Optisys has partnered with ANSYS, the makers of the most powerful and comprehensive suite of engineering simulation design tools in the industry, in the ANSYS Startup Program designed to help new companies grow and succeed. This partnership provides Optisys with the latest cutting edge design tools in mechanical and electrical engineering, which gives us the edge needed to compete in the fast-paced world ahead.
Traditional RF engineering design involved a slow process of 1) hand calculation > 2) prototyping > 3) testing > 4) manual tuning, and then going back to step 1 and iterating until the design met requirements. This process can take a year or more to settle on a final design that could be used in a system. The overall time to market was long and the antennas that were designed required a significant amount of tuning during each antenna build to pass functional testing.
When simulation software was first introduced in the 80’s and 90’s, it was more of an aid for the hand calculation portion of the design, allowing for a modest improvement in design time, but the design cycle of prototype, tune, test, and repeat continued. This maintained the status quo of design times that lasted for a year or more, and antennas built with this method still required significant hand tuning during each subsequent build.
In the last 10 to 15 years, simulation and design software has improved on an accelerating scale to the point where prototype and tune are complete within a single round. At the first RF test the measurements match the simulations with stunning accuracy. Simulation tools, such as ANSYS, are now allowing for confidence in the design to the point that product design cycles are reduced to months, with the final product passing RF testing sans additional tuning.
Optisys is excited to partner with ANSYS in the Startup Program and is looking forward to designing the lightest weight, highest performance RF components on the market using a single integrated software tool for RF and mechanical design cycles. As a test run for these new software tools, an X-band SATCOM array was designed that has dual-axis monopulse tracking on both the right-hand and left-hand circular polarizations. In addition, the elevation axis and critical mechanical mounting features were included in the print geometry as a single part. The complexity involved in this antenna would be near-impossible to design to fit within a reasonable volume without the use of high performance simulation software. Click here to download our white paper discussing the design of the X-band SATCOM Integrated Tracking Array.