Comtech Xicom
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Comtech Contracted for Ka-Band Airborne SSPAs

May 26, 2021
Falcon SSPAs with BUCs are designed for in-cabin airborne applications requiring high power density and output levels from 20 to 50 W at Ka-band frequencies.

Comtech Xicom Technology, a subsidiary of Comtech Telecommunications Corp., received a follow-on contract order worth more than $1 million for Ka-band solid-state power amplifiers (SSPAs) for an in-flight-connectivity (IFC) application. The SSPAs have integrated three-band block-upconverters (BUCs) and are protected within rugged ARINC 791 housings (see the figure). The amplifiers are based on the RF/microwave gallium-nitride (GaN) transistors that power the company’s Falcon line of SSPAs.

Fred Kornberg, chairman of the board and chief executive officer (CEO) of Comtech Telecommunications Corp., said: “IFC applications using our Falcon Ka-band GaN amplifiers enable travelers to simulate an in-home experience to stay informed, entertained, and connected as they travel. In-flight bandwidth requirements keep rising as passengers become accustomed to high-bandwidth applications and entertainment wherever they go.” Kornberg added: “Comtech sees significant opportunity in this growing market and offers a portfolio of GaN-based products at Ku-band and Ka-band for IFC applications to keep people connected.”

The Ka-band Falcon SSPAs provide high linear output power and good gain flatness across frequency in support of advanced waveforms and signal modulation formats. They provide numerous automatic functions, such as multiple sub-band switching, gain equalization with frequency and temperature, and power consumption control, to enhance electrical performance under different operating conditions and establish conditions for cost-effective operation. They also employ cooperative calibration approaches for use with block upconverters (BUCs) such as the Open BUC Modem Interface Protocol (OpenBMIP). The high-power Falcon amplifiers meet DO-160 and MIL-STD-810 requirements even in their compact housings.     

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