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Automotive Simulation using CST MICROWAVE

STUDIO®
This article demonstrates the application of CST MICROWAVE STUDIO® (CST MWS) to the simulation of electrically large
automotive structures. CST MWS is ideal for such applications since the geometry can be easily imported and modified using
the powerful user interface, the accurate and robust PERFECT BOUNDARY APPROXIMATION (PBA)® is exploited, takes
advantage of the linear scaling of memory with increasing mesh cells and the allows the simulation of broadband AM/FM, GSM
and GPS antennas.

Other advantages include time-domain simultaneous excitation for mutual coupling analysis and near- and far-field
calculations in the time (probes) and frequency domains (fields on curves). The farfield calculation over lossy grounds enables
the simulation of outdoor test ranges. Accurate calculation and visualisation of 3D fields and surface currents useful for
antenna and cable placement. Results and geometry data may be easily exported for use in third party or in-house tools.

Figure 1: Geometry of imported car and supported CAD import formats

A variety of CAD formats may be used to import the structure into CST MWS and these are shown in Figure 1 along with the
geometry of the car to be simulated. In this case, the STL format was used.

Automotive Simulation using CST MICROWAVE STUDIO®


© 2010 CST AG - http://www.cst.com Page 1 of 4
Figure 2: Typical antenna structures and placements (AM/FM,GPS) and power cable setup (DC)

Figure 2 shows the various types of antennas that can be simulated with CST MWS demonstrating the versatility of the PBA
and the THIN SHEET TECHNIQUE (TST) for the correct modelling of small features such as thin-wire on-glass antennas and
relatively thin power cables.

Figure 3: Full model including windscreen and on-glass wire antenna

The windscreen on-glass antenna highlights several significant features that are advantageous for such a simulation, namely,
the ability to import curves of the antenna which can then be transformed into wires in CST MWS, the thicken sheet feature to
assign a thickness to an infinitely thin sheet such as the windscreen and also the possibility to actually model the finite radius
of the wires. Figure 3 shows the on-glass antenna and windscreen components incorporated in the car model. The car model
can be simulated with all of these features included without having to seperately simulate parts of the structure. This is a
consequence of the almost linear memory scaling with mesh cells and is, in conjunction witht he PBA and TST techniques, a
strong feature of the Time Domain solver.

Automotive Simulation using CST MICROWAVE STUDIO®


© 2010 CST AG - http://www.cst.com Page 2 of 4
Figure 4: 3D and Polar Farfield Patterns for various Antenna Types with and without car model present (green
curves in the polar plots)

The effect of the car on the farfield patterns of some of the aforementioned antenna configurations is shown in Figure 4 where
the 3D and polar plots of the farfield are shown for the frequencies applicable to the antenna simulated. The green polar
curves are for the antenna simulations without the car present.

Finally, Figure 5 shows the model setup for a car with a harness signal or power cable. The surface currents for this power
cable set up are also shown at DC. Using the combine results feature in CST MWS, all interference sources may be
superimposed to obtain the their global effect. The field along or at any arbitrary position on the curve may be evaluated and
exported.

Figure 5: Cable Harness / Power cable definition and surface currents

Automotive Simulation using CST MICROWAVE STUDIO®


© 2010 CST AG - http://www.cst.com Page 3 of 4
The aim of this article is simply to demonstrate the impressive features required for the simulation of automotive antenna
placement and EMC applications. CST MWS offers comprehensive CAD facilities to not only import structures but also to
simplify and modify the model where necessary. This includes the ability to import wires which may either be treated as
inifnitely thin or finite radius wires. Broadband results are obtained in a single simulation with farfield monitors at any desired
preset frequencies. Time Domain field monitors are also available. The Time Domain simulation delivers, in addition to the
fourier-transformed frequency results, the time varying probe data for either near- or far-field data. In addition, automotive
structures are gernally electrically large which are easily handled due to the almost linear memory-mesh cell scaling
characteristic of the CST MWS Transient solver.

Automotive Simulation using CST MICROWAVE STUDIO®


© 2010 CST AG - http://www.cst.com Page 4 of 4