Compact 3D Folded 10W K-band Solid State Power Amplifier for Low Earth Orbit Satellite Communication

This paper presents a compact 10W Solid State Power Amplifier (SSPA) operating from 20.2 GHz to 21.2 GHz. This SSPA is designed to support missions in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) on platforms with minimal available footprint. Active portions of the SSPA are formed as hermetically sealed modules with a single driver module driving four identical power amplifier modules. Power combining is performed with a 1-to-4 microstrip splitter and a 4-to-1 waveguide combiner. A key distinguishing feature of this SSPA is how we fold the design in 3-dimensions to reduce footprint. A waveguide combiner and microstrip splitter are directly placed on top of each other to form the bottom mounting surface of the SSPA. Active hybrid modules form the top of the SSPA. Interconnections between these elements are made with vertical feedthroughs. This N-layer approach offers potential to shrink footprint to 1/N of the unfolded planar area.