Image: micro radar chip

Image: micro radar chip

The prototype of the transmit / receive module fits on a chip whose size is only 6 x 6 mm. It is designed for installation in radar systems for future missions.

Traditional modules used in the European Sentinel-1, use separate circuits for a powerful amplifier, sound attenuation and switch / isolator.

Scientists from the Netherlands, France and Germany have teamed up to integrate these functions into a small and unified chip. They also tried to create higher efficiency and three times more radio frequency power. Gallium nitride (GaN), the most promising semiconductor after silicon, was used as an additional component. If you had a Blu-ray player, then there was a tiny GaN crystal.

GaN is able to function with high RF power, low noise or at much higher temperatures than silicon. In addition, it is resistant to radiation.

Scientists are going to embed the chip in the future radar module, which will replace the Sentinel-1.

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