Alphacore Inc. proposes to design, simulate, and verify a radiation-hard fully integrated solid-state power amplifier (PA) for V-band applications (67-71GHz)), including CubeSat/Small Sat platform applications. such as suitable for CubeSat/Small Sat platforms. The proposed PA architecture utilizes a gallium nitride (GaN) process in order to provide high output power, efficiency and speed. The proposed PA will have 6 GHz of bandwidth around the center frequency (68GHz).
The proposed amplifier will be designed using HRL’s T3 gallium nitride on silicon carbide (GaN-on-SiC) process and will have an extended frequency range from 64 GHz to 72 GHz to compensate any process, voltage, and temperature (PVT) variation. The design will have a radiation hardness level >1Mrad and operating temperature range from -55˚C to +85˚C. Additional temperature compensation circuitry will be added to accommodate a stretch goal of –55C to 125C. To achieve an output power of greater than 10 Watt, the PA will be designed by combining the generated power of separate PA MMICs.
The radiation-hard techniques provided by Alphacore Inc. ensures the correct operation of the PA for CubeSat/Small Sat platforms with high power added efficiency (PAE). The proposed PA is able to operate with variable duty cycle input signal that covers the 25% requirement. The amplifier consists of multiple multi-stage GaN-based amplifiers, each in a monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMIC) package that provides high output power and speed at the same time.
Surface air pressure is one of the most important variables that affect atmospheric dynamics such as tropical storms and severe weather, and NASA uses satellite-based systems with absorption radars to remotely collect information and predict extreme weather. Examples of current microwave sensing NASA programs that would benefit from Alphacore’s innovation are RainCube, the Global Atmospheric Composition Mission (GACM) and the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) missions.
There is an increase in the use of nanosatellites for future hypersonic missile defense as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Commercial uses of CubeSats include weather forecasts, collecting global intelligence for data and analytics as well as maritime and aviation data. Advancements to this technology will extend capabilities in monitoring and predicting extreme weather.