- Low-noise amplifier
The low-noise amplifier (LNA) is a special type of
electronic amplifieror amplifierused in communication systems to amplify very weak signals captured by an antenna. It is often located very close to the antenna, so that losses in the feedlinebecome less critical. This " active antenna" arrangement is frequently used in microwavesystems like GPS, because coaxial cablefeedline is very lossy at microwave frequencies.
LNA is a key component, which is placed at the front-end of a radio receiver circuit. Per
Friis' formula, the overall noise figureof the receiver front-end is dominated by the first few stages.
Using an LNA, the noise of all the subsequent stages is reduced by the gain of the LNA and the noise of the LNA is injected directly into the received signal. Thus, it is necessary for an LNA to boost the desired signal power while adding as little noise and distortion as possible so that the retrieval of this signal is possible in the later stages in the system.
For low noise the amplifier needs to have a high amplification in its first stage. Therefore JFETs and HEMT are used and
distributed amplifiers could be used. They are driven in a high current regime, which is not energy efficient, but reduces the relative amount of shot noise. Input and output matching circuits for narrow band circuits enhance the gain (see gain-bandwidth product) and do not use resistors, as these will add noise. Biasing is done by large resistors, because energy efficiency is not needed, and a large resistor prevents leakage of the weak signal out of the signal path or noise into the signal path.
* [http://www.sengpielaudio.com/calculator-thd.htm Conversion: distortion factor to distortion attenuation and THD]
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