Technology Survey – A Sampling of Power Amplifiers for Electromagnetic Attack Applications

A Sampling of Power Amplifiers for Electromagnetic Attack Applications

The June 2024 issue of the Journal of Electromagnetic Dominance (JED) featured its annual “Technology Survey – A Sampling of Power Amplifiers for Electromagnetic Attack Applications.” In his introduction to the survey, Editor John Knowles said, “Threat trends have driven ever more complex EW requirements over the past decade, which has influenced power amplifier designs for EA systems. Among the most significant threat trends are missile seekers operating in millimeter wave (mmW) frequencies. Some of the latest Russian and Chinese air-to-air and anti-ship missiles, as well as Russian anti-tank guided missiles, are using mmW seeker modes during their terminal guidance phase. This is driving new requirements for mmW jamming performance in airborne, naval and ground vehicle EA systems.

The most mature technology for jamming applications in the mmW bands is the venerable TWT. GaN technology has become a strong competitor for TWT technology in many of the latest EA programs in the frequencies from 20 MHz up through 6 GHz, and it is steadily moving into applications up through 20 GHz. However, it will likely take some time before GaN can challenge the performance of TWTs in the mmW frequencies. Still, many of the new opportunities, such as communications jamming (where most applications are below 6 GHz) and GNSS jamming (around 1.2 GHz and 1.5-1.6 GHz) fall well within the scope of GaN technology. As 5G networks become more widely deployed, including among military users, they will likely drive EW requirements for Frequency Range 1 (450 MHz – 6 GHz, which includes the heavily used 3.3-3.8-GHz range) and Frequency Range 2 (24.2to 54.6 GHz).”

Three of dB Control’s Power Amplifiers were included in the survey:

  • dB-3201 5-40 GHz MPM (CW/pulsed, 125W CW min. output power / 51 dB gain, -10 dBc max. harmonic / -50 dBc max. spur level)
  • dB-8015 2-18 GHz MPM/GaN (CW, 200W output power / 50 dB min.gain)
  • dB-3904 TWTA (12-18 GHz TWT CW/pulsed, 7kW (6% duty cycle) output power -20 dBc harmonic /-50 dBc max. spur level)

Read the article on page 29 of JED =false#articleId1982067


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