Compact Nanotube-Driven X-band Amplifier

Period of Performance: 08/14/2003 - 02/10/2004


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Microwave Technologies, Inc.
Burke, VA 22015
Principal Investigator


This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will involve the development of a very compact high-efficiency nanotube-driven X-band microwave amplifier (NDXA) for radar and rf communications applications in ballistic missile sensor systems. The NDXA is a compact vacuum tube that uses a rugged carbon-nanotube cold-cathode and a compact two-cavity system to produce X-band microwave radiation with very high-efficiency, making the NDXA ideal for airborne applications. The entire device is about 1-inch long and should be able to produce hundreds of watts of X-band radiation with an outstanding efficiency of 85 %. The NDXA will be very well-suited for Ground-Based Midcourse X-band Radar (XBR) applications. Phase I is aimed at theoretical and numerical study of the NDXA, as well as particle-in-cell computer studies to establish credible estimates of output power, efficiency, gain, and other key parameters. Once fully developed, the NDXA should be capable of replacing conventional traveling-wave tubes in future MDA radar and communication systems by offering substantial improvements in size, weight, and, especially efficiency over its counterparts. This compact source should be able to efficiently produce hundreds of watts of electromagnetic radiation in the X-band GHz regime with electronic efficiency as high as 85%. If successful, this microwave source will efficiently provide coherent high average-power millimeter-wave radiation for many civilian and military applications that require high-frequency electromagnetic radiation.