High-Performance Control in Radio Frequency Power Amplification Systems

Mikkel Christian Kofod Høyerby

Research output: Book/ReportPh.D. thesis

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This thesis presents a broad study of methods for increasing the efficiency of narrow-band radio transmitters. The study is centered around the base station application and TETRA/TEDS networks. The general solution space studied is that of envelope tracking applied to linear class-A/B radio frequency power amplifiers (RFPAs) in conjunction with cartesian feedback (CFB) used to linearize the overall transmitter system. On a system level, it is demonstrated how envelope tracking is particularly useful for RF carriers with high peak-to-average power ratios, such as TEDS with 10dB. It is also demonstrated how the envelope tracking technique introduces a number of potential pitfalls to the system, namely in the form of power supply ripple intermodulation (PSIM), reduced RFPA linearity and a higherimpedance supply rail for the RFPA. Design and analysis techniques for these three issues are introduced and demonstrated. On subcomponent level, solutions for implementing the envelope tracking power supply are proposed and demonstrated. A number of buck-type DCDC converter topologies are investigated and compared, with the objective of showing the trade-offs involved between switching frequency, control bandwidth and ripple voltage. It is found that the simple fourth-order filter buck converter is ideal for TETRA and TEDS envelope tracking power supplies. The problem of extracting maximum control bandwidth from a given power topology is given particular attention, with a range of, arguably new, insights resulting. It is clearly shown that single-phase switch-mode control systems based on oscillation (controlled unstable operation) of the whole power train provide the highest possible control bandwidth. A study of the limitations of cartesian feedback is also included. It is shown that bandwidths in excess of 4MHz can be achieved for a 400MHz carrier frequency using readily available discrete components. Even higher CFB bandwidths are the key to flexible RFPA system capable of transmitting multiple RF carriers simultaneously. A number of key problem areas are identified and shown to need further research. Practically demonstrated is a high-efficiency 25W TEDS transmitter capable of meeting all base station adjacent channel power ratio and wideband noise specifications with ample margins. Efficiency is improved from 23% to 44% by application of envelope tracking - almost a doubling - at the cost of a single-phase buck converter and without any penalties in RFPA output spectrum purity.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationKgs. Lyngby, Denmark
PublisherTechnical University of Denmark
Number of pages258
ISBN (Print)87-92-46521-8
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010

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