Designing a Butler Matrix Beamforming Network with RF Modeling

Caty Fairclough June 27, 2017

When looking for a cost-effective feed network, engineers can turn to the Butler matrix as a potential solution. This passive beamforming feed network is used with phased array antennas, which have applications in upcoming technologies like 5G. To efficiently analyze and design Butler matrix feed networks, we can turn to the COMSOL Multiphysics® software and the add-on RF Module.

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Bridget Paulus June 8, 2017

Solar-grade silicon is becoming more popular for applications such as communications and photovoltaics. While it’s important to keep up with this growing demand, the current method of producing solar-grade silicon is energy intensive and expensive. To find a more efficient process, researchers at JPM Silicon GmbH explored a novel method using a microwave furnace. By simulating the internal processes, they aim to optimize their microwave furnace design to produce low-cost solar-grade silicon.

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Brianne Costa May 1, 2017

We thrive on the ability to stay constantly connected to the rest of the world through technology. But there are times when our devices hold us back, distracting us when we should be working on an important project or connecting with friends over dinner. Fortunately, a device that was first theorized over 200 years ago — the Faraday cage — offers a way to take ourselves offline, if only for a little while.

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Bridget Cunningham April 24, 2017

Due to the complex pumping scheme of high-power CO2 lasers, there are many species and collisions to consider in their analysis. This makes modeling plasma behavior in these devices — a key element in their optimization — a challenging task. Applying a multilevel approach, one researcher used the COMSOL Multiphysics® software to create a full 3D model of planar discharge in a CO2 laser. The results showcase the homogeneity of the discharge while offering further potential for optimizing laser designs.

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Bridget Cunningham April 17, 2017

Optical fibers that deliver midinfrared wavelengths are in high demand for a range of relative applications. As infrared transparent materials, semiconductors are useful for this purpose when combined with silica, helping to realize a new generation of midinfrared fiber optics. While important to performance, measuring the optical losses of such structures can be challenging experimentally because of time and costs. Simulation enables us to efficiently model this behavior for varying wavelengths and fiber geometries and identify strategies to reduce losses.

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Caty Fairclough April 14, 2017

Current wireless power transfer technologies require charging stands or pads and only work over small distances, limiting their possible applications. But what if we can provide safe wireless power to electronic devices anywhere in a room, regardless of their location? The quasistatic cavity resonance (QSCR) method, developed by a team at Disney Research, may be the solution. Let’s explore the inner workings of this method as well as the simulation and experiments used to test its functionality and safety.

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Caty Fairclough April 11, 2017

Microwave filters can help prevent unwanted frequency components in the output of a microwave transmitter design. However, when the microwave system experiences thermal drift, it can be difficult to achieve high-frequency stability in the filters. To address this issue and improve filter designs, system engineers need to predict the change of the passband frequency caused by thermal expansion. As we’ll see today, one way to achieve this is with multiphysics modeling.

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Caty Fairclough March 24, 2017

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems must produce high-resolution images in order for doctors to accurately diagnose their patients. To achieve this level of image quality, there must be a known reliable base magnetic field distribution within the MRI machine and its components, such as birdcage coils. This is where simulation comes in. By designing MRI birdcage coils with the COMSOL Multiphysics® software, we can manipulate and optimize the magnetic field and improve the scanned data that MRI machines generate.

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Bridget Cunningham March 21, 2017

Exposure to the environment can negatively impact an antenna’s radiation characteristics and lead to greater losses. One way to protect these devices is with radomes, which are enclosures that can shield antennas while improving their overall performance. When designing a radome, measuring its effectiveness is key, as designs without optimized configurations have less influence. With the example of a patch antenna, we discuss using simulation to gain insight into a radome’s ability to improve antenna directivity.

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Bridget Cunningham March 13, 2017

Noncommunicable diseases place a socioeconomic strain on low- to middle-income countries. The advent of noninvasive technology offers a solution, effectively diagnosing, preventing, and treating these diseases at a lower cost. For chronic kidney disease, one type of noncommunicable disease, such advancements are important because current methods are expensive and prone to error. As simulation research shows, sensors based on complementary split ring resonators (CSRRs) provide an inexpensive way to accurately monitor chronic kidney disease.

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Andrew Strikwerda January 30, 2017

Welcome back to our discussion on multiscale modeling in high-frequency electromagnetics. Multiscale modeling is a simulation challenge that arises when there are vastly different scales in a single simulation, such as the size of an antenna compared to the distance between the antenna and its target. Today, in Part 4 of the series, we will examine how we can construct a multiscale model by coupling a Full-Wave antenna simulation with a geometrical optics simulation using the Ray Optics Module.

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