The objective of the activity is to develop monolithic microwave integrated tuneable active filters for frequency converters to be used in ground-based communication equipment. One K-band (20 GHz) and one Ka-band (30 GHz) tuneable band-pass filters designed with miniaturised footprint will be manufactured and validated in a laboratory environment.
Targeted Improvements: Enabling innovative technology, reduced size by 20% to 40% with respect to planar solutions and reduced noise figure of the RF chain by 10%-20%.
Traditionally, band selection in professional multi-band frequency up/down converters is achieved using bulky switchable filter banks. Wideband ground frequency converters demand reconfigurable, high performance RF band-pass filter with a wide tuning range and low insertion loss. Currently available solutions for tuneable filters are implemented in waveguide, coaxial or planartechnology, occupying large surface and/or volume, which makes them costly for small satcom ground platforms (Man-packs, SNG, Fly-Awayterminals, SOTM, M2M). MMIC technology enables miniaturisation of active tuneable filters, allowing not only a size reduction but also the simultaneous integration of different functions such as signal filtering and amplification.
The use of active elements inmicrowave system is challenged by insertion loss stability, increased noise figure and intermodulation distortion, which are highlydependent on production technology. Concepts based on the negative resistance of the active transistor (e.g. GaAs, FET, HEMTs) canbeusedto compensate the losses from other passive elements and enhance the Q-factor of the filter's passive integrated network. Single resonator or dual-resonator topologies have been reported achieving equivalent Q-factor of 400 to 1000 in the frequencies above 10 GHz. This activity targets the design, manufacturing and test of tuneable set of filters in two different bands using one of the performance favourable MMIC technologies. The scope of the activity comprises a technology assessment with trade-off analysis ofthe performance and production costs aiming at improved temperature stability, production misalignment and development time.
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