Low Cost 30GHz SSPA Development

Status date

The success of future Ka-Band interactive multimedia satellite systems is to a large extent dependent on the cost of the user terminals. A large proportion of the terminal cost is dedicated to the outdoor unit, which contains the Ka-band radio frequency equipment. Presently, one of the most expensive and critical components in the outdoor unit is the Solid State Power Amplifier (SSPA).

The development of a low cost Ka band SSPA module has been identified as key to the commercial success of these multimedia broadband satellite system.

The objective of the activity is the design, prototyping and manufacturing of a pre-production batch of the two types of Ka-Band SSPA modules, to be integrated in the future broadband multimedia satellite user terminals. These SSPA modules are designed and optimised for lowest recurring cost. At the end of the activity, the developed SSPA modules shall become available to user terminal manufacturers for next generation of broadband multimedia user terminals.


The main issues addressed in this programme are as follows:

  • Select the right technology for the design of the two classes of SSPA 1-Watt and 2-Watt at 30GHz,
  • High output power and linearity are required for the application,
  • Reduce the size of the chip to ensure a competitive cost for Vsat SSPA module,
  • Develop a low cost solution for the packaging of the SSPA at 30GHz.

Today in Europe no solution is available for low cost power module in Ka Band. On the other hand, US competitors offer today these kind of modules, even with higher output power performances. The project will allow to provide a European solution for Vsat applications in Ka band. Obviously, the development of the solution has to take into account the existing market in terms of cost (MMIC and package technology) in order to be competitive on this emerging market of low cost linear high power and high frequency amplifier.


In this project, it is intended to develop 1-Watt HPA class and 2-Watt HPA class modules for Vsat applications in the range of 29.5GHz to 30GHz.

An MMIC technology is used to develop the HPA. A low cost packaging solution is also studied to provide at the end a complete module in SMD configuration. This Ka band module is to be used in the power-line-up of the outdoor unit.


The activity approach and work structure for the low-cost 30GHz SSPA development are based on the ESA Statement of Work reference TOS-ETP/2002.9 (17099/03/NL/US ESA contract).

The work to be carried out is organized in two phases, the first one is dedicated to SSPA module definition and prototyping, the second one is related to the manufacturing of a pre-production batch of SSPA modules.

Current status

Project completed on 30th June 2011.

See document titled 'Current Status' under Documentation on the right hand side for more detailed information.