Friday, May 22, 2015

IVEC 2015 Impressions

Electric field magnitude of the TE0,3 mode in a gyrotron at 42 GHz.
CST recently got back from the 16th International Vacuum Electronics Conference (IVEC), which took place from April 27th to 29th in Beijing. At the conference, we presented a joint paper with Queen Mary University, London about gyrotron simulation. There was a lot of interest from attendees, and we got a lot of interesting questions on topics ranging from metal modeling to start-up behavior and mode competition.

This is just one example of the current popularity of gyrotrons as a research topic. Gyrotrons are promising with potential to fill the terahertz gap that currently exists for RF sources. We have recently added new features to CST STUDIO SUITE® that are designed with the special features of gyrotrons – for example, the very high mode number of operation – and we are certain that simulation will contribute the understanding and optimization of these promising devices.

The picture above shows the electric field which has been generated by the beam exciting the wave in the cavity of a 42GHz gyrotron. The TE0,3 mode is then finally propagating out of the taper section, as can be nicely seen by the field patterns there.

If you would like to see more, please have a look at the paper in the IEEE conference proceedings:
M. Balk, C. Chua, X. Li, Y. Alfadhl, X. Chen: 3D Gyrotron Simulation with CST STUDIO SUITE, Proceedings of the International Vacuum Electronics Conference (IVEC), Beijing, 2014
Monika Balk
Market Development Manager for Charged Particles

Thursday, May 21, 2015

EMC and automotive at the CST European User Conference 2015

The European User Conference took place on the 28th and 29th April, in Darmstadt. The venue for the event is Darmstadt’s pretty new congress center named “Darmstadtium”. An impressive modern building which is sometimes tricky to navigate. Incidentally, the name comes from the chemical element, which was first synthesized in this very city.

Starting in the afternoon, the event continued with three parallel sessions devoted to a broad range of applications. In all sessions, there was a mixture of customer talks and presentations given by CST staff. I was the chairman and also presenter in the session devoted to “Automotive and Transportation”. The first talk about signal integrity simulation in automotive design presented by Stephanie Schatt from Continental in Regensburg underlined the importance for SI simulations in modern automotive electronics. With the increase in the performance of driver assistance functions in cars, the demand for high speed design in automotive has steadily increased. The second talk presented by Daniel Valderas from the University of Navarra examined the coupling from an eddy current brake to a rail sensor. He showed how to model the non-linear material properties in the coil and cascade parts of the model in CST DESIGN STUDIO. In my own talk, I gave an overview of what our automotive customers are simulating with CST STUDIO SUITE. I wanted to show the broad picture, from SAR simulations in a TV Broadcast car, over power integrity simulations of PCB’s to the simulation of anechoic chambers.

On the second day, I spent some time listening to antenna presentation and helping customers in the support center. Traditionally, the EUC closes with a talk from our CTO Peter Thoma on the future directions in the development of our tools. This development should bring really powerful enhancements for EMC simulation capabilities in the upcoming CST STUDIO SUITE version, especially to the circuit and schematic side of things. Expect more information in the future as we approach 2016!

The next EUC will take place in Strasbourg at the end of April 2016. Details of future dates and a lot of presentations from past conferences can always be found here.

Andreas Barchanski,
Market Development Manager for EMC, CST

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Introducing CST STUDIO SUITE – Student Edition

Our inboxes and our social media feeds are always filled with messages from students around the world asking how they can access CST STUDIO SUITE® for their studies. Well, your calls have been answered!

We’re very excited to announce today the release of CST STUDIO SUITE – Student Edition. This is a package of our solvers available completely free of charge to students, together with a set of tutorial examples based on classic textbook demonstrations of electromagnetic effects.

In CST STUDIO SUITE – Student Edition, you’ll find our high-frequency time domain solver and frequency domain solver, our electrostatic solver and magnetostatic solver, as well as our thermal solvers. Although there are some restrictions to prevent commercial use, you can use CST STUDIO SUITE – Student Edition to simulate systems including coils, antennas, couplers, waveguides and much more. We’re looking forward to seeing what else students can make and discover using the software.

To support it, we’ve also launched the new academia section of our website. This has registration and download links for CST STUDIO SUITE – Student Edition, along with articles and videos showing how the examples can be constructed.

CST STUDIO SUITE – Student Edition can be downloaded from here. We hope you find it both educational and enjoyable!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Looking back on the CST European User Conference 2015

Andreas Bitz of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)
delivering the keynote speech.
This year we hosted our annual European User Conference (EUC) in Darmstadt, CST’s home town. Darmstadt officially carries the title “Wissenschaftsstadt” – “science city” – and it’s especially well-known for its links to particle research and the European space industry, both of which had a strong presence at EUC this year. This is always a big and important event for us that we carefully arrange. This also means that there will a strong personal presence in particular support and development. Therefore it is also one of the best opportunities for our customers and CST engineers and developers to talk personally about challenges and requirements for current and future projects. We were therefore glad that so many accepted our invitation.

Before the actual event, we hosted a series of training workshops at our HQ , but the event proper started with the keynote speech from Andreas Bitz from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), who explained how MRI is used at the DKFZ and how simulation is used to design equipment for 7 tesla MRI, the next generation. We also presented the latest features in CST STUDIO SUITE 2015, while Alan Prior from SIMULIA, Dassault Systemes gave a very interesting talk on multiphysics simulation.

However, the largest part of the EUC is always the technical sessions. This year, we had fifteen sessions in three parallel tracks for a total of 45 presentations from customers and CST engineers. The sessions were arranged differently this year, with topics grouped according to industry, but several interesting trends still emerged.

As ever, antennas and components – especially filters – were hot topics. On the antenna side of things, integration and placement are more important than ever, as engineers have to fit more RF systems on a single platform. In the particle accelerator sessions, higher-order cavities and component impedance calculations were big talking points, with two presentations on each. EMC/EMI were also popular topics, especially for engineers working in the automotive and rail industries.

One other thing that was noticeable was a strong presence from medical and MRI customers this year. The build-up to 7 tesla means that MRI frequencies are increasing, and wave effects such as interference and reflection have a significant effect on image quality. Simulation is therefore a vital design tool for high-field MRI. As in previous years, our EDA session highlighted the increasing complexity of high-speed multilayer structures. Finally, although it may sound dry, the sessions on materials and metamaterials were well-attended and saw a lot of lively debate as customers and CST staff discussed techniques for accurately modeling a wide range of material types.

The last presentation was, as always, led by our R&D Manager Peter Thoma, who gave attendees a glimpse of CST STUDIO SUITE 2016 and beyond. Look out for more information on next year’s release in the upcoming months!

Group photo
EUC has a social side too, and it’s always important visitors have a chance to discuss things not just with us but with their fellow attendees. This year, we had our gala dinner in the Centralstation in the heart of Darmstadt. This was one of the first power stations in the world, and lit up the streets of the town as early as 1888. Although it no longer generates electricity, its beautiful main hall still stands, and made a fine venue for an evening of food, music and comedy.

The next EUC will take place in Strasbourg at the end of April 2016. Details of future dates and presentations from past conferences can always be found here.

Martin Timm
Director of Global Marketing, CST