RF Power Amplifier Design 2018-05-10T13:03:30+00:00

RF Power Amplifier Design

Market-Leading Size, Weight, and Power Consumption PAs

In addition to NuWaves’ full line of COTS power amplifiers and bidirectional amplifiers, the company also provides design services to develop or tailor solutions that meet specific requirements, such as RF output power, linearity (e.g. EVM), or size, weight, and power consumption (SWaP). We have Power Amplifiers for Full-Duplex systems with filter capabilities to ensure that your communication links are operating without disruption or interference. Working with half-duplex communications instead? Our Bidirectional Amplifier Design capabilities will extend the range of your half-duplex system. Whatever your need is, NuWaves Engineering offers a full spectrum of RF solutions to maximize RF capability and readiness.

 RF Design Low SWaP Power Amplifier

NuWaves’ RF power amplifier design experience includes:

  • Multi-Octave Operation
  • High Ruggedization

  • VHF thru Ka-Band Designs
  • GaN Transistors

Check out some of our RF Power Amplifier blog topics:

Power Amplifier Thermal Protection: Power Back Off

April 18th, 2018|

An RF Power Amplifier (PA) or Bi-Directional Amplifier (BDA) is able to detect a low-powered RF signal and amplify it [...]

When Should a Design Consider Using a Custom MMICs

March 9th, 2018|

The continuing drive to improve the Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP) of electronics becomes challenging with consumer-off-the-shelf (COTS) lumped element [...]

Datalink Range Improvement

February 22nd, 2018|

One of the most important factors to consider when developing a communication datalink range is the ability to provide sufficient [...]

The Importance of Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) to Mission Dominance in the Age of the Unmanned Aerial Systems

February 1st, 2018|

Significant advances continue with respect to unmanned aerial systems in both defense and domestic applications. In fact, their acceptance into [...]

Have you Considered the Effects of Mismatch Impedances on the Output of your PA?

May 31st, 2017|

In order to deliver the maximum amount of power from a power amplifier to an antenna, the impedances must be [...]

When is Power Amplifier Linearity Important?

May 19th, 2017|

In today’s complex world of wireless communications, the radio frequency (RF) power amplifier (PA) provides the final boost in power [...]

What Type of RF Power Amplifier is Ideal for My Application?

April 6th, 2016|

The choice of RF Power Amplifier (PA) depends on the end-user’s application. The operating frequency range, output power, linearity, form-factor, [...]

What RF Power Amplifier do I use for L-Band Constant-Envelope Waveforms?

February 22nd, 2016|

The Department of Defense RF Power Amplifier market has broad uses for a high-performance L-Band Power Amplifier. This includes the [...]

High Performance Power Amplifiers Utilizing Custom Designed MMICs

High-Efficiency PA for Over-the-Horizon Communications

RF Design High Efficiency Ka-Band MMIC Power Amplifier

High-Efficiency Ka-Band MMIC PA – Designed for BLOS UAV communication, this miniaturized PA device is capable of Psat > 25 Watts from 29.5 – 30.0 GHz, ideal for integration into small size, weight and power (SWaP) SATCOM terminals supporting UAS platforms, including small Group II vehicles. Key technologies are novel high efficiency techniques and miniaturized PA designs that are fabricated as a custom monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC).

Doherty Efficient Power Amplifier with Radiation Tolerance

RF Design Wideband High-Efficiency SATCOM low SWaP

Wideband High-Efficiency Ka-Band MMIC PA – Support space-based communications and radar using Ka-band frequencies, covering 29.5 – 32.5 GHz with 20 Watts of saturated RF output power and a P1dB of 8 Watts, all while maintaining a form-factor of 3.75″ x 3.0″ x 0.5″.

Custom Designed MMIC for High Efficiency, High Linearity C-Band PA

RF Design high efficiency high linearity custom mmic power amplifier

NuWaves’ high efficiency, high linearity Power Amplifier


Research, design, and development of a high-efficiency, high-linearity C-band power amplifier for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) based on a custom Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit (MMIC) design using Gallium Nitride (GaN) material. This MMIC technology features state-of-the-art analog predistortion linearization and a Doherty power amplifier topology enabling very efficient operation, especially for amplitude-modulated waveforms such as 802.11, 802.16, LTE, etc.

Additional Information

High Efficiency Class F Power Amplifier

for Earth Radar Observation System

NuWaves’ investigation of a more efficient breed of switching power amplifiers with the development of Class F and Inverse Class F PAs, incorporating new techniques to operate broadband on multiple RADAR bands from P-Band thru X-Band. NuWaves Engineering was able to prove the feasibility of an amplifier that delivers efficiency of greater than 82% with peak output power greater than 25 Watts. This technology allows for the significant reductions of battery size and cooling requirements in space applications.

In addition, the amplifier incorporates extremely fast turn on and turn off circuits to achieve switching times of less than one microsecond (μs). The benefit of such amplifiers in RADAR applications is because the amplifiers prevent self-generated noise from corrupting the reflected signal during the receive period. Another benefit is that high-power transmit and receive (T/R) switches, at the antenna feed, can be eliminated.

Although the design is targeted to radar applications, the high efficiency and broadband nature of the PA makes it suitable for applications in the communications and telemetry bands as well. NuWaves developed several patentable, new technologies including several techniques for realization of Electronically-Tuned Harmonic Matching Networks to increase the efficiency of RF & microwave power amplifiers.

RF Design High Efficiency Class F Power Amplifier

Summary of performance results achieved for P, L, S, and X-Bands. There is a trade-off between efficiency, power output, and bandwidth. Results tabulated to reflect wideband and narrow band performance.

S-band power output compression and efficiency at 3 GHz utilizing new innovative Class F and Inverse Class F techniques to operate broadband on multiple RADAR bands.

Achieved performance versus frequency. Over the frequency range of 2.5 GHz to 3.5 GHz (33% BW), the PAE exceeds 72% with an associated output power of 46 dBm (45 W) minimum. The power gain is greater than 9.5 dB with a gain flatness of 0.5 dB. Over the narrower bandwidth of 2.9 GHz to 3.1 GHz (6.7% BW), the PAE exceeds 72%, the output power exceeds 46 dBm (48 W), and the power gain is greater than 9.8 dB.

Low SWaP Designs

Targeted at Group 1 ( < 20 lbs.) and Group 2 (21 – 55 lbs.) Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) along with other platforms with severe size, weight, and power, (SWaP) requirements, the NuPower 12A03A was designed for L-3 Communications’ Bandit miniature L- and S-band transceiver. This Micro Power Amplifier has helped to the NuPower COTS line of Power Amplifier products.

  • 1.62 cubic inches (1.80″ x 1.80″ x 0.50″)
  • 1.3 oz.
  • 5 Watts RF Output Power
  • 1.0 – 2.5 GHz
  • High Efficiency GaN Technology, > 45% efficiency at select frequencies

Micro Amplifier for Aerial Vehicles (MAFAV)

RF Design L-3 Bandit Miniature L- and S-Band transceiver micro amplifier for aerial vehicles

The NuPower COTS Line of Power Amplifiers for Low SWaP Applications

RF Design power amplifiers Low SWaP applications GaN transistors

The NuPower™ series of solid state power amplifier modules is ideal for extending your communication range, with off-the-shelf modules that cover VHF, UHF, L-, S-, and C-Band frequencies with up to 100 Watts of RF output power. Leveraging the latest Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology and market-leading design miniaturization techniques, NuPower PAs are designed to meet the demanding needs of aerospace, defense and industrial markets. NuPower’s combination of power efficiency and miniature, ruggedized packaging makes them ideal for size, weight, and power-constrained telemetry, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), and tactical communication systems applications.

NuWaves’ RF Power Amplifiers have been designed to easily integrate into any communications system. With standard model variants that accept +0 dBm (1 mW) or +30 dBm (1 W) input drive levels, power supply voltages from +11 to +32 VDC, and interchangeable connector types, our modules can be easily modified to integrate with any communications setup. Learn More >>>

High RF Output Power Designs

The NuPower™ LS100A01 L- & S-Band Power Amplifier is a small, ultra-high-power solid-state power amplifier module for CW operation that delivers a minimum of 100 watts of RF power from 1600 MHz to 2500 MHz to boost signal power levels of data links and transmitters for communications range extension, electronic warfare (e.g. electronic attack), etc.

Based on state-of-the-art Gallium Nitride (GaN) device technology, the NuPower LS100A01 provides a compelling option for size, weight and power (SWaP) constrained RF telemetry and military communication systems given its 29 cubic inch, 22.6 ounce enclosure and 45% DC power efficiency.

100 Watt Low SWaP Power Amplifier for UAS

RF Design 100 Watt Low SWaP Power Amplifier UAS

High Power Amplifier for Commercial Cell Base Station Communications

RF Design High Power Amplifier digital analog modulation formats high gain

Robust amplifier designs provide capability to transmit both digital and analog modulation formats. This high gain amplifier design includes techniques to make the modulation mismatch tolerant. In addition to supporting multiple modulation formats, this commercial cell base station HPA’s design focused on high RF output power, high gain, and broadband operation, and was successfully integrated into legacy systems.

  • HF PA – A 100 Watt power amplifier that operated in the HF band and supported burst transmissions with high duty cycles. The pulsed amplifier is highly reliable and meets the demanding environmental requirements within the industrial market place. VSWR protection, programmable on/off duty cycles and pulse repetition rates, as well as programmable RF output power are only a few of the attributes of this high quality design.

High Linearity Designs

An applique that improved the linearity of a high-efficiency PA while minimizing its required power back-off in support of amplitude-modulated waveforms such as OFDM, QAM, etc. Requiring no manual adjustments, the PA Linearizer Module’s (PALM) adaptive correction maintains optimal linearity over amplifier temperature drift, power output, and other impairments

Available from frequencies from VHF trough 4 GHz, the PALM module is the ideal solution for linearizing PAs regardless of their topology: class A, AB, and Doherty or device technology: GaN, GaAs, LDMOS. The typical improvement in adjacent channel power rejection (shoulder levels) is 12 to 20 dB depending on the modulation and signal bandwidth.

With a power consumption of less than one watt, the PALM module adds little overhead to battery operated system. Also, its miniature size (2.50” x 1.75” x 0.75” ) is well suited for integration in compact amplifier systems.

PA Linearizer Module (PALM)

RF Designs High-efficiency power amplifier linearizer

Third-Party RF Amplifier Evaluation & Repair

Third Party RF Amplifier Evaluation and Repair
REQUEST Amplifier Evaluation & Repair Information

Or check out our System Sustainment Services Experience if you want to consider sending in your fleet of RF high powered amplifiers for depot-level maintenance.

RF Amplifier Module trouble shooting services


Evaluation, troubleshooting, and repair of high-powered amplifier modules without benefit of any technical drawings or documentation.


  • Comprehensive evaluation and deep-dive analysis of the transmit circuitry
  • Successful repair validated through third-party testing
  • Originally designated “beyond economical repair” by supplier, units were cost-effectively repaired and fielded

Contact NuWaves’ PA Design Team

If you are interested in having NuWaves Engineering design a RF Power Amplifier for your team, click on the REQUEST ADDITIONAL INFORMATION button below, submit your contact information and a brief description describing your project and power amplifier requirements, and a member from our Engineering Services team will reach out to you within 24 hours.

Request Additional Information

NuWaves’ in-depth knowledge, experience, and key personnel allow us to offer a full spectrum of solutions to maximize your RF capability and readiness, and engineer a lasting partnership. NuWaves Engineering is driven to advance your mission; challenged to achieve excellence.

Mike Trimble
Mike TrimbleDirector of Business Development - Engineering Services

Contact NuWaves to discuss our market-leading system sustainment services.

Otherwise, click on one of the buttons below to continue checking out our capabilities and experience.

Project Design Experience
Sustainment & Modernization Services
RF Frequency Converter Design
Bidirectional Amplifer Design
RF Receiver & Front End Design