Compact source delivers more than 100 W CW at 2.45 GHz

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The compact source generates more than 100 W CW output power at 2.45 GHz. It stays cool via highly efficient, solid-state technology and replaces much larger magnetron and traveling-wave-tube-amplifier systems. It provides clean microwave output power that can be adjusted by means of a straightforward user interface or under remote control with a personal computer (PC).

The model ISYS245 microwave generator is actually a full microwave system in a compact housing measuring just 11.8 x 2.2 x 10.8 inches (300 x 85 x 275 mm). It includes a low-noise voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO), high-power transistor amplifier, and control and monitoring circuitry. The four-stage solid-state power amplifier (SSPA) is based on state-of-the-art technology, using gallium-nitride (GaN) transistors on silicon-carbide (SiC) substrates for effective thermal management. The amplifier, which is biased for Class AB mode operation, achieves better than 62% efficiency.

In addition to providing high-power signals, the model ISYS245 can boost signals from an external source, such as a signal generator. As a stand-alone SSPA, it delivers small-signal gain from 55 to 58 dB at 2.45 GHz. In swept mode, the output power can be varied from 0 to 100 W in 5-W increments. The model ISYS245’s GaN amplifier provides as much as +51 dBm (110 W) saturated output power at 2.45 GHz, available at a female Type N connector. It delivers a wide dynamic range compared to tube amplifiers, with a noise figure of less than 10 dB and output third-order intercept point (OIP3) of +56 to +58 dBm. When working as a stand-alone amplifier, microwave generator handles maximum input levels of +15 dBm from external signal sources.

The microwave generator is easy to use. It features a simple-to-navigate front panel, with the capability of enabling or disabling RF output power at the push of a button. Power can also be disabled by means of a timer with a 99-minute range. The ISYS245 includes a simple parallel communications interface for external control and data logging with a PC, and is available with an optional USB interface module for use with USB-equipped computers. A variety of LEDs and audible alarms warn when RF power is enabled and of severe load mismatches and excessive reflected power conditions.

The microwave generator incorporates an innovative reflected-power measurement system that delivers outstanding accuracy when used in swept mode. For example, when working with a device under test (DUT) that presents a poor impedance match (high return loss) to the output of the ISYS245, the reflected-power measurement system can significantly reduce errors and measurement uncertainty. For certain applications, such as analysis of material properties, good reflected-power measurement accuracy is essential.

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