Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Zoya Popovic

Second Advisor

Dragan Maksimovic

Third Advisor

Dejan Filipovic

Fourth Advisor

Salvador Talisa

Fifth Advisor

Tibault Reveyrand


This thesis introduces an efficient radar transmitter with improved spectral confinement, enabled by a pulse waveform that contains both amplitude and frequency modulation. The theoretical behavior of the Class-B power amplifier (PA) under Gaussian envelope is compared to that of a Class-A PA. Experimental validation is performed on a 4-W 10-GHz GaN MMIC PA, biased in Class B with a power added efficiency (PAE) of 50%. When driven with a Gaussian-like pulse envelope with a 5 MHz linear frequency modulation (LFM), the PA demonstrates a 31% average efficiency over the pulse duration. To improve the efficiency, a simple resonant supply modulator with a peak efficiency of 92% is used for the pulse Gaussian amplitude modulation, while the LFM is provided only through the PA input. This case results in a 5-point improvement in system efficiency, with an average PAE=40% over the pulse duration for the PA alone, and with simultaneous 40-dB reduction in spectral emissions relative to a rectangular pulse with the same energy.

A measurement bench, which was internally developed, and supply-modulation simulations with Applied Wave Research (AWR) Microwave Office and VSS are also presented. Supply modulation simulation is helpful for predicting the performance of a supply-modulated system while a well calibrated bench is essential for verification. Both tools are used to demonstrate resonant supply-modulated GaN MMIC PAs.

Lastly, the design of an X-Band GaN Doherty MMIC PA for use in a variable power radar is presented. Simulations and preliminary measurement demonstrate power added efficiency of greater that 40% from 30 to 35 dBm of output power.