Achieving size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C) objectives for any RF/microwave designer is a challenge. So for designers going the extra distance into space, Custom MMIC offers 2 briefs that will help lighten the load. Engineers thinking how to best optimize their high frequency band signal chains for SWaP-C, while not hindering performance, will find these briefs related to the use of high-performance space-qualified MMICs in RF/microwave signal chains bound for space communication systems a great value.
To a space designer, squeezing every ounce of extra performance and weight out of a component takes on new meaning. So how can a tiny RF MMIC play a big role? When the team behind the MMICs has thought ahead to your system's SWaP-C needs and has produced MMIC designs that deliver positive ramifications across the signal chain. First, they've considered how many RF signal chains are riddled with negative bias control circuitry and designed many of their best MMICs to require a single positive bias supply which eliminates the need to supply a negative voltage in your receiver or transmitter circuit designs. Second, while having a central focus on keeping noise figures ultra-low in their Low Noise Amplifier (LNA) MMICs, they've kept additional focus on other performance characteristics that could have even more impact on your SWaP-C and the ultimate performance of your communication systems.
(A complete list of previously space-qualified MMICs screened through class K by Custom MMIC, including LNAs, switches, and driver amplifiers can be found at https://www.custommmic.com/space-qualified-mmics/ )
Custom MMIC’s engineering team has been exploring the use of enhancement mode pseudomorphic high-electron-mobility-transistors (E-pHEMTs) in monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs) for many years. This technique directly addresses the well-known design challenge of sequencing in amplifier biasing. The savings generated by removing the sequencer can be enormous, and Custom MMIC offers dozens of standard, off-the-shelf power amplifiers (PA) and Low Noise Amplifier (LNA) components built with E-PHEMT technology. Not only can E-pHEMT amplifier MMICs reduce cost and complexity, they can also improve performance.
Picking the right LNA
(LNA) MMICs are a critical component in virtually all radar and communication systems. There are a wide range of options and tradeoffs a space system engineer must consider when picking an LNA MMIC for their design. The noise figure is often the feature of primary focus, as noise figure defines the sensitivity of the receiver. But after noise figure, other characteristics can make an especially big difference to a space system designer. Keeping these additional parameters in mind may help a space system engineer save time during the design cycle, save money during assembly, and help deliver on all their SWaP-C objectives.
Download Two Tech Briefs from Custom MMIC and learn how to take advantage of these design details and get your next system ready for launch.