Spark3D is a unique simulation tool for determining the RF breakdown power level in a wide variety of passive devices, including those based on cavities, waveguides, microstrip and antennas. Field results from CST Studio Suite® simulations can be imported directly into Spark3D to analyze vacuum breakdown (multipactor) and gas discharge. From this, Spark3D calculates the maximum power that the device can handle without causing discharge effects.
Typical approximate approaches to determine the RF breakdown power level of any component are intentionally extremely conservative. Spark3D is based on advanced methods which analyze the breakdown phenomena numerically, predicting more realistic breakdown power levels, and thus improving the design margins.
The main Spark3D features are:
- Import the electromagnetic (EM) fields from different EM solvers.
- Automatic determination of the breakdown power threshold.
- Analysis boxes can be defined in order to choose the critical regions to be analyzed.
- Real-time output interface with rich simulation data, in table, plot and 3D view forms.
Spark3D is an optional part of CST Studio Suite® and is also available as a stand-alone offering.
The multipactor effect is a microwave breakdown discharge occurring in vacuum conditions caused by the formation of an electron avalanche. The avalanche originates due to the release of secondary electrons when high energy electrons collide with the walls of the device. This results in the appearance of an electron plasma which degrades the response of the component.
With Spark3D you can perform full numerical simulations of the multipactor effect considering the 3D EM field distribution. This is done by launching electrons in the component, tracking their trajectories and checking the evolution of the electron number with time.
Gas discharge (also known as corona discharge or ionization breakdown) is a breakdown discharge occurring in gas-filled components caused by the formation of an electron avalanche. The avalanche originates due to the ionization of the gas molecules when electrons impact to them. This results in the appearance of an electron plasma which degrades the response of the component which can, eventually, destroy it.
With Spark3D you can perform full numerical simulations of the corona effect considering the 3D EM field distribution. This is done by solving the free electron continuity equation in the component and checking if this density would grow with time for a particular input power level.