Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit (MMIC) technology for space communications applicationsFuture communications satellites are likely to use gallium arsenide (GaAs) monolithic microwave integrated-circuit (MMIC) technology in most, if not all, communications payload subsystems. Multiple-scanning-beam antenna systems are expected to use GaAs MMIC's to increase functional capability, to reduce volume, weight, and cost, and to greatly improve system reliability. RF and IF matrix switch technology based on GaAs MMIC's is also being developed for these reasons. MMIC technology, including gigabit-rate GaAs digital integrated circuits, offers substantial advantages in power consumption and weight over silicon technologies for high-throughput, on-board baseband processor systems. For the more distant future pseudomorphic indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) and other advanced III-V materials offer the possibility of MMIC subsystems well up into the millimeter wavelength region. All of these technology elements are in NASA's MMIC program. Their status is reviewed.
Connolly, Denis J. (NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Bhasin, Kul B. (NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Romanofsky, Robert R. (NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)