RF Communications for Unmanned Aircraft Systems

NuWaves to Develop Miniature C-band Power Amplifier for NASA Missions

By Caroline Rees / 25 May 2015
UAS Power Amplifier

UAS Power Amplifier for Extended Range of Non-Payload Communication Devices (UPEND)

NuWaves Engineering, an international Radio Frequency (RF) and Microwave solutions provider, has announced that the company has been awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to develop and prototype a miniature linear and high-efficiency C-band power amplifier (PA) to provide communication range extension for a variety of NASA missions and applications, including Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) integration into the National Airspace System (NAS).

Under the terms of the contract, NuWaves Engineering will develop, prototype and test two distinct C-Band amplifier variants: an efficient linear PA for data links with amplitude-modulated waveforms, such as Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM), and a high-efficiency PA for data links with waveforms characterized by having little or no amplitude variation. NuWaves’ partner on the Phase II contract is InnoWave, Inc. of Acton, Massachusetts. Together, the Team will incorporate linearization and Doherty amplifier designs into monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) devices that will serve as the core of what will be connectorized PA modules capable of being integrated into existing command and control and communication systems. In addition to the MMICs, each of the two connectorized PA modules will feature a broad power supply range, advanced thermal management techniques and optional bidirectional circuitry. Finally, the technology will be scalable to higher frequencies, such as X-, Ku-, K- and Ka-bands.

“We’re thrilled to continue development of key power amplifier technologies, starting at the component device level and moving up through connectorized modules, in order to decrease size, weight and power consumption for C2 and comms links,” said Jeff Wells, President and CEO of NuWaves Engineering. “Beyond C-band, we look to apply these key technologies to higher frequency bands and power levels to support other NASA missions and priorities.”

Posted by Caroline Rees Caroline co-founded Unmanned Systems Technology and has been at the forefront of the business ever since. With a Masters Degree in marketing Caroline has her finger on the pulse of all things unmanned and is committed to showcasing the very latest in unmanned technical innovation. Connect & Contact