European Space Agency

Technology Development for Q-Band Linearizers

Objectives

To acquire baseline design information for a future Q-Band LCAMP development two main targets were defined for this development project. First it was necessary to define a suitable Q-Band Linearizer MMIC chip set based on qualified European technology. This activity includes the design, manufacturing and test of necessary MMICs (Linearizer & equalizer). Secondly, the assessment of technology, which makes the development of a Q-band LCAMP feasible needed to be performed, including the design, manufacturing and test of a suitable technology demonstrator of a Q-Band CAMP. 

Challenges

Major challenges were to define a suitable MMIC chip set to realize the required equipment gain and variable attenuator settings for Q-Band LCAMP development with the currently available MMICs chips and processes. Additionally CAMPs and LCAMPs for applications up to Ka-Band employ Tesats modular Hybrid-on-PCB manufacturing approach. However, the electrical performance of a high number of MHIC RF-interconnects is not suitable for a Q-band LCAMP application. Therefore a LTCC based design is preferred for Q-band and beyond. Special care has to be invested to avoid cavity modes in the MMIC pockets, which may provoke instabilities in conjunction with high gain.

Benefits

Q-band channel amplifiers with linearizers (LCAMP) will play an important role on the way to high throughput downlink systems (HTS).

Features

The standalone Q-Band LCAMP design is based on a high density integration concept. The MMICs are attached into substrate pockets of the LTCC substrate. This LTCC substrate comprises all the DC- and RF interconnects and further RF functionality. Power supply and TM/TC is provided via a typical MDM connector and the RF-interfaces can be either rectangular waveguide or coaxial connectors. The following core functions have been realized: Fixed Gain Mode (FGM), Level Control Mode (ALC), Output Power Adjustment (OPA) and Mute.

System Architecture

The targeted Q-Band LCAMP product is built with two boards within, a RF-board with LTCC technology and a DC-Board with standard PCB technology connected with a Flexible Interface-Board.

Plan

The Study flow of this activity was split into two main tasks. These are the development, manufacturing and test of BBs for LIN MMIC and a CAMP technology demonstrator. During the course of this project it was decided to include LIN into the technology demonstrator to have a baseline design for a Q-Band LCAMP.

Current status

All activities within this project have been completed

Status date

Wednesday, September 23, 2020 - 13:49