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Superconducting microwave filter systems for cellular telephone base stations

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4 Author(s)
Simon, R.W. ; Supercond. Technol. Inc., Sunnyvale, CA, USA ; Hammond, R.B. ; Berkowitz, S.J. ; Willemsen, Balam A.

In the second decade following the discovery of high-temperature superconductivity (HTS), wireless communications has emerged as the earliest large commercial market. The enormous growth of the wireless industry coupled with its increasing technology demands has created a significant opportunity for HTS technology in wireless base stations. These systems combine high-performance HTS RF filters with cryocooled semiconductor preamplifiers to offer enhanced sensitivity to improve signal reception and exceptional selectivity to reject interfering signals. There are now thousands of installed HTS systems and the prospects are good for widespread future deployment. This paper discusses the underlying technologies that support HTS wireless applications, based upon the characteristic microwave properties of HTS thin films and substrates. HTS filter design technology has been under development for a decade and has gained a fair measure of maturity in terms of design tools, simulation techniques, and available topologies. The need for extremely narrow-band filters, highly selective filters, frequency-agile filters, and very compact filter designs has led to many technology advances. On the system level, comparable advances in cryocooler technology and cryopackaging have enabled the development of a broadly deployable technology. We discuss industry trends and the methodologies and results of simulations and real-world measurements of HTS filter systems.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:92 ,  Issue: 10 )

Date of Publication:

Oct. 2004

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