Media Broadcast Satellite GmbH (MBS) tested the Rohde & Schwarz R&S PKU100 satellite uplink amplifier for several months under real-world conditions in an outdoor environment. The reliability of the system fully convinced MBS. The amplifier operated stably throughout the test phase despite considerable external temperature fluctuations.
MBS installed the amplifier outdoors in a real uplink system in order to test its mechanical and electrical integration. The Hessian service provider recorded and analyzed all operational parameters with its own management system, i.e., the R&S PKU100 was deployed under real-world broadcast conditions. The R&S PKU100 is a solid-state Ku-band power amplifier delivering 400 W of peak power and providing excellent efficiency in an extremely compact design.
MBS, with headquarters in Usingen, near Frankfurt, Germany, is a global satellite and terrestrial communications provider delivering advanced network technologies and managed services to businesses, authorities and broadcasters, and offering hosting services via its teleport.
MBS tested the R&S PKU100 400 W class outdoor model from March 18 to May 15 and found all of its requirements perfectly met. A major focus was on thermal stability. The amplifier exhibited virtually constant gain despite strong fluctuations in ambient temperature.
The R&S PKU100 Ku-band amplifier offers excellent efficiency, even when compared to tube amplifiers. This saves energy and cost, doing away with the need for extra air conditioning, for example. Peak efficiency, i.e., the efficiency of the amplifier as a whole, is better than 20%. It is expressed as the ratio of output power to input power.
The amplifier ran continuously under full load throughout the test phase without any malfunction. The Rohde & Schwarz R&S PKU100 satellite uplink amplifier combines the best of two worlds in a single device: the unbeatable strengths of solid-state amplifiers and the compactness and low weight of tube amplifiers. Should individual transistors fail, the amplifier will continue operating at reduced power.
The R&S PKU100 features optional adaptive linearization at the RF to deliver unparalleled spectral purity. Linearization is used to modify the input signal in order to optimally compensate amplifier nonlinearities, significantly improving signal quality in the satellite uplink within and outside the bandwidth of the wanted signal.
Adaptive linearization considerably improves signal quality, enabling network operators to transmit significantly more data over the same signal bandwidth — ideal even for transmitting 8K video.
Michael Hirschle, RF Engineering Expert at MBS, said that during the entire field testing period, switchover to backup was never needed. Despite temperature fluctuations as large as 20°C, the gain of the R&S PKU100 remained nearly constant within a range of ±0.5 dB.