September 29, 2014
So my contact at Cobham Technical Services invites me to check out their “shiny new website” dedicated to Opera, its general-purpose suite of multiphysics FE (finite element) tools for designing, modeling, analyzing and optimizing electromagnetic equipment and effects. They say they view the site as a “hub” of information related to FEA (finite element analysis). The short of it is that Cobham did a good job. The site is easy to navigate and, as promised, it’s filled with a lot of interesting stuff. More on that in a minute.
Opera was developed by Vector Fields Software, which is now a part of Cobham. The Cobham mother ship offers a range of engineering consulting, training and support services worldwide as well as software for things like antenna design in addition to Opera. All the services Cobham offers it provides to Opera users as well.
Opera is made up of an integrated group of modules for various electromagnetic phenomena as well as a couple of modules for simulating highly specific conditions in more detail. The solution scales from small outfits to large corporations.
Among Opera’s modules is one that calculates the interactions of charged particle beams and plasmas with electrostatic and magnetostatic fields. A static electromagnetics module helps you measure magneto- and electrostatic fields and DC current flow in EM (electromagnetic) devices and systems. A dynamic electromagnetics module that gauges time varying electromagnetic fields and eddy current flow in EM devices and systems is also available. Other modules handle motion, stress and thermal analyses. There’s also a superconductor quench module that can model the highly non-linear transient behavior of a magnet during a quench, and you can do analysis of things like magnetron sputtering.
The site focuses heavily, but not exclusively, on how you can better leverage Opera. Full details on support, consulting and training services are readily available. Still, the site offers a robust selection of on-demand webinars, validation studies and general news. You can find all of the major components of the new Opera website on the site’s home page (scroll down under the fold) and under the tabs running across the top.
Make the news section your first stop. It’s interesting in that it tends to be more technically inclined toward implementation stories than your usual fare. For example, the first item the day I visited was about how scientists at CERN use Opera electromagnetic simulations to help them design the magnets for an upgrade to the Large Hadron Collider in preparation for high luminosity operation.
You can avail yourself of seven on-demand webinars at present. Most of these appear introductory, covering such topics as how to use Opera for magnet, transformer and rotating machinery design as well as multiphysics requirements and limitations in electric machine simulations. More advanced topics include simulating ion beam, plasma and sputter coating devices with Opera and virtual prototyping of superconducting devices.
The site offers seven validation studies. This location is addictive. In general terms, each of the validation studies is a technical paper that assumes a familiarity with the physics phenomena under investigation. Most are richly illustrated, and reference materials are provided when applicable. Studies of note include “Maximizing the Benefits of Non-Destructive Testing Using Simulation,” “Parallel Computing for FEA Simulations” and “Enhancing Accuracy by Including Eddy Currents in Electromagnetic Analyses.”
Building a website is the easy part. Making a website that is usable is the next. Developing a website that is both useable and filled with rock-solid technical content is a completely different challenge. Cobham met that challenge head-on and bested it.
If your job has anything at all to do with FEA, designing, modeling, analyzing and optimizing electromagnetic equipment and effects or if you’re just intellectually curious, hit today’s Check it Out link and spend some time exploring Cobham’s new website for its Opera electromagnetic analysis solution. It’s very well done.
Thanks, Pal. – Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering
About the Author
Anthony J. Lockwood is Digital Engineering’s founding editor. He is now retired. Contact him via [email protected].Follow DE