Development of a Variable Output Power, High Efficiency Programmable Telemetry Transmitter Using GaN Amplifier Technology
AffiliationCobham Electronic Systems
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AbstractCobham Electronic Systems, Inc. has developed a field-programmable telemetry transmitter module for higher-power (0.1W to 25W) airborne telemetry applications. A key feature of the transmitter is high DC to RF conversion efficiency over the entire variable output power range of 25dB through the use of GaN amplifiers. This high efficiency is realized by using a variable voltage DC-DC converter and dynamic bias control of the GaN amplifier elements. This feature is useful in that output power can be tailored to mission requirements and timelines, thereby extending battery life and increasing operation time. The transmitter receives configuration commands and can be programmed through an external data port. The transmitter can be configured for RF power and frequency over the telemetry S-Band frequency range, and has multiple data rates. The unit consists of RF, digital and power supply circuits. The RF transmitter is a PCM-FM type with a phase-locked loop, driver amplifiers, a power amplifier and a digital processor for RF control. The unit contains a digital processor, FPGA's, and flash memory. The power supplies contains all the regulator circuits to supply power to the rest of the unit, variable output drain voltage to the GaN devices, EMI filtering, under/overvoltage protection, a temperature sensor and a digital processor for power control. The electronics are housed in a compact aluminum housing.
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