Plextek RFI Develops Power Amplifier Module for US Satellite Manufacturer

Plextek RFI, has designed and supplied a microwave power amplifier module for California-based satellite manufacturer and space mission operator, Astro Digital. The module incorporates a power GaN output device and a GaAs driver circuit. It will form part of a propulsion system that is being supplied to an in-space transportation service company, and will be launched into space in 2019.

The module design seeks to maximize the DC to RF conversion efficiency, and – as with all of Plextek’s power amplifier designs – attention to detail was required to manage the thermal performance in a compact space. The different packaging technologies used for the driver amplifier and the output device also necessitated an innovative approach to the PCB design.

Plextek RF Integration is a UK based design house specialising in the design and development of RFICs, MMICs and microwave/mm-wave modules. They have designed over 70 custom ICs at frequencies ranging from baseband to 100 GHz. Their microwave and mm-wave module development activity encompasses a wide range of technologies including conventional SMT on laminate substrates, High Density Interconnect (HDI), chip and wire, thin film, thick film and LTCC. Plextek RF Integration is part of the Plextek Group.