KCB Solutions provides space grade, GaN Power Amplifier hybrids – aiding development of future Global Navigation and Timing Satellites Capability

By February 28, 2022 March 4th, 2022 News
Space HiRel GaN Power Amplifiers for NTS

High REL Gallium Nitride amplifiers to be installed in the NTS-3 satellite

Shirley, MA 2/18/22 – KCB Solutions is proud to announce our involvement in supporting a major satellite systems manufacturer’s payload development for the NTS-3 satellite, helping to raise GaN to new heights as a space level space level hybrid on one of three USAF Vanguard missions.

The KCB Solutions team worked with a major satellite contributor, creating custom hermetic packages, space level microelectronic assembly, test, class K equivalent screening and qualification of multiple GaN Power Amplifier hybrid modules. Working closely with our customer KCB Solutions provided a turn-key surface mount hybrid product. KCB Solutions designed and developed all associated assembly, test and burn-in fixturing and required test software.

NTS-3, or Navigation and Timing Satellite 3, is an Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) government funded demonstration satellite, expected to launch in 2023, that will push the boundary of today’s position, navigation, and timing (PNT) technology to develop a more flexible, robust, and resilient architecture for satellite navigation technology (Global Positioning Satellite System).

Joel Mozer, chief scientist of the U.S. Space Force, said “NTS-3 will demonstrate technologies such as phased array antennas, flexible signals and reprogrammable payloads that will add ‘cyber hardness.’”

Among the components that will be tested on NTS-3 are an On-Orbit digital waveform generator, advanced antennas systems and highly efficient Gallium Nitride Amplifiers supplied by KCB Solutions
To test these new capabilities in hardware, software and concepts of operations, NTS-3 will operate for at least one year in Geosynchronous Earth Orbit.

Space satellites have significant constraints with respect to size, weight, and Power. Gallium Nitride is a III/V semiconductor that has low sensitivity to ionizing radiation and can be used to produce high power and high efficiency amplifiers at microwave frequencies, these properties make them ideal for Satellite microelectronics applications

KCB Solutions produces packaged Gallium Nitride (GaN HEMT) High Electron Mobility Transistors and Integrated Circuits using Surface‐Mount Technology (SMT) for applications that require high reliability for space, military, or other harsh environments.

These products offer superior properties compared to silicon or gallium arsenide, including more efficient operation, higher breakdown voltage, higher saturated electron drift velocity, power density, wider bandwidths, and higher thermal conductivity.

About KCB Solutions

Founded in 2003, KCB Solutions has grown into a leading manufacturer of RF and Microwave surface mount microcircuits and hybrids, focused on Space, Aerospace, and Defense applications. Based on our commitment to product quality and an exceptionally high level of customer service, we have become a partner and sole source supplier to some of the largest OEMs in the world.

Our modern manufacturing facility reflects our philosophy of cost-efficient vertical integration with state-of-the-art automated assembly and electrical testing. Our investment in technology allows us to control the manufacturing process to achieve our customers’ requirements. Through the implementation of continuous improvement and lean manufacturing practices, AS9100 quality standards have been put in place to specifically address the requirements of our target markets.

KCB has a long history of supplying Space Level product tested using the flows outlined in MIL-PRF-38534 Class H or K (multi-chip hybrids) and MIL-PRF-38535 Class Level B and S (single chip), with an excellent reputation for on-time delivery and reduced overall cost. Coupled with our program and component management resources, we are able to support long-running space programs for the commercial and defense industries and help minimize obsolescence risk throughout the life of any program.