Amplifier circuits for space applications

ESA (European Space Agency) is currently developing a new generation of weather satellites (MetOp-SG). In order to attain the necessary sensitivity of the systems, low-noise amplifier circuits based on the Fraunhofer IAF’s own 50nm mHEMT (metamorphic high electron mobility transistor) process are being developed and qualified for use in space. The development comprises frequency bands from 54 to 243 GHz.


Project title PreRALNA − Preliminary Reliability Assessment of Millimeter-Wave Low Noise Amplifiers  
Project duration 2012 − 2015  
Funding source European Space Agency  
Project partners
  • VTT/Millilab, Finland
  • DA-Design, Finland
Project manager Dr. Markus Rösch  
  • Development of very low-noise amplifiers with high gain according to the demanding ESA specifications
  • Assessment of reliability and defect mechanisms at increased operating temperatures and during long-term lifetime tests
  • Qualification of the MMICs for space applications
  • Application of the developed circuits in ESA weather satellites of the latest generation