Monday, August 18, 2014

Improved workflow between CST STUDIO SUITE and Optenni Lab

Guest post by Jussi Rahola, Managing Director, Optenni Ltd

A good simulation tool includes not only advanced mathematical algorithms and an easy-to-use user interface, but also capabilities for linking with other simulation software. Software interoperability has become more important and valuable to the end users in speeding up their design work, also enabling new types of design flows and analysis types.

The recently released Optenni Lab 3.0 and CST STUDIO SUITE® 2014 Service Pack 3 enables a new joint workflow between these leading matching circuit and electromagnetic simulation software. We launched the first joint workflow three years ago, but the newest update introduces several important new features. Tuning an antenna with a matching circuit based on simulated results has never been easier - just follow these easy steps:

1. Simulate the antenna in CST MICROWAVE STUDIO®

2. Launch a macro command in CST MICROWAVE STUDIO®  to open Optenni Lab with the simulated impedance data (also the efficiency data is now passed to Optenni Lab)

3. Optimize the matching circuit for desired operation bands in Optenni Lab

4. Transfer the matching circuit back to CST DESIGN STUDIO™

In the new version, the matching circuit is directly constructed on the CST DESIGN STUDIO® schematic, connected to an external port and simulated. The workflow works equally well with multiport antennas.

We can also take the joint workflow one step further. Suppose the electromagnetic simulation model is changed – for example, by varying the antenna size and height or antenna placement. Normally, this will change not only the radiation properties of the antenna but also the impedance matching and thus the antenna needs to be re-matched after each parametric simulation. We can now combine a parameter sweep in CST STUDIO SUITE®  with a post-processing step that uses Optenni Lab to automatically optimize the matching circuit for a given frequency range. Thus, the user can see the effect of changes of the physical antenna parameters to the S-parameters and efficiencies, using optimized matching circuit for each parameter combination.

Additionally, we can set up an optimization task such that CST STUDIO SUITE®  is controlling the parametric lengths of the electromagnetic structure and the optimization goal is the total efficiency through an optimized matching circuit. This is a coupled electromagnetic and circuit optimization problem that is very challenging to solve using a single software alone.

In addition, the bandwidth potential calculation (estimation of the bandwidth of resonant or non-resonant antennas at all frequencies) and the electromagnetic isolation calculation (calculation of the worst-case isolation independently of antenna matching) can also be launched from CST MICROWAVE STUDIO® as post-processing steps. This can be used to study, for example, antenna placement for maximal bandwidth or for maximal isolation and to understand the wideband characteristics of antennas.

Monday, August 11, 2014

CST workshop in the City of Space

Space technology not only makes our global civilization possible, but immensely easier. Designing it, however, can be anything but.

Unprotected by the atmosphere satellites, for example, are exposed to the full fury of the sun’s radiation. Inside, their powerful and tightly-clustered systems generate their own potentially mission-botching electromagnetic heat.

These extreme thermal conditions pose a difficult, but enjoyable challenge to engineers and demand electromagnetic simulation early in the design phase to ensure mission-critical components function properly once a satellite is in orbit.

To assist designers and companies working in this exciting and challenging field, CST is hosting its first workshop on electromagnetic design for space applications, including satellites, probes and ground stations. It will be held on September 23 in Toulouse, France at Cité de l‘Espace (City of Space), a theme park dedicated to space science, the space industry and the conquest of space.

The workshop will give attendees the opportunity to meet engineers and scientists from industry, research, and universities working on space applications.

The workshop’s keynote speakers are Airbus Defence and Space’s Manager of Antenna Feed Systems and Products Ralf Gehring and Thales Alenia Space’s Head of Space Antennas RF Design Unit Dr. Roberto Mizzoni.

The preliminary agenda, while subject to change between now the workshop, will cover the following the following topics:

• Complex feed systems and reflector systems

• Microwave components: filters, circulators etc.

• Multipaction analysis and thermal and structural mechanics

• Electromagnetic compatibility on satellites and launchers: installed performance and cabling

• SI, PI on high speed data connections

• Enhancing simulation throughout using high performance computing

Depending on the total number of participants the workshop may offer parallel sessions on the other topics. Registrations are coming in now. Please feel free to invite your colleagues, but everyone who wishes to attend must pre-register.

Visit our website for more information and to register.

The workshop comes off the back of a webinar CST presented at the end of July on electromagnetic simulation for space applications which attracted more than 281 live participants from all over the world and ended in a lively 15 minute Q&A session. The webinar can be viewed here.

CST’s Global Market Development Manager for Microwaves and RF, Marc Rütschlin, demonstrated how CST STUDIO SUITE® can be used to design the mission-critical componentry in satellites.

The webinar covered the following topics:

• How electromagnetic and multiphysics simulation allows the behavior and installed performance of mission-critical components such as antennas and filters to be investigated long before construction and launch.

• Why the densely-packed structure of satellites means that interference between different systems is a critical consideration in the design process.

• How the high-power components in satellites introduce additional potentially harmful effects, such as heating and multipaction, and how these can be investigated by charged-particle and multiphysics simulation tools.

• How to make simulation more efficient by splitting up complex systems into individual elements, which can be simulated and optimized separately using different solver types.

• How the System Assembly and Modeling framework in CST STUDIO SUITE allows numerous simulation tasks to be combined into a single project in order to allow the integrated design of satellites at both the component and system level.