Cryogenic Chip Enhances Satcom System Performance

A niobium-based chip in a COTS cryocooler that functions as a high-speed ADC holds great promise for improved microwave communications system performance.

By Jack Browne, Microwave & RF – Jan 2008
www.mwrf.com

A niobium-based chip in a COTS cryocooler that functions as a high-speed ADC holds great promise for improved microwave communications system performance.Superconducting circuits and devices offer a great deal of promise in a wide range of industries, including military, commercial, test and measurement, and medical electronic systems. While the technology has been in development for several decades, it has long been limited by the need to maintain temperatures near absolute zero (0 K) in order to achieve the zero-resistance behavior of superconducting circuits. But, by combining its innovative superconducting microelectronic (SME) technology with a small commercial refrigerator, Hypres, Inc. (Elmsford, NY) has developed a prototype microwave receiver front-end solution that has demonstrated improved performance in military satellite-communications (satcom) system testing, without only a fraction of the usual front-end component hardware.

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