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A Review of Gallium Nitride HEMTs to Improve CubeSat EPS Efficiency

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This paper reviews several current designs of Cube Satellite (CubeSat) Electrical Power Systems (EPS) based on Silicon FET technologies and their current deficiencies, such as radiation-incurred defects and switching power losses. A strategy to fix these is proposed by the

This paper reviews several current designs of Cube Satellite (CubeSat) Electrical Power Systems (EPS) based on Silicon FET technologies and their current deficiencies, such as radiation-incurred defects and switching power losses. A strategy to fix these is proposed by the way of using Gallium Nitride (GaN) High Electron-Mobility Transistors (HEMTs) as switching devices within Buck/Boost Converters and other regulators. This work summarizes the EPS designs of several CubeSat missions, classifies them, and outlines their efficiency. An in-depth example of an EPS is also given, explaining the process in which these systems are designed. Areas of deficiency are explained along with reasoning as to why GaN can mitigate these losses, including its wide bandgap properties such as high RDS(on) and High Breakdown Voltage. Special design considerations must be kept in mind when using GaN HEMTs in this application and an example of a CubeSat using GaN HEMTs is mentioned. Finally, challenges ahead for GaN are explored including manufacturing considerations and long-term reliability.

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2017-05

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Active Ripple Cancellation in Hysteretic Controlled Buck Converters

Description

Buck converters are a class of switched-mode power converters often used to step down DC input voltages to a lower DC output voltage. These converters naturally produce a current and voltage ripple at their output due to their switching action.

Buck converters are a class of switched-mode power converters often used to step down DC input voltages to a lower DC output voltage. These converters naturally produce a current and voltage ripple at their output due to their switching action. Traditional methods of reducing this ripple have involved adding large discrete inductors and capacitors to filter the ripple, but large discrete components cannot be integrated onto chips. As an alternative to using passive filtering components, this project investigates the use of active ripple cancellation to reduce the peak output ripple. Hysteretic controlled buck converters were chosen for their simplicity of design and fast transient response. The proposed cancellation circuits sense the output ripple of the buck converter and inject an equal ripple exactly out of phase with the sensed ripple. Both current-mode and voltage-mode feedback loops are simulated, and the effectiveness of each cancellation circuit is examined. Results show that integrated active ripple cancellation circuits offer a promising substitute for large discrete filters.

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2017-12

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Novel Solar Array Interface Electronics for Maximum PV Power Extraction

Description

Current technology does not allow for the full amount of power produced by solar arrays (PV) on spacecraft to be utilized. The arrays are designed with non-reconfigurable architectures and sent on fifteen to twenty year long missions. They cannot be

Current technology does not allow for the full amount of power produced by solar arrays (PV) on spacecraft to be utilized. The arrays are designed with non-reconfigurable architectures and sent on fifteen to twenty year long missions. They cannot be changed once they are in space, so the arrays are designed for the end of life. Throughout their lifetime, solar arrays can degrade in power producing capabilities anywhere from 20% to 50%. Because there is such a drastic difference in the beginning and end of life power production, and because they cannot be reconfigured, a new design has been found necessary in order to increase power production. Reconfiguration allows the solar arrays to achieve maximum power producing capabilities at both the beginning and end of their lives. With the potential to increase power production by 50%, the reconfiguration design consists of a switching network to be able to utilize any combination of cells. The design for reconfiguration must meet the power requirements of the solar array. This thesis will explore different designs for reconfiguration, as well as possible switches for implementation. It will also review other methods to increase power production, as well as discuss future work in this field.

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2018-05

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Development of Frequency Selective Surfaces for RF Interrogator Design

Description

The honors thesis presented in this document describes an extension to an electrical engineering capstone project whose scope is to develop the receiver electronics for an RF interrogator. The RF interrogator functions by detecting the change in resonant frequency

The honors thesis presented in this document describes an extension to an electrical engineering capstone project whose scope is to develop the receiver electronics for an RF interrogator. The RF interrogator functions by detecting the change in resonant frequency of (i.e, frequency of maximum backscatter from) a target resulting from an environmental input. The general idea of this honors project was to design three frequency selective surfaces that would act as surrogate backscattering or reflecting targets that each contains a distinct frequency response. Using 3-D electromagnetic simulation software, three surrogate targets exhibiting bandpass frequency responses at distinct frequencies were designed and presented in this thesis.

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2021-05

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Design of a digitally controlled pulse width modulator for DC-DC converter applications

Description

Synchronous buck converters have become the obvious choice of design for high efficiency voltage down-conversion applications and find wide scale usage in today's IC industry. The use of digital control in synchronous buck converters is becoming increasingly popular because of

Synchronous buck converters have become the obvious choice of design for high efficiency voltage down-conversion applications and find wide scale usage in today's IC industry. The use of digital control in synchronous buck converters is becoming increasingly popular because of its associated advantages over traditional analog counterparts in terms of design flexibility, reduced use of off-chip components, and better programmability to enable advanced controls. They also demonstrate better immunity to noise, enhances tolerance to the process, voltage and temperature (PVT) variations, low chip area and as a result low cost. It enables processing in digital domain requiring a need of analog-digital interfacing circuit viz. Analog to Digital Converter (ADC) and Digital to Analog Converter (DAC). A Digital to Pulse Width Modulator (DPWM) acts as time domain DAC required in the control loop to modulate the ON time of the Power-MOSFETs. The accuracy and efficiency of the DPWM creates the upper limit to the steady state voltage ripple of the DC - DC converter and efficiency in low load conditions. This thesis discusses the prevalent architectures for DPWM in switched mode DC - DC converters. The design of a Hybrid DPWM is presented. The DPWM is 9-bit accurate and is targeted for a Synchronous Buck Converter with a switching frequency of 1.0 MHz. The design supports low power mode(s) for the buck converter in the Pulse Frequency Modulation (PFM) mode as well as other fail-safe features. The design implementation is digital centric making it robust across PVT variations and portable to lower technology nodes. Key target of the design is to reduce design time. The design is tested across large Process (+/- 3σ), Voltage (1.8V +/- 10%) and Temperature (-55.0 °C to 125 °C) and is in the process of tape-out.

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Date Created
2013

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Novel rail clamp architectures and their systematic design

Description

Rail clamp circuits are widely used for electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection in semiconductor products today. A step-by-step design procedure for the traditional RC and single-inverter-based rail clamp circuit and the design, simulation, implementation, and operation of two novel rail clam

Rail clamp circuits are widely used for electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection in semiconductor products today. A step-by-step design procedure for the traditional RC and single-inverter-based rail clamp circuit and the design, simulation, implementation, and operation of two novel rail clamp circuits are described for use in the ESD protection of complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) circuits. The step-by-step design procedure for the traditional circuit is technology-node independent, can be fully automated, and aims to achieve a minimal area design that meets specified leakage and ESD specifications under all valid process, voltage, and temperature (PVT) conditions. The first novel rail clamp circuit presented employs a comparator inside the traditional circuit to reduce the value of the time constant needed. The second circuit uses a dynamic time constant approach in which the value of the time constant is dynamically adjusted after the clamp is triggered. Important metrics for the two new circuits such as ESD performance, latch-on immunity, clamp recovery time, supply noise immunity, fastest power-on time supported, and area are evaluated over an industry-standard PVT space using SPICE simulations and measurements on a fabricated 40 nm test chip.

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Date Created
2016

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Vital sign estimation through Doppler radar

Description

Doppler radar can be used to measure respiration and heart rate without contact and through obstacles. In this work, a Doppler radar architecture at 2.4 GHz and a new signal processing algorithm to estimate the respiration and heart rate are

Doppler radar can be used to measure respiration and heart rate without contact and through obstacles. In this work, a Doppler radar architecture at 2.4 GHz and a new signal processing algorithm to estimate the respiration and heart rate are presented. The received signal is dominated by the transceiver noise, LO phase noise and clutter which reduces the signal-to-noise ratio of the desired signal. The proposed architecture and algorithm are used to mitigate these issues and obtain an accurate estimate of the heart and respiration rate. Quadrature low-IF transceiver architecture is adopted to resolve null point problem as well as avoid 1/f noise and DC offset due to mixer-LO coupling. Adaptive clutter cancellation algorithm is used to enhance receiver sensitivity coupled with a novel Pattern Search in Noise Subspace (PSNS) algorithm is used to estimate respiration and heart rate. PSNS is a modified MUSIC algorithm which uses the phase noise to enhance Doppler shift detection. A prototype system was implemented using off-the-shelf TI and RFMD transceiver and tests were conduct with eight individuals. The measured results shows accurate estimate of the cardio pulmonary signals in low-SNR conditions and have been tested up to a distance of 6 meters.

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Date Created
2013

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Post processing treatment of InGaZnO thin film transistors for improved bias-illumination stress reliability

Description

This thesis work mainly examined the stability and reliability issues of amorphous Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide (a-IGZO) thin film transistors under bias-illumination stress. Amorphous hydrogenated silicon has been the dominating material used in thin film transistors as a channel layer.

This thesis work mainly examined the stability and reliability issues of amorphous Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide (a-IGZO) thin film transistors under bias-illumination stress. Amorphous hydrogenated silicon has been the dominating material used in thin film transistors as a channel layer. However with the advent of modern high performance display technologies, it is required to have devices with better current carrying capability and better reproducibility. This brings the idea of new material for channel layer of these devices. Researchers have tried poly silicon materials, organic materials and amorphous mixed oxide materials as a replacement to conventional amorphous silicon layer. Due to its low price and easy manufacturing process, amorphous mixed oxide thin film transistors have become a viable option to replace the conventional ones in order to achieve high performance display circuits. But with new materials emerging, comes the challenge of reliability and stability issues associated with it. Performance measurement under bias stress and bias-illumination stress have been reported previously. This work proposes novel post processing low temperature long time annealing in optimum ambient in order to annihilate or reduce the defects and vacancies associated with amorphous material which lead to the instability or even the failure of the devices. Thin film transistors of a-IGZO has been tested for standalone illumination stress and bias-illumination stress before and after annealing. HP 4155B semiconductor parameter analyzer has been used to stress the devices and measure the output characteristics and transfer characteristics of the devices. Extra attention has been given about the effect of forming gas annealing on a-IGZO thin film. a-IGZO thin film deposited on silicon substrate has been tested for resistivity, mobility and carrier concentration before and after annealing in various ambient. Elastic Recoil Detection has been performed on the films to measure the amount of hydrogen atoms present in the film. Moreover, the circuit parameters of the thin film transistors has been extracted to verify the physical phenomenon responsible for the instability and failure of the devices. Parameters like channel resistance, carrier mobility, power factor has been extracted and variation of these parameters has been observed before and after the stress.

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Date Created
2013

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Using Variable Gain Amplifiers to Normalize Varying Power RF Signals

Description

This thesis details the design process of a variable gain amplifier (VGA) based circuit which maintains a consistent output power over a wide range of input power signals. This effect is achieved by using power detection circuitry to adjust the

This thesis details the design process of a variable gain amplifier (VGA) based circuit which maintains a consistent output power over a wide range of input power signals. This effect is achieved by using power detection circuitry to adjust the gain of the VGA based on the current input power so that it is amplifier to a set power level. The paper details the theory behind this solutions as well as the design process which includes both simulations and physical testing of the actual circuit. It also analyses results of these tests and gives suggestions as to what could be done to further improve the design. The VGA based constant output power solution was designed as a section of a larger circuit which was developed as part of a senior capstone project, which is also briefly described in the paper.

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2021-05

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Self-calibration and digital-trimming of successive approximation analog-to-digital converters

Description

Several state of the art, monitoring and control systems, such as DC motor

controllers, power line monitoring and protection systems, instrumentation systems and battery monitors require direct digitization of a high voltage input signals. Analog-to-Digital Converters (ADCs) that can digitize high

Several state of the art, monitoring and control systems, such as DC motor

controllers, power line monitoring and protection systems, instrumentation systems and battery monitors require direct digitization of a high voltage input signals. Analog-to-Digital Converters (ADCs) that can digitize high voltage signals require high linearity and low voltage coefficient capacitors. A built in self-calibration and digital-trim algorithm correcting static mismatches in Capacitive Digital-to-Analog Converter (CDAC) used in Successive Approximation Register Analog to Digital Converters (SARADCs) is proposed. The algorithm uses a dynamic error correction (DEC) capacitor to cancel the static errors occurring in each capacitor of the array as the first step upon power-up and eliminates the need for an extra calibration DAC. Self-trimming is performed digitally during normal ADC operation. The algorithm is implemented on a 14-bit high-voltage input range SAR ADC with integrated dynamic error correction capacitors. The IC is fabricated in 0.6-um high voltage compliant CMOS process, accepting up to 24Vpp differential input signal. The proposed approach achieves 73.32 dB Signal to Noise and Distortion Ratio (SNDR) which is an improvement of 12.03 dB after self-calibration at 400 kS/s sampling rate, consuming 90-mW from a +/-15V supply. The calibration circuitry occupies 28% of the capacitor DAC, and consumes less than 15mW during operation. Measurement results shows that this algorithm reduces INL from as high as 7 LSBs down to 1 LSB and it works even in the presence of larger mismatches exceeding 260 LSBs. Similarly, it reduces DNL errors from 10 LSBs down to 1 LSB. The ADC occupies an active area of 9.76 mm2.

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Date Created
2014