Interconnect Advances Fuel Technology Growth
By Orwill Hawkins, Vice President of Marketing, LadyBug Technologies

With increased frequencies, higher data rates, and lower noise levels, the microwave industry serves as a leader in technological capability. Demand for quality interconnects has increased right along with other higher-performance areas in the industry.


MMD March 2014
New Military Microwave Digest


E-Band Active X5 Multiplier
Model SFA-743843516-12SF-N1 is an E-band X5 active multiplier with center frequency at 79 GHz with minimum +/-5 GHz operational bandwidth. It converts 14.8 to 16.8 GHz/+5 dBm input signal to deliver 74 to 84 GHz frequency band with more than +16 dBm power.
Sage Millimeter

Hand-Flex™ Coaxial Cable
Covering DC to 12.5 GHz, this 8” coaxial cable, 141-8SMNB+, has a bulkhead Female Type-N connector at one end and SMA-Male at the other. Features include low loss, excellent return loss, hand formable, and an 8mm bend radius for tight installations.

Phase Trimmer Series
This new phase trimmer series is designed for RF applications where phase match between two cables is needed for proper system performance. Phase trimmers, offered from DC to 50 GHz, will give an accurate phase adjustment over a specified frequency range.
RLC Electronics

Planar Monolithics Industries
Model PTRAN-100M18G-SFB-3UVPX-MAH is a transceiver covering the frequency range of 100 MHz to 18 GHz. The transceiver fits into a 3U Open VPX form factor utilizing the high speed VITA 67 RF connector.
Planar Monolithics Industries

SMT High-Power Attenuators
Now available with full design support capabilities are three new SMT high-power attenuators from Anaren. These 30 to 50W devices are high-performance, high-power chip attenuators covering DC to 3.0 GHz and feature high return loss and small footprints.
Richardson RFPD

See all products in this issue

June 2013

ARs 6 – 18 GHz Solid State Amplifiers Provide High Gain, Low Noise, Good Linearity, and Excellent Mismatch Capability for EMC and Non-EMC Testing
By AR RF/Microwave Instrumentation

If you’re conducting EMC or non-EMC testing in the 6 – 18 GHz frequency range, there are now excellent alternatives to both Traveling Wave Tube Amplifiers (TWTAs) and to solid state GaAs MMIC technology amplifiers.

With its first solid state amplifiers that reach 18 GHz, AR RF/Microwave Instrumentation now offers two solid state microwave amplifiers that cover the 6 – 18 GHz frequency range. Model 5S6G18 (5 Watts) and model 20S6G18 (20 Watts) provide high gain, low noise, good linearity, and excellent mismatch capability. These units also deliver superior EVM (Error Vector Magnitude) performance. Both units operate from AC and provide instant power with no warm-up time needed.

Figure 1: Model 5S6G18 Block Diagram

Product Design
The 5S6G18 and 20S6G18 solid state amplifiers’ block diagrams are shown in Figures 1 and 2, respectively. Both designs utilize numerous GaAs FETs and MMICs in a balanced configuration. All devices are biased Class A using an active bias circuit. The output stages are combined using AR proprietary technology.

Model 5S6G18 features a minimum of 5 Watts output power, a minimum 37dB of gain and typical noise figure of 6dB (a significant improvement over TWTAs). Gain flatness is within +/- 2.0dB across the band. All 2nd harmonics are better than -20dBc and third-order intercept is typically +46dBm. The broadband amplifier is protected with an overdrive circuit at the input.
Model 20S6G18 features a minimum of 20 Watts output power, a minimum 43dB of gain and typical noise figure of 6dB (a significant improvement over TWTAs). Gain flatness is within +/- 2.0dB across the band. All 2nd harmonics are better than -20dBc and third-order intercept is typically +48dBm. The broadband amplifier is protected with an overdrive circuit at the input.

Figure 2: Model 20S6G18 Block Diagram

Advantages Over Solid State Amplifiers Using GaAs MMIC Technology
The 5S6G18 and 20S6G18 solid state amplifiers from AR are based on a hybrid thin film and GaAs chip technology that represents a significant improvement over solid state amplifiers that use GaAs MMIC technology. The AR amplifiers deliver superior performance for power output, IP3, harmonics and gain flatness, and mismatch capabilities.

Figure 5 shows the superior intermodulation performance of AR’s FET Chip technology as compared to MMIC technology.

Figure 3: Model 20S6G18 Gain and Return Loss Characteristics

Another advantage over MMIC technology is that AR’s FET Chip technology enables the amplifier to be built to specific needs, whereas MMIC technology results in a
more uniform, “cookie-cutter” amplifier.

Compared to TWTAs
These solid state amplifiers also offer significant advantages over TWTAs in similar applications. For example, as the tube of a traveling wave tube amplifier ages, the output power decreases and readjustment is required. Eventually the tube will need to be replaced. But solid state microwave amplifiers do not require adjustment, and they outlast TWTAs. The average mean time between failures for a solid state microwave amplifier is greater than 20 years. For a TWT, it’s an average of 8 years. In addition, the solid state microwave amplifiers provide a much cleaner, more stable and better intermodulation performance. Our solid state units are 100% load tolerant without power foldback and the TWT must be protected from mismatches when greater than 2:1 VSWR is present.

Figure 4: Typical Output Power 40S6G18

Additional Features
Model 5S6G18 and 20S6G18 are protected from RF overdrive by an RF input leveling circuit that controls the input level applied to the first stage of amplification when the RF input is increased above 0 dBm. The individual RF amplifier stages are protected from over temperature by removing the DC voltage applied to them if an over temperature condition occurs due to a cooling blockage or fan failure. There is a digital display on the front panel to indicate the operational status and fault conditions when an over-temperature or power supply fault has occurred. The unit can be returned to normal operation when the condition has
been cleared.

Figure 5: Intermodulation Performance of AR’s FET Chip technology compared to MMIC technology.

Both units feature a digital control for both local and remote control of the amplifier. This eight-bit RISC microprocessor-controlled board provides both IEEE-488 (GPIB) and asynchronous full duplex RS-232 control of all functions. Also included are USB 2.0 and Ethernet interfaces.

Expandable Power
In keeping with AR’s commitment to providing equipment that can grow along with the user’s needs, the 5S6G18 (5 Watts) can be expanded to 10, 20 or even 40 watts. In fact, AR makes the only 40-Watt amplifier in this frequency range.

According to Donald “Shep” Shepherd, AR chairman, “The 6 – 18 GHz solid state amplifiers are innovations that reflect AR’s leadership in the industry and its ability to combine the resources of all AR companies to continually introduce breakthrough solutions.”

AR RF/Microwave Instrumentation
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Uncertain Times for DefenseIn Defense of DARPA; Lamenting Bell Labs
By Barry Manz

A federal agency like DARPA is a sitting duck for politicians and assorted other critics. It has come up with some truly bizarre programs over years that ultimately either delivered no tangible results, were canceled before they could cause any damage, or attempted to answer questions that nobody was asking or needed answers to. Read More...

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