Stellant Systems’ Quad Space nano microwave power module (MPM®) is an RF power amplifier for Ku/K-Band satellite downlinks, designed for a new generation of software-defined satellites that use phased array antennas to increase on-orbit flexibility. The nanoMPM has four amplifier chains, each combining a solid-state amplifier driving a small travelling wave tube (TWT) output amplifier, with all four chains powered by a proprietary electronic power conditioner (EPC) that converts the satellite bus voltage to the biases required by the driver and mini-TWT. The solid-state driver provides high gain with predistortion to linearize the amplifier chain.
The Quad Space nanoMPM covers the 17.3 to 20.5 satellite downlink band and provides 30 W linear output power (60 W saturated) with a nominal input power of -24 dBm. The MPM has 35 percent efficiency at a 15 dB noise power ratio.
Two amplifier chains are packaged in a housing—with two housings for the four amplifiers—and the EPC is in a separate housing. Each dual-channel amplifier has a mass of 1.25 kg, including the high voltage bias cable and the mass of the EPC is 2.3 kg. The nanoMPM provides full control of its operation, with telemetry to monitor the operating status, temperature, currents and the RF output power of each channel. In addition, the structural output power of each amplifier chain can be adjusted on-orbit over a 2 dB window.
The combination of a solid-state driver and mini-TWT bridges the gap between solid-state amplifiers and the traditional linearized channel amplifier TWT used in many satellites. By tapping the best of solid-state and TWT technologies, the Quad Space nanoMPM balances the output power, linearity, efficiency, bandwidth, size and mass for next-gen satellite applications.
Stellant Systems manufactures critical components for defense, space, medical, scientific and industrial customers around the globe.