European Space Agency






CC for Advanced Tech

Price Range

> 500 KEURO


The objective of the activity is to design, manufacture and test a breadboard of a 5W Q-band flexible output power amplifier moduleusing low loss spatial combining techniques. Furthermore, the use of the 5 W module to achieve higher power of up to 40 W - 80 W shall be demonstrated and evaluated as an alternative to vacuum tubes.

Targeted Improvements:- Enabling European technology development and demonstration of 20% power added efficiency at 15 dBc NPR and 3 GHz bandwidth at 5W output power not existing today;- 40 - 80 W output power solid state amplifiers not available in Europe.

Description:Utilisation of Q- and V-band frequencies (downlink and uplink respectively) is needed to satisfy the throughput and connectivity requirements of future satellite communication systems. A key element of such systems is the high power amplifier. Space qualified Q-band TWTAs of 40 W and above are available but are not compatible with the accommodation constraints and output power requirements of some applications. In Europe, Q-band semiconductor-based power amplifiers are currently limited to about 1 W CW.A Q-band Solid State Power Amplifier (SSPA) module providing 5W CW RF output power would satisfy this need. Furthermore, it would be an enabler for higher power amplifiers in the range of 40 - 80 W, through application of suitable spatial combining and thermal management techniques.

High power Q-band SSPAs could replace TWTAs in high throughput geostationary satellites and, with frequency scaling of the technology to V-band, in ground stations. Q-band SSPAs with apower level of 45W are feasible and have already been demonstrated outside of Europe for ground segment and space applications. Recent advances of European semiconductor technologies (e.g. 0.1 um GaN technology and 70nm GaAs technology), packaging, housing and circuit topologies are enabling the efficiency and output power needed for European Q-Band SSPA products.

In this activity,a breadboard of a 5 W Q-band amplifier module using European technology will be developed, manufactured and tested. This will include a suitable spatial combining and thermal management technique to reduce the power combining losses to a minimum. Scalability and a concept for a 40 - 80 W SSPA will be demonstrated by design and analysis. The technology building blocks (basic RF, MMIC, circuit design, combining techniques etc.) developed in this activity will be scalable to V-band so that the technology may also be exploited in ground segment applications.

Tender Specifics