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White Paper on Multicarrier Excitation of Multipactor Breakdown: A Survey of Current Methods and Research Opportunities

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Technical Report

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Antenna and Phased Array Evaluation, The Aerospace Corporation El Segundo United States

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Multipactor breakdown is a failure mode that occurs in RF systems and system components that operate in a vacuum. For component and system verification, multipactor is treated as a peak field and voltage phenomena where the verification power level is chosen such that the maximum instantaneous operational voltage in the component is excited. In a single carrier system, this power level is fairly straightforward to determine. However, for RF components exposed to multiple distinct signals simultaneously, there are a variety of methods used to address multipactor breakdown verification. This white paper describes methods of assessment and possibly to mitigate multipactor for spacecraft components in multiple carrier systems 13. The methods described in this paper highlightexisting approaches used in the U.S. space industry. This paper serves as a survey of current practice and is not meant to be used as a set of requirements. This document will also highlight the advantages and limitations of the various methods currently in use. This document will also reference new analysis methods under investigation for multicarrier excitation threshold prediction based on a survey of the research literature. In general, this topic is in need of additional basic and applied research and validation in order to further improve industry understanding prior to application

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