Arizona State University

Electromagnetic Computational Methods and Computer Codes

Advanced Helicopter Electromagnetics Laboratory | Comments

Besides antenna measurements performed on helicopter models, one of the major efforts of the AHE group is numerical prediction of antenna radiation patterns, input impedance, efficiency and gain. This process involves numerical simulations of the individual antenna elements in the absence of the helicopter as well as in the presence of the helicopter. The location of the antenna is often optimized according to the specifications through numerous computer simulations. The final predictions are validated against measurements performed in the electromagnetics anechoic chamber.

Design and analysis of antennas on complex structures such as helicopters are performed using advanced electromagnetic codes. Most of these codes are based on a full-wave formulation of the Maxwell's equations and associated boundary conditions. Some other codes are based on an asymptotic solution of the Maxwell's equations. The use of a specific code usually depends on the particular application, expected accuracy, computational time and frequency of operation. Some of the codes we are currently using for the AHE consortium include the following:

1. Finite-Difference Time-Domain method (NEWS, X-NEWS)
2. Finite Element Method (FEM, X-FEM)
3. High Frequency Structure Simulator (HFSS)
4. WirePlate (WIPL)
5. FEKO
6. Numerical Electromagnetic Code (NEC)
7. Electromagnetic Surface Patch (ESP)
8. NEWAIR (GTD based)

The overall simulation effort involves geometry modeling using CAD (Computer Aided Design) software, interfacing with the above computational engines, and visualization of the numerical results. These computer codes are constantly updated and improved. In terms of hardware, the AHE team uses powerful workstations such as SGI (Indigo 2 and Octane), IBM and HP, in addition to Personal Computers (PC's).

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