First developed in the 1930s, Traveling-Wave Tube Amplifiers (TWTAs) were designed to amplify radio frequency signals. It was in the early 1960s that NASA and L3 teamed up to evolve the technology so it would meet the transmission needs of space missions. The first TWTA flew on a satellite in 1962, and they have been a part of every science spacecraft NASA has launched since 1972.
L3 is the only provider of space certified TWTAs in the United States, and they have been continually working with NASA to improve their performance over the past 50 years. These improvements have led to increased transmission speeds and power capabilities, which are crucial to the success of NASA’s ongoing space exploration missions.
Today, commercial companies also use the ever-expanding capabilities of TWTAs to offer more benefits to consumers, which has led to improvements in mobile voice and data services, as well as broadband internet service.