Next Generation In-Situ Antenna Analysis and Design Toolbox
Navy SBIR 2015.1 - Topic N151-024
NAVAIR - Ms. Donna Moore - [email protected]
Opens: January 15, 2015 - Closes: February 25, 2015 6:00am ET

N151-024 TITLE: Next Generation In-Situ Antenna Analysis and Design Toolbox

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Sensors, Battlespace


OBJECTIVE: Develop an innovative, exact-physics (EP), fast, high-order-accurate computational electromagnetics (CEM) capability that, in present-day computer clusters, can accurately simulate in-situ antenna performance on platforms of electrical length of the order of 500 to 1000 wavelengths and beyond.

DESCRIPTION: Measurement-based approaches to in-situ antenna characterization, while highly valuable for validation purposes, are unrealistically slow and very expensive in the design stage. Advances in CEM and computer technology are allowing us to gradually replace measurements in the design stage with electromagnetic (EM) modeling and simulation (M&S). In the frequency domain (FD), the domain of interest in this solicitation, there exist commercial-strength EM M&S codes, both EP and high-frequency (HF) ones, that do a commendable job. Those based on HF methods are limited in the accuracy they can provide while the ones based on EP can provide accuracy but cannot handle electrically large platforms principally because of the very large and dense systems of linear equations they generate. Even using today�s CPU/GPU clusters, EP codes cannot handle a large platform without substantial cost in hardware and execution time. For this reason, the past decade has seen an intense research effort in overcoming these shortcomings [refs. 1 � 4]. Research results indicate that advances in CEM may enable accurate EP simulation of vitally important, electrically large radiation problems arising from aircraft-mounted antenna systems, and, therefore, may provide an enabling alternative to measurement, and a significantly more accurate substitute for methods based on HF approximations.

A FD, EP, boundary-integral-equation EM M&S software capability is sought. It should be able to read a CAD file of a structure with a large number (> 10) of antennas mounted on it, and have the ability to effectively evaluate the electromagnetic fields in prescribed regions of space, taking into account the structure�s geometry and material properties (as well as those of the antennas).

The computational engine should provide high-order accuracy and an order-of-magnitude acceleration over current solvers (high-order accuracy occurs when the reductions in the solution error that result from a given reduction in the mesh-size h amount to a "high" power p of the mesh-size reduction factor). The goal is to be able to handle a 1,000-wavelength-long platform in a moderate size CPU/GPU cluster at a tenth of the current computational cost of a commercial, accelerated, moment method code that uses RWG functions [ref. 5]. (As an example, the current NAVAIR 4.5.5 GPU cluster comprises a master node and ten compute nodes. Each compute node has 1 Intel E5620 Dual Processor Quad Core, 48 GB RAM, 2 TB HDD, and 4 NVIDIA Tesla M2070 6 GB modules. The master node has 1 Intel E5620 Dual Processor Quad Core, 24 GB RAM, and 500 GB HDD). A well designed Graphical User Interface (GUI) should be made available for easy access to the software capabilities. The proposer should demonstrate, in the proposal, ownership of all existing and to-be-developed source code or an appropriate arrangement with a subcontractor.

PHASE I: Demonstrate the feasibility, on the basis of CAD descriptions of aircraft and antennas, of a solution for 1,000-wavelength radiation problems with high order accuracy in present day distributed memory computer clusters.

PHASE II: Refine the methodology developed during Phase I to demonstrate the solution for a very large platform (1000 wavelengths in size) with at least ten antennas on it. The antenna-platform system will comprise both perfect conductors and dielectric materials. Develop a user friendly GUI with good pre- and post-processing capability.

PHASE III: Refine the tools developed during Phase II and develop a commercial-grade software tool that provides an end-to-end modeling capability for Navy and civilian application areas. Refine GUI and provide thorough user documentation. Fully implement hardware acceleration on latest technology computer clusters.

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: Antenna in-situ performance and co-site interference are problems common to both military and commercial aircraft. This tool will find equal use in commercial avionics as in military ones.

1. Jørgensen, E., Volakis, J.L., Meincke P. & O. Breinbjerg, (2004). Higher Order Hierarchical Legendre Basis Functions for Electromagnetic Modeling, IEEE Trans Antennas Propagat, Vol. 52, No. 11, pp. 2985-2995.

2. Notaro�, B.M. (2008). Higher Order Frequency-Domain Computational Electromagnetics, IEEE Trans Antennas Propagat, Vol. 56, No. 8, pp. 2251-2276.

3. Bruno, O., Elling, T., Paffenroth, R. & Turc, C. (2009). Electromagnetic integral equations requiring a small number of Krylov-subspace iterations, J. Comp. Phys., Vol. 228, pp. 6169-6183.

4. Kaufmann, T. (2011). The Meshless Radial Point Interpolation Method for Electromagnetics. Doctor of Sciences thesis, ETH Zurich.

5. Rao, S. M., Wilton, D. R. & Glisson, A. W. (1982). Electromagnetic scattering by surfaces of arbitrary shape, IEEE Trans. Antennas Propag.,vol. AP-30, no. 3, pp. 409�418.

KEYWORDS: Computational Electromagnetics; Cpu/Gpu Clusters; exact physics methods; in-situ antenna analysis; high-order accurate; GUI design

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