA, based on a high efficiency HPA building blockexploiting a suitable technology such as GaN. The focus shall be on achieving the highest possible efficiency for the HPA, as this is the main driver of the overall SSPA efficiency. The power amplifier building block shall be designed to be scalable in power whilst retaining the same efficiency. At SSPA level the development of a specific lineariser shall be part of the development. Overall, it is targetedto achieve in the range of 45% (multicarrier) power efficiency at -15dBc noise power ratio (NPR). European semiconductor technology shall be preferred.