12 March 2020
Mission Microwave’s GaN-based BUCs support Envistacom’s SatCom terminal upgrade program
Mission Microwave Technologies LLC of Santa Fe Springs, CA, USA, which manufactures gallium nitride (GaN)-based solid-state power amplifiers (SSPAs) and block up-converters (BUCs), and Envistacom of Atlanta, GA, USA, a provider of communications, cyber and intelligence operations solutions to the US Department of Defense (DoD) and coalition partners in the aerospace, defense and intelligence communities, have confirmed the initial orders of a major satellite ground terminal upgrade program for a US Government customer.
Envistacom teamed with Mission Microwave to create an opportunity for their customer to replace legacy traveling-wave tube amplifiers (TWTA)-based block up-converters (BUCs) with solid-state BUCs based on gallium nitride (GaN) technology. The initial upgrade platforms include 200 tactical terminals in support of the US Army’s Project Manager Mission Network (PM MN).
Mission Microwave is providing Envistacom with 200W Ku-band and 50W Ka-band BUCs to replace legacy TWTA-based up-converters. Mission Microwave says that its competency in designing compact and highly efficient amplifiers has enabled Envistacom to offer their customer an upgrade path that will extend the life and utility of this tactical SatCom terminal fleet of over 600 terminals. If taken to completion, the upgrade program could result in orders of about $44m for Mission Microwave.
“The end-users of our products rely on proven SatCom system providers like Envistacom to bring the benefits of solid-state designs to the tactical edge,” says Mission Microwave’s VP of sales & marketing Steve Richeson. “We worked with Envistacom’s engineering team to navigate the complexities of the upgrade and certification process for these terminals. Envistacom’s reputation and knowledge of the tactical customers’ expectations has made it possible for Mission Microwave to bring these benefits to critical field operators,” he adds. “We expect the trend of replacing high-power TWTAs with SSPAs to be a significant market for the foreseeable future. Envistacom has been a critical partner in bringing this to market.”
“Our tactical customers demand the reliability, performance and lower total cost of ownership associated with solid-state amplifiers,” says Russ Coolman, product manager, Envistacom. “Mission Microwave’s innovative application of GaN technology has enabled the use of solid-state BUCs at power levels that were previously not practical.”