• Characterization and optimization of the magnetron directional amplifier

      Hatfield, Michael Craig; Hawkins, Joseph G. (1999)
      Many applications of microwave wireless power transmission (WPT) are dependent upon a high-powered electronically-steerable phased array composed of many radiating modules. The phase output from the high-gain amplifier in each module must be accurately controlled if the beam is to be properly steered. A highly reliable, rugged, and inexpensive design is essential for making WPT applications practical. A conventional microwave oven magnetron may be combined with a ferrite circulator and other external circuitry to create such a system. By converting it into a two-port amplifier, the magnetron is capable of delivering at least 30 dB of power gain while remaining phase-locked to the input signal over a wide frequency range. The use of the magnetron in this manner is referred to as a MDA (Magnetron Directional Amplifier). The MDA may be integrated with an inexpensive slotted waveguide array (SWA) antenna to form the Electronically-Steerable Phased Array Module (ESPAM). The ESPAM provides a building block approach to creating phased arrays for WPT. The size and shape of the phased array may be tailored to satisfy a diverse range of applications. This study provided an in depth examination into the capabilities of the MDA/ESPAM. The basic behavior of the MDA was already understood, as well as its potential applicability to WPT. The primary objective of this effort was to quantify how well the MDA could perform in this capacity. Subordinate tasks included characterizing the MDA behavior in terms of its system inputs, optimizing its performance, performing sensitivity analyses, and identifying operating limitations. A secondary portion of this study examined the suitability of the ESPAM in satisfying system requirements for the solar power satellite (SPS). Supporting tasks included an analysis of SPS requirements, modeling of the SWA antenna, and the demonstration of a simplified phased array constructed of ESPAM elements. The MDA/ESPAM is well suited for use as an amplifier or an element in a WPT phased array, providing over 75% efficiency and a fractional bandwidth exceeding 1.7% at 2.45 GHz. The results of this effort provide the WPT design engineer with tools to predict the MDA's optimum performance and limitations.