Does the technology development of gallium nitride amplifiers make them a suitable replacement for future HPM DEWs?
DSIAC was asked to determine the state of solid state gallium nitride (GaN) amplifier technology development for high-powered microwave (HPM), directed energy weapons (DEW). DSIAC used a collection of HPM DEW and microelectronics subject matter expert input and open-source and DTIC Research & Engineering Gateway publications to gather information on the current state of GaN transistor/power amplifier technology and research projects that have further matured GaN devices. GaN technology is expected to gradually replace travelling wave tube, gallium arsenide, and silicon carbide devices due to an increased efficiency and heat resistance and smaller form factor. However, research is ongoing to decrease costs and improve scalability for widespread use of GaN power amplifiers in U.S. Department of Defense applications. U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Army and related organizations are all currently involved in funding and/or research to realize the full potential of GaN devices for a wide array of applications.