Liquid Cooled High Power C/X-Band EW SSPA
The Air Force needed a new approach to manufacture high power amplifiers to replace TWT technology in existing EW systems. This ongoing program is a multi-year, multi-million dollar effort involving CAP Wireless, which is under contract with key US government agencies. The primary goal is to replace legacy TWTAs in existing systems in lieu of repairing them. According to Air Force personnel, solid state technologies are the logical replacement for Vacuum Electron Devices and will enhance system performance, increase reliability, and reduce life-cycle costs by hundreds of millions of dollars.
This unit had to replace the legacy TWTA in an existing EW system, with direct connection to the oil cooling system.
Built on its 4-18 GHz Spatium Platform, CAP identified available MMIC devices to enable a multi-hundred watt broadband C/X-band amplifier for the airborne EW system. Equally important was the incorporation of the onboard oil cooling system into the amplifier design. The end result was that the Spatium SSPA replaced the TWTA, resulting in EW system performance that exceeded requirements over the band of interest. Moreover, the unique cooling system that CAP developed is capable exceeding required power levels by a large margin. This means that as higher power and efficiency MMICs become available, CAP will be able to quickly take advantage of these developments to produce SSPAs with significantly higher power output with only minor changes to the current design and configuration.
"Now that you have proven the technology will work in our (EW) system, I want to expand it to other platforms"
- Senior USAF Program Executive