Objective: This activity is to demonstrate a high linearity GaN mixer device, which can be used for up- and down-converters.
Targeted Improvements: Improved Linearity, Bandwidth, and Noise Figure of Frequency Converters operating in Ka-Bands
Description: Mixers are a common sub-circuit utilized in the frequency converters of telecom payloads. High Throughput Satellites require a large number of frequency converters (>200 for future mission designs) and hence a large number of mixers are needed. Today, high linearity mixers are made in GaAs (Gallium Arsenide), which are approaching their limits in terms of wideband operation, which precludes specific frequency tuning.
The major benefit of using GaN devices is the high linearity performance due to the material wide band gap. (Frequency converter design is always a compromise between linearity and noise figure). Additionally a high breakdown voltage is obtained with GaN technology, therefore enabling more robust devices for space application. The activity will therefore be to investigate the suitability, and to demonstrate, the improved performance that may be possible using a GaN mixer via the design and development of an Engineering Model frequencyconverter stage.
The current state of art mixers used within 30/20 GHz down-converters have an input IP3 limited to +20 dBm, a maximum bandwidth of 6 GHz, and will be discontinued soon. Whereas the achievable targets for the GaN mixerare +25 dBm on input IP3, minimum of 8 GHz of bandwidth, and ACPR = - 77 dBc.
Procurement Policy: C(1) = Activity restricted to non-prime contractors (incl. SMEs). For additional information please go to EMITS news "Industrial Policy measures for non-primes, SMEs and RD entities in ESA programmes".