Programme Element: ARTES 5.1
Reference nr.: 13.1TT.41
Planned Tender Issue: quarter 4, 2013
(*) Priority 2
The objective of this activity is to design, manufacture and test a self-protected HPA that can operate without the need for an isolator which will result in improved efficiency, reduced mass, footprint and cost.
Targeted Improvements: Removal of the output isolator, leading to a 3 to 7% improvement in efficiency (depending upon frequency), a 5 to 10% reduction in mass and footprint and reduced cost.
GaN devices are highly robust due to a very high break down voltage and a high junction temperature. With respect to GaAs devices, they can sustain very high reflected power and a high junction temperature for a longer time before malfunction occurs.
Thanks to this robustness, and by incorporating very small control elements (GaN switches and a temperature sensing FET) on the power stage die, it is possible to remove the need for an output isolator. This self-protected HPA (i.e. without an isolator) can easily meet space-level reliability requirements. This approach is applicable in all frequency bands where SSPAs are used and at power levels up to at least 60W.
The work shall be carried out as follows:
- Design and simulation of the protection circuit (switches and thermal sensor FET), on a single GaN RF power bar/chip/die, in a closed loop for thermal protection and in an open loop for high reflected voltage.
- Manufacture and testing of an engineering model.
Although the approach can be applied to all frequencies, the demonstrator shall target C-band or TT&C frequencies.
(*) Priority 2 activities will only be initiated on the explicit request of at least one delegation.