MTT Society SCV/SF Chapter Presentation on V-band Receiver Design

September 12, 2018 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm America/Los Angeles Timezone
Room: 103
Bldg: Lobby Training Room

V-band Receiver for Commercial Space Applications

Jim Sowers / Technical Partner for Unit Engineering at SSL

The Q and V frequency bands are being considered for commercial satellite communication systems to help with issues related to an already crowded Ka-band frequency spectrum placing limitation on achievable system capacity. To enable the payload performance required for these frequency bands, components need to be developed in a way that solves the challenges of operating at these higher frequencies. These challenges include issues related to RF performance, ease of manufacture, and the ability to adapt to a variety of frequency plans.

For the V-band uplink section of a V/Q band payload, Low-Noise Receivers are required to down convert the high frequency signal to a more usable intermediate frequency (IF). This may be a known satellite downlink IF (i.e. 17.2 GHz to 20.2 GHz) or another IF taking into consideration spurious performance and lower loss properties for routing the signal through the payload. This presentation will describe the latest development of a V-band space-qualified receiver for use in V/Q band payload systems. This will include the design considerations used to meet the challenging component and system performance requirements, the fabrication processes used to ensure parts are rugged enough to meet the lifetime requirements, the qualification process, and finally test results on this receiver. Although other efforts are noted in the literature (1), to the author’s knowledge this is the first fully space-qualified V-band Receiver reported for commercial applications.


Jim Sowers, Payload Technical Partner for Unit Design Engieering

Jim has 40+ years of experience designing and developing payload, communication, and radar components and systems. He is currently Payload Technical Partner for Unit Design Engieering at SSL and has achieved the level of Distinguihed Engineer. Previously, he held the position as Manager for the Repeater Products Engineering group. Responsibilities for this group included the design and development of RF active payload components from C-Band through V-Band. This includes LNA’s, Receivers, Linearized Channel Amplifiers, Local Oscillators and MMICs. Prior to this position he was a member of the Payload Systems Management Directorate at SS/L, and was Payload Manager for the Telstar 11N and ViaSat programs. Joining SS/L in June 1999, he was the Section Manager for Repeater Subsystems Electrical Engineering.

Preceding employent at SS/L, Jim was with Lockheed Martin/Martin Marietta/GE Aerospace and was responsible for the design and development of microwave and millimeter-wave MMICs and components for advanced radar and communications systems.

Jim is a Senior Member of the IEEE, has served on the Technical Program Committee of the IEEE Compound Semiconductor IC Symposium (formerly known as GaAs IC Symposium), Tehcnical Paper Review Committee for the IEEE International Microwave Symposium (IMS), has served on the Steering Committee for several IEEE conferences, chairs conference sessions, authors and present papers, and is a past chair of the IEEE MTT Society -Santa Clara Valley Chapter.




6:00- 6:30 pm Social (light snack will be served) 

6:30-7:30 pm Talk

7:30 -8:00 pm Close out  


Room: 103
Bldg: Lobby Training Room
National Instruments
4600 Patrick Henry Drive
Santa Clara California , California