Kilowatt K-band SSPA

Period of Performance: 12/18/2015 - 12/17/2017


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Nuvotronics LLC
7586 Old Peppers Ferry Loop Array
Radford, VA 24141
Principal Investigator


Gallium nitride (GaN) has opened the door to solid-state replacements of tube type amplifiers, with commercially-available units starting at low frequencies and continuing to Ku-band. Lower frequencies amplifiers can be constructed using hybrid techniques, where unmatched power field effect transistors (FETs) of large periphery can be made into unit-cell amplifiers using microstrip matching networks on conventional circuit boards. At K-band, unit cell amplifiers are best done monolithically, and the required power combiner architecture must be carefully considered with regards to power handling, insertion loss and the ability to combine many devices into one output. In this Phase I program our goal is to develop a solid-state power amplifier using GaN MMICs that cover K-band communications frequencies. The SSPA must be reliable, supportable and sustainable, with easily replaced line replaceable units (LRUs). Nuvotronics plans to leverage earlier SBIR work on a miniaturized TWT replacement SSPA at K-band which forms the basis for our LRU. Power will be increased using a new high-power combiner structure demonstrating novel features and advanced manufacturing techniques. (Approved for Public Release 15-MDA-8482 (17 November 15))