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AR to Help U.S. Army Modernize Electromagnetic Radiation Effects Test Complex

rsz_fig-01AR RF/Microwave Instrumentation of Souderton, PA, has been awarded the contract to provide large broadband RF amplifiers as part of the US Army Electromagnetic Environmental Effects Systems Modernization Program at White Sands Missile Range, Electromagnetic Radiation Effects (EMRE) test complex in New Mexico.

For more than 20 years AR has been developing reliable power amplifiers for the US Army. In this latest award AR RF/Microwave Instrumentation is working with TMC Design of Las Cruces, NM, who is the Prime Contractor of a six-member Industry Team tasked to modernize the EMRE test complex. The $37M award was made through an open competition RFQ, and was based on the criteria of technical solution, risk management, past performance and best value. The US Army Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI) will manage the Modernization Program.

As part of the modernization effort, AR RF/Microwave Instrumentation is designing, developing, and installing two large RF solid state power amplifiers. The first to be delivered will be a 50,000-watt, 30MHz to 100MHz amplifier. One major selling point in receiving this new award was the success AR achieved with the on time delivery of a 50,000 watt, 3 to 30 MHz solid state amplifier (FIG 1) to EMRE in a prior award. The unit uses a chiller design (FIG 2) which reduces transistor operating temperatures which greatly improves the amplifiers reliability. The first of two amplifiers to be delivered on the new contract has the same output power requirement but spans a frequency range of 30 to 100 MHz. The second amplifier to be delivered will be a 25,000-watt, 10kHz to 30MHz amplifier. A similar amplifier was recently shipped to the United Kingdom. The two amplifiers under contract will be replacing older 10,000-watt AR tube based amplifiers that have been in service for over 20 years. The new amplifiers will provide expanded testing capabilities for White Sands Missile Range.

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VSWR and its Effects on Power Amplifiers

Voltage Standing Wave Ratio results from an impedance mismatch between a source (an amplifier) and a load (test application). This mismatch can influence the performance of the source.

Both amplifiers build on AR’s existing commercial technology of Class A solid state power amplifiers. The fundamental building block is a water-cooled RF power module utilizing advancements in semiconductor devices and RF design techniques. The latest generation of the design offers superior harmonic performance (better than -40dBc harmonics in the bands of interest) and improved low frequency behavior into poor loads. Significant use of inter-module fiber optic communications ensures reliable control without interference. Both amplifiers have major common components to meet the requirement of interchangeability and reduced Mean-Time-To-Repair, which is less than 30 minutes. The award includes installation and training and supplying the necessary chillers as a complete integrated solution.

The EMRE Test Complex provides the Army with critical cutting-edge capabilities to test and evaluate survivability and vulnerability of operational systems for electromagnetic radiation and compatibility, electromagnetic interference and discharge, and electromagnetic radiation hazards.

 

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