ATEC is the industry leader in solid state power amplifier rentals, equipping customers with SSPAs from top manufacturers like Advanced Amplifiers, Amplifier Research, and IFI for affordable rental rates.
What is a Solid State Power Amplifier?
Solid state power amplifiers utilize a solid state component, a transistor, to magnify the power of weak signals. This boosts the signal’s strength when it is overcome by noise or interference and provides a mock signal for predictions as to how the radio frequency (RF) emissions will affect a device in the real world. A solid state power amplifier, or SSPA, is the most common amp used for testing applications that call for a narrow bandwidth and require less voltage to power. Solid state power amplifiers are used for EMC testing in communications, radar, aerospace, defense, medical technology, and other fields.
Key SSPA Specifications
- Frequency of operation
- Power output
- Cost / Rental rate
How Does a Solid State Power Amplifier Work?
Solid state technology amplifies RF signals with the help of a series of combined field-effect transistors, or FETs. FETs are composed of semiconductor materials. Laterally diffused metal oxide semiconductors (LDMOS) are a common form of FET for a range of AB and pulsed applications including base station, broadcast, and microwave testing. Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) and Gallium Nitride (GaN) are preferable for high-frequency use due to their electron mobility and high band gaps.
GaAs vs. GaN Solid State Amplifiers
GaAs amplifiers replaced silicon-based semiconductors like bipolar transistors and metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistors (MOSFETs) and have grown in popularity for RF/microwave applications. GAAS amplifiers generally operate from 5 – 20V.
GaN solid state amplifiers were initially designed for low frequency L, S, and C-band communications tests. They have since been developed to operate at higher frequency X, Ku, and Ka-bands. GAN amplifiers typically operate over a range from 24 – 50V.
Both GaAs and GAN amplifiers are ideal for microwave tests, including radar satellite and electronic warfare, among other communications test applications.
Radiated Immunity Test Standards