Intro to Microwave Power Modules: Part 2

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In Part 1, we discussed the definition and origins of the microwave power module (MPM). A signature feature of an MPM is the use of complementary technologies. For example, to reduce the size of the TWT, the option that made the most sense was to reduce the length of the input section on the helix circuit. Likewise, the reduction in RF gain due to this length reduction is compensated by using a small solid state driver amplifier. The result was a small size RF signal path consisting of a solid state amplifier (SSA) and a short mini-booster TWT (a.k.a. vacuum power booster or micro TWT). Operating cathode voltage of this TWT is in the range of 3Kv to 10Kv – depending on the frequency and RF output power levels. A densely packaged power supply is used to derive the cathode, grid, collectors and heater voltages.

dB Control: 30 Years of MPM Expertise

dB Control has strong roots in MPM technology. In fact, dB Control VP of Business Development Steve Walley was at Varian when they built their first MPMs with a CPI mini booster tube and outsourced power supply back in 1991. And a now-retired dB Control VP (Meppalli Shandas) was one of the leading contributors to the Tri-Service MPM Program in the early 1990s. When the program was initiated nearly three decades ago, dB Control engineers were at the forefront of this technology too. Now in 2020, we have several modern MPM production programs in-house. In fact, the company has delivered hundreds of wideband and narrowband MPMs for radar and ECM applications. Here are some examples of dB Control MPMs for EW, radar and communication applications:

Need more info about dB Control’s MPM capabilities? Email

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