By George Solomon, Dave Riffelmacher, Steve Evans, and Todd Treado, Communications and Power Industries, LLC, Beverly Microwave Division
The introduction of GaN as a solid state semiconductor material has enabled the manufacture of high-power, efficient amplifiers in a small volume. In 2011, CPI developed a 1300-watt S-band solid state power amplifier, CPI model VSS3607. The VSS3607 SSPA is designed around the Cree CGH31240F power transistor. In 2012, CPI power combined 12 VSS3607 amplifiers to produce a very reliable and efficient, air-cooled amplifier, CPI model VSS3605, for radar applications, including Air Traffic Control (ATC) radar systems. This paper will present details of the design and performance data for the VSS3607 amplifier, including results from a 1000-hour life test. This paper will also present performance data for CPI’s 13-kW SSPA, the VSS3605.