TWHA: Tunable, Wide-Bandwidth, High-Average-Power, RF Amplifier

Period of Performance: 04/02/1998 - 04/15/1999


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Mission Research Corp.
735 State Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


MRC will develop a tunable, wide-bandwidth, high-average-power rf amplifier (TWHA) to meet DOD and industrial applications. Using a novel mechanical tuning approach, we will show feasibility of a tunable, UHF-amplitron design based on the fixed-frequency, S-band, super-power amplitron (QK1224) which MRC and Litton have shown can be scaled to lower frequencies. The amplitron's high efficiency allows a compact tube capable of delivering high-average-powers (~ 1 MW, comparable to the average power of a 1 -GW, 1 us, 1 -kHz rf source). A key program feature is the involvement of a major tube manufacturer (Litton) and an industrial partner (DuPont). Litton has sufficient interst in the commercial development of this technology to provide, at no cost, engineering manhours and facilities during Phase I. MRC will team with Litton in Phase II to build and demonstrate the operation of the TWHA. The DuPont collaboration assures the TWHA will meet their requirements for commercial applications. Discussions with industry have identified heat-treatment applications and plasma processing as commercial uses for the TWHA. DOD applications include: DEW, radar, and EW. The broad tuning range (~15%) and instantaneous bandwidth (~5%) allow radar to acquire more information with greater immunity to jamming EW a greater ability to jam.