European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europes gateway to space. ESA is an intergovernmental organization with 22 Member States.

ESTEC, Keplerlaan 1, 2201 AZ Noordwijk, Holland

Radio-frequency high power amplifier with broadband envelope tracking by means of reversed buck converter

managed by European Space Agency


This invention relates to a radio-frequency power amplifier with an envelope tracker. The envelope tracker detects the energy of the signals envelope and thus regulates the energy supplied to the amplifier in order adapt its energy consumption to the real energy needs. The radio-frequency power amplifier with envelope tracking described comprises a power RF amplifying device for amplifying a RF signal and a switching DC/DC converter for providing said power RF amplifying device with a DC power supply at a voltage level proportional to an envelope of said RF signal; characterized in that said switching DC/DC converter has a reversed buck topology. Advantageously said switching device is a N-type GaN Field Effect Transistor having its drain connected to the ground.


This invention offers a new design which describes a power amplifier with an RF envelop tracker. Therefore the power efficiency is increased and few elements are used, which concludes in a smaller and lighter product. Said efficiency of the VHF DC/DC converter are currently reaching 92% and could also improve as the development reaches more advanced stages.


Simpler products (without an envelope tracker) or not optimized in terms of number of elements: may be more suitable for certain applications (dimensions or power efficiency not critical issues).


This power amplifier may be used in any field where a modulated signal (most efficient case) is used. Some examples are general telecom applications (L, S, C band) such as telephony, radio, TV or radio links (among others), in GNSS communications and any other ground application that uses an SSPA in a transmitting device such as for SAR imaging, any other kind of radar or even in sensors (ultrasonic, infrared or laser) which use a modulated signal for increasing their range. It can also be used in test applications of other elements and devices.


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Current status

Filled in EP and Japan, pubblished in the USA


Available for



Christophe Delepaut, Nicolas Le Gallou


Case manager: Veronica La Regina

EU-Japan Centre
European CommissionMeti