GaN SSPA Technology for Space-Based Applications
Few technology applications are positioned to benefit from high-power RF GaN device insertion to the extent as space payloads. Costing roughly $10,000 per pound of payload to launch a satellite into space, the benefit of small, lightweight hardware is obvious. The trend toward low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellations is increasing the pressure to develop cost-saving technologies. While GaN is well-positioned to deliver these benefits, its use is not without challenges. To maximize the mean time between failures (MTBF), the thermal conduction path away from the device must be carefully designed. As an added challenge, the lack of industry heritage using GaN in space requires thorough analysis and additional qualification testing.
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