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A High-Power Ka -Band (31–36 GHz) Solid-State Amplifier Based on Low-Loss Corporate Waveguide Combining

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4 Author(s)
Epp, L.W. ; Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Technol., Pasadena, CA ; Hoppe, D.J. ; Khan, A.R. ; Stride, S.L.

A method of using low-loss waveguide septum combiners is developed into a high-power -band (31-36 GHz) amplifier producing 50 W at 33 GHz (Ka-band) using 32 low-power (>2 W) solid-state amplifier modules. By using low-loss waveguide combining and a packaged monolithic microwave integrated circuit with a low-loss microstrip-to-waveguide launcher, the output loss is minimized, allowing for the overall power-combining efficiency to remain high, 80% (average insertion loss of combiner < 0.7 dB and average insertion loss of launcher <0.3 dB) over 31-36 GHz. In the past, lower power-combining efficiencies have limited the number of modules that can be combined at -band, and hence, have limited the power output. The approach demonstrated in this paper, with high power-combining efficiency, allows a very large number (32) of solid-state amplifier modules to be combined to produce high powers. Greater than 50 W was demonstrated with low power modules, but even higher powers 120 W are possible. The current approach is based on corporate combining, using low-loss waveguide septum combiners that provide isolation, maintaining the true graceful degradation of a modular solid-state amplifier system.

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Microwave Theory and Techniques, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:56 ,  Issue: 8 )