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A commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) power amplifier (PA) design developed by Empower RF Systems passed MIL-STD-810 testing, an endorsement of the ruggedness of the company’s products. Adding a dust filter was the only adaptation for testing.

Mounted in a test fixture, Empower’s Model SKU 2126 was subjected to 40 G shock while operating uninterrupted at full rated output power. The amplifier system was tested to MIL-STD-810E, Method 514.4, with 40 G peak vibration and operated for 270 minutes on each axis. The unit also passed a three-axis shock test to MIL-STD-810F, Method 516.5, with 18, 40 G peak pulses per direction, using an 11 ms sawtooth pulse.

Empower’s tested and field-proven design is common across the company’s “Next Generation” family of amplifiers. The amplifiers incorporate a patented architecture and reflect design goals to minimize RF power losses along the internal signal path, simplify manufacturing and enable ease of servicing. The design includes RF and digital printed circuit board signal routing that eliminates virtually every internal connector, RF cable and electrical harness. This makes the amplifier fundamentally rugged and reliable, while improving the RF efficiency.

Understanding that connecting external metering hardware will reduce the reliability of the overall PA platform, Empower’s engineers incorporated the external power sensors, meter and data converters into the amplifier. This improves reliability; eliminates RF power losses associated with the external connector, cable and coupler; and lowers system cost, eliminating the need to purchase external metering equipment.

The consequence of this compact, electro-mechanical structural design with added instrumentation is a COTS amplifier that is inherently durable. Even if the application does not require military “shake and bake” certification, the ruggedness protects the amplifier when it is shipped—often many times during its lifetime—and, let’s face it, accidents do happen.

Empower RF Systems
Inglewood, Calif.