Pasternack Inc of Irvine, CA, USA (which makes both passive and active RF, microwave and millimeter-wave products) has launched a line of low-phase-noise amplifiers that incorporate gallium arsenide (GaAs) heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) technology to deliver ultralow phase-noise performance over a wide dynamic range.
The new amplifiers can be used to help optimize the sensitivity and dynamic range of higher-performing test, radar and communication receiver designs where performance is dependent on how effectively the smallest and largest signal levels can be processed. Also, for systems that require amplification of weaker signals close to the noise floor, the low phase-noise performance can help to reduce unwanted noise and distortion that can inhibit the quality of the transmitted signal. Typical applications include electronic warfare, microwave radio, VSAT, radar, space systems, test instrumentation and telecom infrastructure.
The five new models cover select frequency bands ranging from 1.5GHz to 18GHz with residual phase noise levels as low as -180dBc/Hz @ 10kHz offset. Additional performance specs include small-signal gain ranging from 9dB to 14dB, with typical noise figure of 5.5dB. Saturated output power (Psat) levels for these amplifiers range from +16dBm to +25dBm with third-order output intercept point (IP3) levels as high as +34dBm. All models feature single DC voltage supplies, and input/output RF ports are internally matched for 50 ohms with DC blocking capacitors.
The compact module assemblies require no external components and are available in rugged Kovar metal drop-in packages that are gold-over-nickel-plated and support field replaceable SMA connectors. All models are EAR99 and guaranteed to meet MIL-STD-883 test conditions for hermeticity and temperature cycle.
“Pasternack’s new series of low-phase-noise amplifiers is specifically designed for low residual phase noise performance that’s ideal for highly sensitive test and radar systems, and communication receiver applications,” says Tim Galla, Active Component product manager. “These designs usually require long production lead-times, but we have five different models with impressive performance ready and available for our customers.”