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Cloud Computing Speeds Antenna Design

In a previous blog, I noted that born in the cloud companies can be a boon to tech startups looking to optimize precious resources. In this post, I offer a spectacular case in point.

Optisys had big goals and big compute needs. Designing its next-gen antenna, the Utah-based startup sought order-of-magnitude reductions in size, weight and lead time, and a cost-effective solution for running large, concurrent RF electronics simulations. Establishing an in-house IT function wasn’t an option: Optisys (like many startups) had little appetite or budget for investing outside its core business. Instead, it adopted Rescale’s cloud-based platform to satisfy its simulation needs.

antenna simulation

Until very recently, we believed antenna construction to be a laborious process. Not so. Advances in metal 3-D printing have not only revolutionized the fabrication process, but also exploded the number of design possibilities.

To harness the potential of this new technology, Optisys’ engineers employed ANSYS electromagnetic and mechanical simulation software accessed through the ANSYS Startup Program. They then uploaded their locally created models onto Rescale’s ScaleX platform to evaluate the RF and structural performance of each design iteration. The result? Optisys’ latest offering, the XSITA — a 64-element X-band SATCOM integrated array antenna — weighs in at only eight pounds and consists of a single component.  Existing antennas, by comparison, tip the scales at 50 pounds and contain upward of 100 components.

antenna array model

I think this is a great example of how working with a well-established cloud partner benefits a startup. With Rescale, Optisys increases its simulation capability and gains greater technical agility. It can tailor its compute resources to meet continuously changing business needs, and take advantage of virtually unlimited availability and scalability — all without cost-prohibitive investments in IT. And, with design cycles reduced from months to mere weeks, Optisys can now introduce innovative products to the market faster than some of its well-funded competitors.

Through this post, I sincerely hope I’ve piqued your interest and you’ll want to learn more about the power of cloud-partner solutions, as well as Optisys’ design process for its revolutionary 3-D printed antenna. Read Tuning In to Antenna Design in the latest issue of ANSYS Advantage magazine.

You might also be interested in viewing to this on-demand webinar where you'll learn how Richard Childress Racing (RCR) is running half-billion cell models on Rescale's cloud platform.