Compact Nanotube-Driven X-band Amplifier

Period of Performance: 08/26/2004 - 08/26/2006


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Microwave Technologies, Inc.
Burke, VA 22015
Principal Investigator


We propose the prototype 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. Our successful Phase I studies showed that the NDXA is about 1-inch long and should be able to produce 500 watts of X-band radiation with an outstanding efficiency of 85%. We are now ready to proceed with the development of an NDXA prototype for operation at 8.4 GHz capable of delivering 500 watts of microwave power with a gain of 27 dB and 85% efficiency. The NDXA to be developed during Phase II will be very well-suited for Ground-Based Midcourse X-band Radar (XBR) applications. 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.