DARPA seeks improved RF power amplifier for future tiny radio transmitters

BY JOHN KELLER

ARLINGTON, Va.-Military radio communications experts at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va., are asking industry for ideas on how to develop an RF transmitter integrated as a monolithic integrated circuit or system-in-package module that relies on a monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) power amplifier integrated with a dynamic-voltage power supply and control circuit.

Scientists in the DARPA Microsystems Technology Office (MTO) released a broad agency announcement (DARPA-BAA-11-33) for the Microscale Power Conversion (MPC) program to develop a radio transmitter that generates radio signals efficiently through the DC power supply of the transmitter.

Most military RF transmitters today use large, fixed-voltage power converters to supply conditioned power to the semiconductor power amplifier, DARPA officials explain. It is barrier to higher levels of microsystem integration. It is a growing problem, because many of today's military radio systems, as well as those envisioned in the future, use complex modulation techniques with high peak-to-average ratios in signal amplitude. Although the systems are designed for fixed operation at peak condition, power amplifiers often operate well below peak output power much of the time.

To improve the efficient use of power and diverse signal waveforms, DARPA scientists are looking for new envelope tracking or other drain bias modulation techniques to enable RF power supplies to operate far more efficiently by changing the DC voltage that it supplies to the power amplifier rapidly.

The Microscale Power Conversion program seeks to develop POWER ELECTRONICS technology for efficient, very fast supply modulation with high power handling capabilities to make practical use of new RF power amplifier designs. The program seeks to develop a compact, power-efficient RF transmitter by inventing dynamic power conditioning circuits and closely integrating them with RF MMIC power amplifiers and necessary control circuits.

The electrical supply chain from the AC power source to power amplifier supply functions as three lumped stages, officials explain: converting AC power to high-voltage DC power; converting high-voltage DC power to an intermediate DC voltage; and conditioning the resulting power to remove ripple and make subtle adjustments. DARPA is focusing on the final stage by seeking to develop an efficient high-speed power supply modulator to convert input DC voltage rapidly to any DC supply voltage. The key enabling technology will be a fast, low-loss gallium nitride power switch.

MORE INFORMATION IS online at www.fbo.gov/spg/ODA/DARPA/CMO/DARPA-BAA-11-33/listing.html.

More Military & Aerospace Electronics Current Issue Articles
More Military & Aerospace Electronics Archives Issue Articles


Get All the Military Aerospace Electronics News Delivered to Your Inbox or Your Mailbox

Subscribe to Military Aerospace Electronics Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest information on:


  • C4ISR
  • Cyber Security
  • Embedded Computing
  • Unmanned Vehicles


Get All the Military Aerospace Electronics News Delivered to Your Inbox or Your Mailbox

Subscribe to Military Aerospace Electronics Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest information on:


  • C4ISR
  • Cyber Security
  • Embedded Computing
  • Unmanned Vehicles

Military & Aerospace Photos

Most Popular Articles

Related Products

XPedite5205 | Embedded Services Router (ESR) with Cisco IOS® on an XMC/PMC Module

The XPedite5205 XMC/PMC-based Embedded Services Router (ESR) router runs Cisco IOS® Software with...

EP21LVSP6

Suitable for large castings, EP21LVSP6 is a room temperature curing system with a long open time ...

MasterSil 152

Low viscosity MasterSil 152 is a two component silicone system that cures when exposed to air at ...

MasterSil 705TC

One component MasterSil 705TC is a thermally conductive, electrically isolating silicone for bond...

Super Gel 9AO

Featuring resounding softness and dimensional stability, Super Gel 9AO is a two component system ...

EP90FR-HFL

Flame retardant EP90FR-HFL is a toughened epoxy that passes FAR standard 14 CFR 25.853(a). Theref...

Product # 2456 - Single Output AC-DC Power Supply

AC-DC converter in a rugged aluminum chassis operates with a 115 Vrms, 60Hz, single phase input t...

Product # 2161 - Low Harmonic Distortion Three Phase 9 KW AC-DC Power Supply

Multi-kilowatt AC-DC power supply operates from 115 Vrms, three phase, 60 Hz, MIL-STD-1399 Sectio...

EMI Filters

EMI Filters are designed as part of our AC-DC and DC-DC products. They can be made stand-alone to...

Product # 1930 - Single Output 500 W AC-DC Power Supply

Low voltage AC-DC single output power supply incorporates standard high density converters to pro...

Related Companies

Master Bond

For over 35 years, Master Bond has been supplying aerospace and defense manufacturers with custom formulated compound...

Advanced Conversion Technology Inc

ACT designs and manufactures, since 1981, an extensive range of AC-DC and DC-DC power supplies (switching, linear, ra...

United Electronic Industries Inc

UEI is a leader in the PC/Ethernet data acquisition and control, Data Logger/Recorder and Programmable Automation Con...

JuiceBox Energy Inc

JuiceBox Energy develops, engineers and manufactures advanced energy storage systems for residential, government and ...

Intersil

Specializes in the design and manufacture of high performance analog semiconductors, Products include amplifiers, ana...

VPT Inc

VPT, Inc. is a global leader in providing power conversion solutions for use in avionics, military, and space applica...

Electronic Development Labs Inc (EDL)

Since 1943, EDL has strived to provide quality products, outstanding customer service, and superior technical support...

North Atlantic Industries Inc

The top 10 defense companies worldwide rely  on NAI Solutions NAI is a leading independent provider of specializ...

TXO Systems Ltd

TXO Systems is the world’s leading telecoms network asset management specialist. Founded in 2005 and operating on fiv...

Powell Electronics

An authorized electronic component distributor and experts of military connectors, switches, sensors and relays. Trac...
Wire News provided by   

Press Releases

Model INCX-4001

The INCX-4001 consists of a high quality audio transceiver specifically designed to implement a complete fiber optic intercom.

Model PS-1210

The PS-1210 is a 1A, 12VDC stand-alone or rack mountable non-switcher (no RF noise) power supply.

Model OS-3121

Optical switches are utilized to disconnect, bypass and reroute fiber optic communications. All of these optical switches are purely optical path, there is no optical to e...

Webcasts

New Design Tools That Help You Develop Radar That Sees the Un-seeable and Detects the Undetectable

Xilinx EW/ISR System Architect, Luke Miller, has new tricks and he’s going to tell you all about them in a new Xilinx Webinar—for free. His Webinar will cover new ways to implement Radar functions including ...
Sponsored by:

The Latest from Paris Air Show 2015

All Access Sponsors


Mil & Aero Magazine

May 2015
Volume 26, Issue 5
file

Download Our Apps



iPhone

iPad

Android

Follow Us On...



Newsletters

Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information
SUBSCRIBE

Cyber Security

Monthly newsletter covering cyber warfare, cyber security, information warfare, and information security technologies, products, contracts, and procurement opportunities
SUBSCRIBE

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers
SUBSCRIBE

Electronic Warfare

Quarterly newsletter covering technologies and applications in electronic warfare, cyber warfare, optical warfare, and spectrum warfare.
SUBSCRIBE

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications
SUBSCRIBE

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles
SUBSCRIBE