inTEST Thermal Solutions (iTS) has designed a multi-zone thermal plate for hot/cold temperature cycling of microwave signal amplifiers used in satellite data communications. The heart of the amplifier is a travelling wave tube (TWT) and power supply. In their space-borne environment, TWTs are exposed to extreme temperatures that influence the strength and stability of their magnetic field and can adversely affect their RF signal output. Rigorous thermal stressing of TWTs is required to characterize RF signal outputs and ensure trouble-free operation after deployment.

The two-zone thermal plate is both a thermal cycler to test the TWT and a heat sink to cool the power supply. With a ±1°C stability through the full -100° to 250°C temperature range, the plate can be programmed to replicate the gradual and rapid temperature changes experienced in orbit. Data logging records each test, allowing for analysis of the TWT during temperature cycling.

The thermal plates provide surface dimensions and mounting holes configurable for the TWT footprint. Temperature cycling is controlled via local or remote communications (IEEE, RS232, Ethernet, or USB).

For details visit or contact the factory +1.781.688.2300.