More Efficient GaN - SiGe based MMICs for Communication and Radar Systems
Navy STTR FY2014A - Topic N14A-T007
NAVAIR - Dusty Lang - navair.sbir@navy.mil
Opens: March 5, 2014 - Closes: April 9, 2014 6:00am EST

N14A-T007 TITLE: More Efficient GaN - SiGe based MMICs for Communication and Radar Systems

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Electronics

OBJECTIVE: Develop a high-efficiency and low-cost Gallium Nitride (GaN) Low Noise Amplifier (LNA) Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuits (MMIC) with integrated Silicon-Germanium (SiGe) control approach for Active Electronically Scanned Arrays (AESAs) to supports pulse mode interleaving.

DESCRIPTION: In order to fulfill future demands on power, bandwidth, robustness, weight, overall cost and multi-functionality future AESAs will need to utilize highly efficient GaN based LNAs in combination with integrated digital signal processing (DSP) and control functions (including phase control) using SiGe multifunction chips. A key attribute of these next generation AESAs will require the capability to interleave multiple modes at the pulse level in order to meet stressing mission objectives. The inclusion of SiGe core-chip as an integral part of the solution is necessary to support pulse mode interleaving and is a major milestone leading to digital front-end solutions. The inclusion of SiGe based control also lowers overall system power requirements and increases reliability since discrete device interconnects are a major source of failures.

The goal of this technology development is to design, develop and fabricate a prototype GaN and SiGe based receive module approach. While the ultimate goal is to address the needs of both radar and communications systems, here the focus shall be limited to C-band AESA radar applications with separated transmit and receive elements.

PHASE I: Develop and analyze preliminary design of high efficiency, low power consumption, GaN SiGe based MMIC receiver. Prove feasibility of preliminary design and expected performance of the low noise MMIC receive module capable of pulse mode interleaving.

PHASE II: Fabricate, test and evaluate a prototype receiver MMIC. Demonstrate prototype to highlight the low power consumption, power dissipation, gain, noise temperature and digital control functions to include pulse mode interleaving. The prototype may utilize commercially available GaN amplifiers in order to allow focus on the SiGe functionality and module integration.

PHASE III: Further mature receiver MMIC and integrate into a demonstration AESA and address manufacturing issues in preparation for transition to Triton and Fire Scout Unmanned Air Systems (UAS).

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: Commercial applications include AESA based mobile communications and sensing systems.In particular the devices developed as part of this investigation can be used in IEEE-802.11a Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) systems expected to be utilized in the near future by many wireless internet service providers. The U-NII systems operate at C-band.

REFERENCES:
1. Kormanyos, B. K., Friddell, T. H., Quach, T. K., Creech, G. L., Orlando, P. L., Patel, V. J., Watson, P. M., Axtell, H. S., Neidhard, R. A., Jessen, G. H., & Drangmeister, R.G. (2006, January). "A low voltage SiGe BJT integrated RF amplifier with very high third order intercept point", Silicon Monolithic Integrated Circuits in RF Systems, 2006. Digest of Papers. 2006 Topical Meeting on, 18-20, pp. 287-289. doi:10.1109/SMIC.2005.1587972.

2. Kobayashi, K.W. (2007, October), "High Linearity Dynamic Feedback Darlington Amplifier". Compound Semiconductor Integrated Circuit Symposium, 2007. CSIC 2007. IEEE, 14-17, pp 1-4. doi:10.1109/CSICS07.2007.53.

KEYWORDS: SiGe; GaN; Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuits (MMICs); Noise Temperature; Low Power Consumption; Low Noise Amplifier

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