Development of a W-band gyro-amplifier for high power, wideband, pulsed coherent applications

Project: Research

Project Details


"The project will consolidate our technology in developing a new class of high power, wideband millimetre wave amplifier which offers a ten-fold increase in available bandwidth and a five-fold increase in available peak power over the amplifiers used in current pulsed coherent applications such as radar, magnetic resonance, security imaging and remote sensing. It will bring step changes to these applications and the success of this research will have a huge worldwide technological impact and offer tremendous economic benefit to the UK. The proposal is a collaboration between two major millimetre wave groups at the University of Strathclyde and the University of St Andrews who collectively have decades of experience and vibrant international reputations in the development of high power millimetre wave sources, radars, instrumentation and components, plus a strong track record in commercialisation, industrial collaboration, and delivering on project objectives. The gyro-amplifier represents a core technology that is likely to lead to UK leadership in the field of high power millimetre wave radar.

Pulsed electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and dynamic nuclear polarisation (DNP) enhanced Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) instruments based on this gyro-amplifier technology will result in radically improved sensitivities. The EPR and DNP enhanced NMR (including the possibility of pulsed DNP-NMR and the use of phase and amplitude modulation) experiments will give rise to absolutely world-leading research. It will strongly enhance the UK's position as a world leader in a wide range of academic research areas, including physics, chemistry, biology, engineering and medicine.

Atmospheric sensing and space debris tracking based on such an amplifier will allow long range monitoring of clouds, aerosols, precipitation (therefore enabling better global climate and pollution models for better prediction of weather and pollution, better management of natural resources and mitigation of natural hazards) and tracking of space debris (increasing safety for space travel and satellite launching). This will lead to greater radar sensitivity, enabling measurement of smaller or more tenuous particulates, with finer resolution, at longer ranges or in a shorter timescale. The technology also has the potential to be applied to the ground based mapping of space debris, a major consideration for all orbiting systems including environmental monitoring satellites.

The high power capability of hundreds watts of the gyro-amplifier in the hundred GHz to 1THz frequency range will allow standoff, real time video rate security imaging and sensing enabling high resolution 3D imaging and highly sensitive sensing of most hidden contrabands such as explosives, illegal drugs and chemical and biological materials. The project has the potential to disrupt a large fraction of the existing X-ray based security market. The research team at Strathclyde is a world leader in this terahertz amplification area and can realise the application pull through collaborating with wide UK terahertz imaging and sensing community and industries."
Effective start/end date1/12/1531/05/16