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UBC Theses and Dissertations

FET upconverter design using load dependent mixing transconductance Lord, Joseph Louis Martin


The conversion gain of GaAs MESFET mixers is known to be dependent on the impedances seen by the applied signals and the resulting mixing products at all ports of the device. For an accurate representation, all these loading conditions should be considered; however, the design of gate and drain networks then becomes rather difficult. As a result, no sufficiently accurate and yet usable design procedures exist for MESFET mixers; instead, a few simple rules involving short- and open-circuit terminations have been given by various authors. Unfortunately, these rules are often inappropriate, particularly in upconverter applications. In this thesis, the conversion efficiency dependence on the drain loading at the local oscillator frequency has been studied for a gate upconverter; the local oscillator signal is by far the most dominant in terms of its influence on mixer performance. It has been found that the conversion gain can significantly deteriorate for a narrow range of load values. In addition, the local oscillator drain termination resulting in highest gain has been found to be generally different from the short-circuit recommended in the literature. Based on these findings, a novel FET upconverter design procedure has been developed that incorporates the local oscillator loading phenomenon in the FET equivalent circuit by means of a load dependent mixing transconductance. It allows the optimization of the drain network for an acceptable match at the selected sideband and desired local oscillator rejection while avoiding impedance values in the local oscillator frequency range which would otherwise cause severe degradation in conversion gain.

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