Solid-state, Frequency-Agile High Power Radio Frequency (HPRF) Source
Navy SBIR FY2014.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2014.1
Topic No.: N141-060
Topic Title: Solid-state, Frequency-Agile High Power Radio Frequency (HPRF) Source
Proposal No.: N141-060-0859
Firm: Scientific Applications & Research Assoc., Inc.
6300 Gateway Dr.
Cypress, California 90630-4844
Contact: Cameron Hettler
Phone: (719) 302-3117
Web Site:
Abstract: SARA proposes an innovate approach to develop an all solid-state, frequency-agile high power radio frequency (HPRF) source. The approach combines three primary elements: a laser triggered semiconductor switch, a blumlein modulator, and a non-linear transmission line (NLTL). The proposed approach offers a high power semiconductor switch solution that alleviates the optical power and device lifetime issues with previous photoconductive semiconductor switch (PCSS) approaches. Furthermore, the novel system approach can dramatically increases the RF conversion efficiency in the NLTL through a novel bipolar high voltage driver. SARA proposes an approach using a tunable blumlein modulator and configurable NLTLs to span the necessary peak power and operating frequency requirements. SARA proposes to build upon previous component and system experience to advance this technology for the needs of ONR and towards technology commercialization.
Benefits: The HPRF source is expected to be of principal interest for defense applications. However, specific components (namely the laser-triggered switch and NLTL) have numerous crossover applications in a variety of pulsed power systems, which appear in both defense and commercial markets. The primary commercialization target for the laser-triggered switch will be applications requiring long operating lifetime and highly-controllable switch timing. The defense applications are numerous and could include directed energy weapons, compact solid-state Marx generators, EMP simulators, and electromagnetic armor. In the commercial sector, there are medical applications for high power switches and RF sources in the areas of isotope production and particle accelerators for industrial and medical markets.