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The Ohio State University
This proposal is for the investigation of combining advanced CMOS technology with gallium nitride (GaN) technology to achieve a wholly-digital to high-power RF transmitter system. This unique architecture will eliminate the classical RF-front-end approach by combining the power amplification stage with mixers to create the required output power and frequency of operation. The successful development of this transformative technology will significantly improve the SWAP (size, weight, & power) parameters for future transmitter systems.
This research offers many benefits and addresses many of the major challenges NASA has set forth in its communication and navigation system roadmap. First, this system will be waveform agnostic and frequency agile, which will allow for the integration of multiple systems like radar and communications, as well as more efficient use of the RF spectrum. Second, this entirely digital, direct-synthesis approach will allow for the system to be reconfigured via software, thus allowing easy upgradability to support new modes of operation without an expensive hardware overhaul.