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ESA Project Develops 6x6mm GaN Transceiver

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Prototype transmit/receive module on single 6x6 mm chip will deliver miniaturised space radar systems for future missions

Traditional transmit/receive modules used on Europe's Sentinel-1 and comparable radar missions employ separate circuits for the high-power amplifier, the low-noise amplifier and the switch/isolator.

Now TNO in the Netherlands, UMS in France, and Airbus Defence and Space in Germany have integrated all these functions onto a single GaN chip, delivering increased efficiency and a threefold increase in radio-frequency power. The prototype was developed through ESA's Basic Technology Research Programme.

A follow-up project to integrate the chip into a complete radar module suitable for a future Sentinel-1 successor mission is being undertaken through the Agency's follow-up General Support Technology Programme.

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