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microelectronics  GaN


Figure 7: Packaged radiation test cell (left) and the heavy ion test set-up (right) at Lovain La Neuve, Belgium


choosing appropriate metallisation schemes to ensure gate thermal stability are all essential requirements to achieve high reliability, and modifications have been made accordingly to new process batches. The primary goal of these adjustments is further improvement in operating lifetime, while at the same time satisfying performance and manufacturing yield targets.


If these efforts are successful, they will play a big part in helping Europe’s space industry to maintain its competitive edge. One of the big hopes behind the GREAT2


global vegetation mapping. Syrlinks is carrying out the transmitter design and fabrication, with spacecraft integration and test the responsibility of QinetiQ Space nv (see figure 8). This demonstration offers a unique opportunity to combine extensive test data that has been gathered on the ground with performance and test data achieved in a real-life, in-orbit operating environment. If successful this will be the first launch of European-sourced GaN technology, which will provide a fantastic feather in the cap of the GREAT2


project.


initiative is that it will foster an independent GaN supply chain for space, while also being applicable to dual-use markets. Success on both these fronts promises to create sufficient volume demand to sustain European capability over the long term. However, this is not the only benefit of the GREAT2


project. During the


first year of this programme there has been an opportunity to demonstrate the use of the X-band test evaluation prototypes, fabricated by IAF, in an experimental X-band telemetry transmitter due to be launched in 2012 on PROBA V, ESA’s small satellite for


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Resources


An overview of GREAT2 project is given at http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Technology/ SEMJ1X9BWUF_0.html


More information on the PROBA V can be found at http://www.esa.int/esaMI/Proba/SEM7QUYOBFG_0.html


Figure 8: MMICs produced by Fraunhofer IAF are assembled into hermetic packages by Tesat,and finally incorporated into an X-band telemetry transistor that will be launched in 2012 on PROBA V for global vegetation mapping


,an ESA satellite October 2011 www.compoundsemiconductor.net 35


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