Four reasons to choose GaN SSPAs over TWTAs for power amplification

Traveling-wave tube amplifiers (TWTAs) have traditionally been used in high-power radar systems for meteorology, air traffic control, defense, and maritime services. But now, there is a new technology to consider: solid-state power amplifiers (SSPAs). Gallium Nitride (GaN)-based microwave SSPAs that handle higher power densities, operate effectively at elevated temperatures, and can drive TWTs in high-power radar systems.


Understanding the Conversion Loss and Gain of a Mixer

RF and Microwave Mixers play a crucial role in altering signal frequencies within radio frequency (RF) and microwave communication systems. They are essential in various applications, including signal modulation, RF signal demodulation, and frequency conversion in up/down converters.

To optimize system performance, it’s important to understand their key performance metrics and why they matter. Among those are conversion loss and conversion gain.

The Role of a Mixer


There are several methods for making noise figure (NF) measurements of RF, microwave, and millimeter-wave low noise amplifiers (LNAs), each with a wide number of options, instruments, and techniques. In a recent Tech Brief, Erzia reviews how we came up with an approach using standard laboratory equipment that can easily be followed by trained personnel working at higher frequencies to obtain optimal NF data.

ERZIA COTS amplifier goes to space inside NASA’s Cubesat

The traditional approach to delivering hardware to be installed in satellites and space probes is driven by extensive design, analysis, and testing phases, with long-term delivery times and budgets, which can be tens or hundreds of times bigger than their equivalent for commercial and terrestrial applications. These extensive deliveries and larger budgets are justified by the expectation of the hardware to survive and operate in the extremes of the space environment, without any possibility of reparation or replacement.

Image courtesy of NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), All rights reserved

Innovatively Powered AOTFs Help a Spectrometer Transmit Eye-opening Data from Mars

Spectrometers employing acousto-optic tunable filters (AOTFs) are rapidly gaining popularity in space, and in particular on interplanetary missions. According to a paper published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, “they allow for reducing volume, mass, and complexity of the instrumentation and are used for analyzing ocean color, greenhouse gases, atmospheres of Mars and Venus, and for lunar mineralogy. The AOTFs are used in point (pencil-beam) spectrometers for selecting echelle diffraction orders, or in hyper-spectral imagers and microscopes.”

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