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P-band High Power SSPA based on GaN HEMTs
This paper presents the results obtained from the development of a 150W Gallium Nitride high efficiency switching mode SSPA at 435MHz, intended for use in the P-band Transmit & Receive Unit of the Synthetic Aperture Radar instrument developed by Thales Alenia Space France for BIOMASS, the next ESA Earth Explorer mission. The activity focused on the RF power section of the SSPA, i.e. the final stage, since it determines the performance of the overall SSPA. A balanced architecture was selected for the power section with two identical power modules, each one capable to deliver more than 80W for a total peak output power higher than 150W with 65% power added efficiency. The two power modules are combined in parallel with hybrid couplers and are designed around state-of-the-art GaN HEMTs; two versions of the design were carried out with devices from UMS and Mitsubishi respectively. Breadboard amplifiers have been implemented according to Selex ES proven flight assembly techniques for space UHF SSPAs and the test results were in close agreement with the expected performance. Additionally, multipaction discharge analysis was conducted on the critical parts of the SSPA being subjected to the highest RF power levels and a test campaign performed at the European High Power Laboratory in Valencia (Spain) has confirmed multipaction free behaviour.
Arpesi Pier Giorgio, Ramongassie Sophie
Paper for Seminar/Symposium/Conference
7th Wide Band Gap Semiconductors and Components Workshop (c/o ESA-ESRIN, 11-12 September 2014, Frascati, Italy)
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