Defense & Aerospace Electronics

In the defense and aerospace sectors, companies design advanced electronics systems such as avionics, fly-by-wire controls and airborne communications. Electronics components are used in a variety of other applications, including surveillance and radar, antennas, guidance systems, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UMAVs).

Electric field patterns of two roof mounted antennas performed by ANSYS HFSS

Engineers in the industry face challenges related to harsh operating conditions, which include significant swings in humidity levels and large temperature variations ranging from 50 degrees C to -20 degrees C. Furthermore, electronics products must meet the industry’s high safety and reliability standards, strong weight restriction targets, reduced fuel consumption mandates and long product lifecycle expectations.

Electric field pattern of blade antenna mounted on underside of fighter aircraft

The breadth and depth of ANSYS software means that companies can easily conduct comprehensive multiphysics simulation and enable cross-disciplinary product design and optimization. Technology from ANSYS reduces the need for physical prototyping and product testing through virtual simulation, expediting design and development and enabling companies to get their products to market much faster.

ANSYS offers electronics designers a variety of engineering simulation tools that address problems encountered in the defense and aerospace vertical segment.

Electric field pattern of antenna mounted on helicopter

Loading Content. Please wait

Thermal Management Thermal Management

For thermal management of avionics systems and airborne electronics, ANSYS Icepak offers the ability to perform CFD simulation related to natural and forced convection and radiation heat transfer. Joule heating effects in package or board substrates can be incorporated into a design analysis through direct import from ASYS SIwave, our SI/PI product with power integrity simulation capabilities. For radar or antenna applications, the heat load generated during operation can be incorporated into the thermal design through direct import of heat load data from the 3-D high frequency electromagnetic simulation tool, ANSYS HFSS, into ANSYS Icepak.

Thermal management of radar dome using ANSYS Icepak


Mechanical Mechanical

ANSYS products offer a comprehensive solution for conducting structural analysis with a full complement of nonlinear and linear elements as well as a complete set of element behavior and material laws. ANSYS Mechanical software incorporates tools for mechanical reliability and stress analysis. ANSYS Fatigue software can be used to simulate product performance under anticipated cyclic loading conditions over the product's expected lifespan. ANSYS also offers a complete set of implicit and explicit solvers, enabling engineers to simulate mechanical stresses and strains — such as through explicit drop testing — that develop during episodes of shock and vibration.

Random vibration analysis on airborne electronics

Model courtesy CADFEM GmbH.


High-Frequency Electromagnetics High-Frequency Electromagnetics

For high-frequency electromagnetics exploration, ANSYS offers HFSS, a full-wave electromagnetic field solver ideal for simulating RF components as well as large and complicated microwave systems like radar and antennas. ANSYS SIwave software analyzes complex printed circuit boards and IC packages prevalent in modern electronic products. ANSYS HFSS software is uniquely integrated with the ANSYS high-speed RF circuit and system simulation tool, ANSYS DesignerRF, enabling fast and accurate linear and nonlinear analysis of applications including filter synthesis, phase noise, S-parameter evaluation and intermodulation harmonics.

Electromagnetic simulation on microstrip interconnect using ANSYS Multiphysics

Power Management Power Management

The challenges of managing size, weight and power (SWaP) requirements for next-generation aircraft poses design challenges such as power consumption optimization, thermal management and fail-proof reliability for integrated circuit (IC) designers. Since power determines the size and weight of energy storage or generation solutions—  in addition to the system’s endurance under operating conditions — R&D teams must understand and manage power issues early in the design phase. This results in a power-efficient system that provides mission time extension or allows miniaturization of the unit to increase its application profile.

To help ensure optimal power savings and avoid unnecessary chip power consumption that can lead to premature depletion of battery power sources or cause electrical and thermal reliability issues, ANSYS offers industry-leading solutions for advanced aerospace and defense chip design applications. Subsidiary Apache Design’s PowerArtist, a register transfer language (RTL) power analysis and optimization platform, can identify improvements at the RTL level to reduce power consumption without changing system functionality. RedHawk, our full-chip power integrity and sign-off platform, considers the system environment by including an electrical model of the package and board that is generated by ANSYS extraction software. The accurate results from RedHawk’s analysis permit thorough optimization of the IC packaging solution.

Advanced military electronic systems that combine numerous electronic components in very limited space are inherently prone to electromagnetic interference (EMI). These high-density components and their integration with highly sensitive sensory systems make EMI solutions challenging. The RedHawk power and noise analysis tool has the capability to analyze component activity and simulate the electromagnetic excitation it causes. Then Sentinel, a complete chip-package-system (CPS) codesign/coanalysis solution addressing system-level power integrity, thermal and EMI challenges, utilizes the excitation data to simulate the impact of EMI on the package and system environment.

As electronic components consume power, they also generate heat that must be removed to avoid overheating and loss of reliable operation. Sentinel-TI provides an integrated die/package/board thermal and thermal/mechanical stress analysis solution that addresses this critical design issue. Its unique capability to employ a chip thermal model (CTM) from RedHawk and provide on-die temperature variations in very fine resolution, along with layer-by-layer temperature profiles, enables deeper insight into the impact of system-wide temperature on  the IC’s electromigration and leakage power for advanced thermal management and reliability.