A 2 kW S-band RF source for multipactor research utilizing GaN HEMTs


A high power, pulsed RF source designated for use in multipactor research is described. Four gallium nitride high electron mobility transistors from Cree/Wolfspeed, capable of 700 W in long pulse mode (500 W rated output), are combined to achieve a maximum rated output of 2.8 kW with a pulse length of ∼100 μs. Custom splitters/combiners are used due to the power levels considered in addition to a custom power and sequencing control system to ensure the proper biasing and sequencing of the relatively delicate depletion mode GaN devices. With high efficiency and small size, gallium nitride devices present a good solution for lab based sources, and this paper aims to provide information helpful in the construction of such a source. The multipactor phenomenon itself is studied within a high impedance waveguide section - achieved with a tapered impedance transformer - placed in a WR284 traveling wave ring resonator, which increases the effective power up to a factor of 20, or ∼40 kW.


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Esser, B., Shaw, Z.C., Dickens, J.C., & Neuber, A.A.. 2020. A 2 kW S-band RF source for multipactor research utilizing GaN HEMTs. AIP Advances, 10(9). https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0009836