The performance of modern radar systems with active phased array antennas is mainly driven by the performance of the microwave T/R modules. The concept of active aperture array is critically dependent on the availability of compact and minimum weight, low consumption and high reliability T/R modules. The large number of individual T/R modules integrated with the respective raDIATing elements of the active array ensures a great degree of redundancy in case of failure of elements (graceful degradation). Due to the close connection of the T /R modules to the raDIATing elements, the losses in both cases, transmit and receive, are low, compared to passive array systems. This leads to a low receive noise figure and high transmit efficiency.
The major functions of a T /R module are: (i) generation of transmit power, (ii) low noise amplification of received signals coupled to and received from the respective raDIATing element, (iii) phase shift in transmit and receive modes for beam steering, and (iv) variable gain setting for aperture weighing during reception. The T/R module architecture is closely related to the functionality required in the active apertures of the array in which it is used. Parameters that determine T/R module architecture are: (i) need for high transmit power with maximised power added efficiency, (ii) need to maximise receive input third order intercept with a low front-end noise figure, (iii) need for self-calibration and built-in test capability in the module, (iv) need for low array sidelobes on receive mode, (v) need for a distributed beam steering computation, and (vi) need for an effective heat transfer with a low module weight and cost. All the foregoing objects required for a T/R module have been achieved by critical design, indigenous development and production of the T/R module key elements for the small size L-band active aperture array.
The T/R modules are configured based on a new hybrid MIC/MMIC architecture. The transmit chain of the module is designed to generate a high peak power output, with a large pulse width and duty over the large RF bandwidth, using silicon bipolar transistors operating in efficient class 'C' mode. Low noise amplifier (LNA), digital attenuator and shared phase shifter with T/R switches in the receive chain of the T/R module, use GaAs MMICs for a reliable cost-effective solution. Silicon PIN diodes having high breakdown voltage are used for realising receiver protector circuitry. The module has an integral on-mounted driver/control circuitry using a microcontroller and miniature hybrid packaging employing SMDs (surface mount devices). The transmit and receive chains are configured using microstrip circuitry on two soft ceramic microwave laminates which are stacked compactly in a single T/R module housing. The transmit circuit laminate is screwed on to the integrated liquid cooled cold plate of the module housing, which provides the best cooling efficiency by utilizing microchannel cooling underneath each of the power devices of the transmit chain. The overall module size IS compact and fits in a triangular array grid. A close module-to- module phase and amplitude tracking over temperature, a large operating bandwidth, an adjustable transmit power control and a compact packaging with an effective integrated cooling arrangement have been achieved.
After many years of development the active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar technology reached a mature technology level. Many of today's and future radar systems will be equipped with the ASEA technology. T/R-modules are key elements in active phased array antennas for radar and electronic warfare applications. Top priority is on continuous improvement of yield figures by optimizing the spread of key performance parameters to come down with cost. To fulfill future demands on power, bandwidth, robustness, weight, multifunctional sensor capability, and overall sensor cost, new emerging semiconductor and packaging technologies have to be implemented for the next generation T/R-modules. Tianjin Baienwei New Material Technology Co.,Ltd provides the advanced packaging housings materials for T/R-modules application.The company has years’ experience in the manufacturing the controlled expansion alloy(Al-Si) materials housings,supported by a group of engineers and mass-production managers meticulously executed and experienced based on the proprietary patents and numerous issued patents,it manufactures the new materials which are binary silicon-aluminum alloys. Also,the company has the competence to handle every aspect of manufacturing process from choosing the suitable material to machining the electronic components and right up to assist your testing. Possessing a highly motivated engineering team of specialists,we are in the position to optimally convert your requirements and assist in reducing your overall cost.