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Robust GaN Electronics for Highly Reliable BF and RF Analog Systems in Aerospace Applications

[+] Author Affiliations
G. Soubercaze-Pun, J. G. Tartarin, G. Graffeuil

LAAS-CNRS and Paul Sabatier University, Toulouse Cedex, France

L. Bary, J. Rayssac

LAAS-CNRS, Toulouse Cedex, France

S. Delage

TIGER Alcatel-Thales III-V Lab, Marcoussis, France

Paper No. CANEUS2006-11012, pp. 81-87; 7 pages
  • CANEUS 2006: MNT for Aerospace Applications
  • CANEUS2006: MNT for Aerospace Applications
  • Toulouse, France, August 27–September 1, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Nanotechnology Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4254-1 | eISBN: 0-7918-3787-4
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


The reliability and robustness of electronic sub-systems dedicated to control and communications in the aerospace sector is more than ever one of the key points for safety and security, essentially during landing operations. As aircraft manufacturers have to diversify their mean of communication system’s control (Full-Duplex and System), the reliability can be improved both by setting redundant remote networks, and also by using matched technologies for increased performances and robustness: the wide band-gap Gallium Nitride technology (GaN) newly developed fits perfectly to the requirements of systems such as Microwave Landing System (MLS) or Distance Measuring Equipments (DME) used during the final landing approach. Actually, GaN technology takes advantage of a natural immunity to electromagnetic perturbations, and is suitable for circuit design in the RF frequency band (up to 5 GHz for aircraft applications). The GaN based circuits are able to improve transceiver’s efficiency (and so the radio-link budget) thanks to their low noise figure (receiver) and high output power (transmitter), reducing digital bit error rate during the code demodulation. This point is crucial while electronic runs in an urban environment. Moreover, the next electronic systems developed for “composite aircraft” will be more exposed to high electric field and CEM problems in circuits. Furthermore, this GaN integrated technology allows a reduction of volume for transmitter’s sub-systems, and is easy to setup (aircraft maintenance): the risk of immobilisation during the aircraft exploitation will be reduced and his maintainability will be easier. Finally, this technology is also perfectly suited for ground navigation control systems such as radar. This work presents the challenge for civil and military future avionic systems by making use of GaN based technologies.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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