High-Efficiency, Ka-Band Solid-State Power Amplifier Utilizing GaN Technology, Phase II

Metadata Updated: March 23, 2019

QuinStar Technology proposes to develop a high-efficiency, solid-state power amplifier (SSPA), operating at Ka-band frequencies, for high data rate, long range space communications. Specifically, we propose to develop a 20 W power amplifier with an associated PAE of 60% operating over the 31.5 to 34 GHz band. This will be accomplished by employing two major innovations. First, we plan to utilize wide bandgap Gallium Nitride (GaN) on Silicon Carbide (SiC) device technology to fabricate our high-efficiency MMICs. Operating at a higher voltage (typically 20-28 V versus 4-5 V for GaAs), GaN permits power densities which are 5-10 times higher than GaAs or InP. In addition to a higher power density, high-voltage operation results in lower matching and cell combining losses, making these MMICs more efficient. Secondly, we are proposing to utilize a switching mode of operation (Class-F) to enhance the device efficiency. While this method has demonstrated PAE levels of >80% at 2 GHz, these levels have not yet been realized at Ka-band frequencies. Computer simulations, contained in this proposal, indicate that by using this method, device PAE levels ranging up to 73% are possible at 32 GHz. Furthermore, this was verified by benchmark data from at least one GaN foundry showing a device, operating in Class-F, with a PAE of 80% at 3 GHz. Finally, simulations at Ka-band frequencies indicate that even with circuit losses, we can still maintain the efficiency (PAE) at or very close to 60%. The layout and performance of a multistage MMIC is included in this proposal, together with the overall SSPA configuration and performance.

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Metadata Created Date August 1, 2018
Metadata Updated Date March 23, 2019

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Harvested from NASA Data.json

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Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date August 1, 2018
Metadata Updated Date March 23, 2019
Publisher Space Technology Mission Directorate
Unique Identifier TECHPORT_33567
Maintainer Email
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 026:00
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Harvest Source Title NASA Data.json
Data First Published 2017-12-01T08:00:00.000Z
Homepage URL https://techport.nasa.gov/view/33567
Language en-US
License http://www.usa.gov/publicdomain/label/1.0/
Data Last Modified 2017-12-07T00:00:00.000Z
Program Code 026:027
Publisher Hierarchy National Aeronautics and Space Administration > Space Technology Mission Directorate
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash 4ea5066a9be8cd4c6685b720deb1f9a0176bc620
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