Frequency-agile and Power Scalable Power Amplifier for Multi-band Telemetry Applications

Quach, T.; Bozada, C.; Dooley, S.; Gilbert, R.; Hary, S.; Mattamana, A.; Patel, V. J.; Watson, P.; Utt, E.; Dupaix, B.; Khalil, W.; LaRue, M.; Rashid, S.; Brown, D.; Subramanyam, G.
December 2016
ITEA Journal of Test & Evaluation;Dec2016, Vol. 37 Issue 4, p342
This paper reports a frequency-agile and power scalable power amplifier (PA) utilizing solid-state gallium nitride (GaN) radio frequency (RF) switches to enable selectable input and output matching networks suitable for L- and S-band telemetry (TM) applications. At L-band, the PA yields 9.4 dB compressed gain, 44.8% peak power-added efficiency (PAE), and 29.7 dBm of output power (Pout). This same PA can be switched to operate in S-band yielding 10.8 dB gain, 55% peak PAE, and 29.8 dBm output power. By varying the drain bias, the PA output power is scalable from 250 mW at 10 V drain to 3.5 W at 40 V drain, resulting in 10X power scaling. In addition, the PA is packaged and characterized using a 10 Mbps shaped-offset quadrature phase shift keying (SOQPSK) waveform at L-band and S-band. Measured results show the PA has minimum phase error contribution of 0.01 ° root mean square (RMS) and a 0.09 ° peak phase error. This is the first reported frequency-agile GaN microwave monolithic integrated circuit (MMIC) PA design specifically for telemetry applications.


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