JED - April 2009 - (Page 43)

GaN Amplifiers: Boosting the Power behind Communications Jammers By John Knowles The Journal of Electronic Defense | April 2009 W hen remote-controlled improvised explosive devices (IEDs) began to appear in Iraq back in 2003 to 2004, it wasn’t just the US Army and US Marine Corps that were caught flatfooted. The US electronic warfare (EW) industry also was unprepared to meet this threat. Up until this time, jamming in the communications frequencies usually was performed by large, dedicated EW platforms, like the USMC’s Marine EW Support System (MEWSS) vehicle, the US Air Force’s EC-130H Compass Call aircraft or the US Navy’s EA-6B Prowler aircraft. There were some smaller mobile and stationary, “hand emplaced” jammers in use as well. Almost all of these devices, however, were designed to jam communications at distances typically measured in miles. US forces did not perceive a need for small, relatively low-power, wideband communications jammers that would, in effect, create a 30- to 150-ft. jamming “bubble” around a vehicle or soldier. This requirement evolved rapidly, however, once IEDs appeared in large numbers in Iraq, and soon afterward in Afghanistan. As urgent requirements for IED jammers began to emerge in 2004 and 2005, it created a wide open market for the US defense industry. No US company was manufacturing IED jammers before Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. Over the next five years, more than 40 companies (most of them from outside the traditional EW market) would offer IED jammer solutions. With the US Army and US Marine Corps buying thousands of IED jammers per year beginning around 2005, there has been a lot of emphasis on the developing supply chain that would turn out IED jammer components and subsystems quickly and efficiently. A critical component of any IED jammer is, of course, the power amplifier. Until the market for IED jammers emerged, there was a very limited demand for small, rugged and efficient broadband high-power amplifiers. For power amplifier manufacturers, however, this changed almost overnight. Fortunately, reliable amplifier technology was available. NEW TECHNOLOGY For IED jammer applications, many power amplifier manufacturers rely on Gallium Nitride (GaN) transistor technology. GaN devices offer significantly better performance compared with Gallium Arsenide (GaAs), laterally diffused metal oxide semiconductor (LDMOS) and vertical diffusion metal-oxide semicon- ductor (VDMOS) transistors. The advantages of GaN are described in this quote from Milmega (Isle of Wight, UK) in a September 2008 Microwave Journal article: “The inherent properties of GaN have a number of advantages to offer the amplifier designer. A major one is that the transistor structure enables the development of a product that allows operation into high VSWR loads, including short and open circuits, without the need for protective circuits or isolators. The higher gains of GaN transistors, compared to those of competing technologies, reduce both the overall transistor count and the number of combining stages required. Operation from high voltages results in a less complex power supply design, an important feature in determining the overall reliability of an amplifier structure.” Today, a number of amplifier manufacturers produce GaN devices for IED and general communications jamming applications. Aethercomm Inc. (Carlsbad, CA) makes a range of GaN power amplifiers that operate from +28Vdc and +50Vdc power supplies. Among its newest products are the SSPA 0.020-1.00030-28V and SSPA 0.020-1.000-30-48V. Both amplifiers cover the 20- to 1,000MHz range with a typical gain of 50 dB. The SSPA 0.020-1.000-30-28V offers an 43

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - April 2009

JED - April 2009
Contents
The View From Here
Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
Lethal SEAD
Airborne SIGINT Forecast
RF Power Sources for IED Jammers
Roost Profile
EW 101
AOC News
JED Sales Offices
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look

JED - April 2009

https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0318
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0218
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0118
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1217
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1117
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1017
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0917
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0817
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0717
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0617
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0517
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0417
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0317
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0217
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0117
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1216
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1116
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1016
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0916
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0816
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0716
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0616
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0516
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0416
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0316
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0216
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0116
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1215
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1115
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1015
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0915
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0815
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0715
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0615
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0515
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0415
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0315
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0215
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0115
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1214
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1114
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1014
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0914
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0814
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0714
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0614
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0514
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0414
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0314
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0214
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0114
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1213
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1113
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM1013
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0913
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0813
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0713
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0613
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0513
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0413
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/JEDM/JEDM0313
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0213
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0113
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM1212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM1112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM1012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM1211
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM1111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM1011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0511
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0411
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0311
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0211
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM1210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM1110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM1010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0310
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM1209
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM1109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM1009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0409
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0209
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/JEDM0908
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com