Rick Sturdivant is President of Microwave Products and Technology, Inc (mptcorp.com (link is external)) which develops products and technology supporting T/R modules and phased arrays for commercial and military systems. He has over 26 years of experience developing products for microwave and millimeter-wave applications. His experience includes high volume telecom modules, point to point radio systems, modules for radar receiver exciters, and T/R modules and subsystems for active electronically scanned arrays. He was instrumental in developing the world’s first tile array T/R modules for which he received the Engineering Excellence Award from Hughes Aircraft Company. He holds 6 US Patents and has published over 23 articles on microwave and millimeter-wave circuits. He is author of the books Transmit Receive Modules for Radar and Communication Systems (Artech House, 2015), Hands on Guide to Heat Transfer for Microwave and Millimeter-wave Electronics (eBook: Amazon.com, 2015), Microwave and Millimeter-wave Electronic Packaging (Artech House, 2013), and Chapter 1 of the book RF and Microwave Electronic Packaging (Springer Publishing, 2010). He earned a M.S.E.E. from UCLA, a B.S.E.E. from CSULB, and a B.A. from Vanguard University.
T/R modules have traditionally used metal housings with glassed-in interconnects and ceramic substrates. More recent approaches use 3D stacked substrates and the tile module approach. This approach resulted in lower cost, lower-profile and lighter-weight arrays. With advances in packaging materials and processes, System In a Package (SIP) approaches are being used for T/R modules. These approaches promise the realization of further cost reductions, large “membrane” arrays for space applications and improved array-level manufacturability. This presentation reviews traditional T/R module packaging, examines a tile module in detail, examines next generation T/R modules using SIP and array-level packaging approaches. The presentation concludes with a projection on future developments in phased arrays.