Ray Optics Simulation of Sagnac Interferometers and Ring Laser Gyros

Christopher Boucher April 20, 2018

Attitude detection, the measurement of an object’s orientation and rotation in three-dimensional space, is a crucial element in aircraft and spacecraft navigation. Recently, ring laser gyroscopes and fiber ring gyroscopes have proven to be viable alternatives to traditional mechanical gyros for accurately measuring rotations. The fundamental operating principle of such devices is an optical phenomenon called the Sagnac effect. In this blog post, we’ll employ ray optics simulation to observe this effect in a basic Sagnac interferometer.

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Brianne Costa April 19, 2018

When it comes to advancements in healthcare, we have a lot to be thankful for. Because of anesthesia, patients no longer need to “bite the bullet” during surgery. Thanks to antibiotics, doctors don’t use bloodletting to cure an infection. Moving into more modern times, radio-frequency identification (RFID) systems offer a wide variety of innovative healthcare applications. However, like any new medical technology, biomedical RFID devices must be rigorously evaluated for performance and compatibility with other medical systems.

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Walter Frei April 17, 2018

In applications such as power transfer and consumer electronics, it may be critical to model electromagnetic heating of materials that are nonlinear in temperature; that is, the material’s electrical conductivity and thermal conductivity vary with temperature. When modeling these nonlinearities, even an experienced analyst can sometimes get quite unexpected results due to the combination of the nonlinear material properties, boundary conditions, and geometry. Let’s find out why this is in terms of a very simple example.

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Caty Fairclough April 10, 2018

Since their development in the 1960s, subminiature version A (SMA) connectors have become a staple in the RF and microwave industries. The use of these connectors is so widespread, they might even be the most popular RF and microwave connector systems on Earth. To evaluate the performance of an SMA connector, engineers can use the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Bridget Paulus April 9, 2018

Acyclic generator, unipolar generator, disc dynamo, Faraday wheel — No matter what you call it, the homopolar generator is an interesting device. Unlike most generators, homopolar generators produce high current with low voltage and can store and release large amounts of electricity. Due to these abilities, scientists have worked to improve this device since its invention. To continue this work, you can evaluate the performance of homopolar generator designs using the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Uttam Pal April 6, 2018

In 1875, John Kerr placed current-carrying coils in holes on either side of a glass slab, which created an electric field. After a polarized beam of light passed through the slab, he noticed that the polarization was different. This difference is related to the change in the glass’ refractive index, which is proportional to the square of the electric field — a phenomenon called the Kerr effect. See how to model this effect and other linear and nonlinear phenomena.

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Jiyoun Munn April 3, 2018

Since high-speed communication is inevitable for evolving wireless systems, the demand for a higher data rate, higher frequency, larger spectrum, and wider bandwidth increases. When dealing with a wide bandwidth, multiple devices may have to be deployed in a wireless communication system to filter out unwanted noise and interfering signals, enhance the signal-to-noise ratio, and improve the sensitivity. A single tunable filter can replace these devices, reducing the system’s size and weight and the fabrication cost of multiple components.

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Thomas Forrister March 22, 2018

In the 1970s and 80s, music fans would dedicate entire rooms of their homes to stereo systems. Big, boxy loudspeakers were essential fixtures of these stereo setups. Today, a new trend has emerged: Consumers want loudspeakers that are both powerful and portable, with the ability to connect to devices around the house and on the go. To design sophisticated yet lightweight loudspeakers, you can optimize the topology of their components, such as a magnetic circuit for the loudspeaker driver.

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Caty Fairclough February 21, 2018

Due to their inherent versatility and wideband frequency response, spiral slot antennas have a variety of applications for different microwave frequency bands. For example, these antennas are used for wireless communication, sensing, positioning, and tracking. To optimize the design of spiral slot antennas, engineers can use electromagnetics analysis to accurately calculate characteristics such as S-parameters and far-field patterns.

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Caty Fairclough January 29, 2018

Micromirrors have two key benefits: low power consumption and low manufacturing costs. For this reason, many industries use micromirrors for a wide range of MEMS applications. To save time and money when designing micromirrors, engineers can accurately account for thermal and viscous damping and analyze device performance via the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Cesare Tozzo January 23, 2018

Ferromagnetic materials are ubiquitous in electronic components and electrical machinery. In EM modeling, we may be interested in the broader application or focus on a certain material characteristic (e.g., the mechanical resistance of structural steel) that happens to be magnetic. In both cases, ferromagnetic parts influence the magnetic field in their surroundings, and identifying exactly how this happens could be crucial to the proper functioning of a device or system.

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