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Published October 1, 1993 | public
Journal Article Open

A 100-element HBT grid amplifier


A 100-element 10-GHz grid amplifier has been developed. The active devices in the grid are chips with heterojunction-bipolar-transistor (HBT) differential pairs. The metal grid pattern was empirically designed to provide effective coupling between the HBTs and free space. Two independent measurements, one with focusing lenses and the other without, were used to characterize the grid. In each case, the peak gain was 10 dB at 10 GHz with a 3-dB bandwidth of 1 GHz. The input and output return losses were better than 15 dB at 10 GHz. The maximum output power was 450 mW, and the minimum noise figure was 7 dB. By varying the bias, a signal could be amplitude modulated with a modulation index as large as 0.65. Tests show that the grid was quite tolerant of failures-the output power dropped by only 1 dB when 10% of the inputs were detuned. The grid amplifier is a multimode device that amplifies beams of different shapes and angles. Beams with incidence angles up to 30° were amplified with less than a 3-dB drop in gain.

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© Copyright 1993 IEEE. Reprinted with permission. Manuscript received November 1, 1992; revised February 1, 1992. The work at Caltech was supported by the Army Research Office, the Northrop Corporation, the Naval Weapons Center in China Lake, CA, and the Rockwell International Trust, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.


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