Cobham Technical Services has announced a new release of the Concerto electromagnetic design software for RF and microwave applications from its Vector Fields Software product line. Concerto provides developers with a very cost-effective means of achieving the best solution in the shortest possible time. The latest version – Concerto v7.5R1 – incorporates numerous enhancements to accelerate further every aspect of design, simulation, analysis and optimization.
Many of the enhancements in this release centre on the powerful 3D geometric Modeler that forms an integral part of all Concerto configurations. This has new meshing options for the finite element (FE) Eigenvalue solver, which can result in significantly shorter solution times, and the Modeller now provides access to a range of additional features in Concerto’s finite difference time domain (FDTD) simulation engine. Among these is the ability to present frequency domain field plots over any regions of the model, and for any number of frequencies, from a single time domain analysis.
The Modeler now also supports features for the efficient simulation of complex materials in FDTD. One new facility allows the definition of lumped ports with frequency dispersive properties, based on the Drude, Debye and Lorentz models, providing a circuit element representation of discrete structures within complex materials.
The properties of metamaterials are being explored increasingly for use in microwave devices such as antennas and filters. Support for the simulation of these materials has been enhanced by allowing their representation by bulk constitutive properties. Since these types of materials generally rely on small-scale structure for their desired electromagnetic characteristics, their simulation can be very computationally intensive; using their bulk properties greatly increases the speed of simulation.
One common application of Concerto is in the design of antennas. A new tool in the Modeler enables swept far-field results to be generated by the FDTD solver in arbitrary directions, giving the ability to assess the broad-band far-field performance both on and off bore-sight.
The Concerto Manager has also been improved, and now features tabbed folder windows for simpler and faster navigation, together with an enhanced capability for running Concerto’s frequency domain solvers in batch mode.
Underlying Concerto is an advanced and flexible scripting capability, allowing automation of almost all of the features of model creation analysis and post processing. The latest release extends the range of commands and features in the scripting language, and provides a redesigned and enhanced editor for creating and editing command files.
Concerto provides an FDTD simulator as standard, enabling users to quickly and easily model a wide variety of microwave devices such as antennas, waveguides, filters, cavities and resonators. Two further simulation options are available. A Method of Moments (MoM) analysis module uses a highly accurate formulation for the analysis of arbitrary geometries. Typical applications include radar cross-section calculation and the evaluation of antenna performance and placement on aircraft and ships. For designers wishing to characterize the performance of devices such as RF cavities and microwave resonators, Concerto offers a Finite Element Method (FEM) analysis module, which determines the eigenvalues and associated eigenvectors of resonant structures.
Concerto v7.5R1 is available in a number of configurations, including several low-cost versions, all of which use the 3D geometric Modeler for model build or import and employ the FDTD solver as standard. These versions can be upgraded to the full professional version at any time. Concerto ES is an entry-level 3D package which provides an ideal introduction for designers who are new to virtual prototyping software. Concerto 2D is an extremely fast 2D analysis module, which is primarily intended for designing components with axisymmetric geometries, such as circular and corrugated horn antennas. For designers of axisymmetric coaxial devices, such as connectors, Concerto AS offers a highly cost-effective means to optimize their electromagnetic designs very quickly.
Posted by Janine E. Mooney, Associate Editor