Opera Applications > Induction machine with conductors > Dassault Systèmes®

Opera Simulation Software is a Finite Element Analysis software suite which allows users to perform simulations of electromagnetic (EM) and electromechanical systems in 2 and 3 dimensions. Opera complements the existing SIMULIA EM portfolio with its strength in low frequency simulation, which is extremely useful for the design of magnets, electric motors and other electrical machines.

Charged Particle Devices

The Charged Particle Module calculates the interaction of charged particles in electrostatic and magnetostatic fields. It uses the Finite Element method to solve Maxwell’s equations for the steady-state case in a discretized model, and provides a self-consistent solution including the effects of space-charge, self-magnetic fields and relativistic motion.

A comprehensive set of emitter models is provided, including thermionic and field effect emission from surfaces, secondary emission from surfaces and within volumes (used to model gas ionization), and models for unmagnetized and magnetized plasmas.

It is possible to include multiple species of charged particles, each having user defined charge and mass. Field emission, compared to the thermionic emission, can be a more attractive mechanism in extracting electrons from the cathodes because the electrons are emitted at room temperature (cold cathode) by the quantum mechanical field effect which requires less electrical power. Growing in popularity are carbon nano-tube emitters, which, because of their size, may be used in more portable devices.

Magnets & Shielding

Opera has earned its position as the foremost FEA design tool for magnets of all types by its consistent accuracy, ease of use, and ability to handle large and complex simulations routinely.

Opera is widely used by the scientific community for designing magnets for use in particle accelerators, ion-beam devices, MRI/NMR and a wide variety of other magnetic devices. The application-focused software has evolved over the years and today provides comprehensive multi-physics simulation capable of investigating thermal and stress in addition to electromagnetics.

The software can also track charged particles through electromagnetic fields.  Because extremely high field precision is required in the imaging zone, the MRI/NMR application is particularly demanding. Opera was developed with this requirement in mind, and as a result many leading MRI and NMR equipment manufacturers use Opera for designing superconducting magnets, for carrying out quench simulations, and for designing magnet shielding. The software today provides comprehensive multi-physics simulation that is capable of investigating thermal and stress in addition to electromagnetics.

Standard results (depending on solution performed) include:

  • Field distribution
  • Field homogeneity and gradients
  • Fourier analysis coefficients
  • Associated Legendre polynomial coefficients
  • Peak fields on coils
  • Stray field / shielding effectiveness (EMC/EMI)
  • Particle beam trajectories
  • Dynamic performance of pulsed magnets
  • Forces and losses – coils, yokes and shielding
  • Deflection and stress due to mechanical loading
  • Cool down pre-stressing
  • Quench propagation
  • Protection circuit performance
  • Inter-turn / inter-layer voltages
  • Eigenfrequencies and Q-factors
Magnetron Sputtering

Sputter coating is widely used for the fabrication of thin films in a highly diverse range of applications – from decorative and low emissivity coatings on glass, through to engineering coatings on products used in today’s most demanding applications. Optimization of the deposited film properties and utilization of the sputter target are critical for the performance of the end-product and for the economics of the process. Opera combines accurate finite element analysis with detailed models for plasma, sputtering, and film deposition to provide the first practical tools for magnetron design and optimization.

For the first time, designers of magnetrons and sputter coaters have access to an effective design simulation tool. In many areas of engineering and product design such tools have proven ability for enhancing performance, reducing costs and development timescales and aiding innovation to provide a competitive edge.

Opera’s simulation features of particular relevance to magnetron designers include:

  • Full 3D system evaluation and design using advanced finite element simulation
  • Magnetic field calculations during the simulation
  • Include stray fields from adjacent magnetrons in a multi-magnetron coater environment
  • Self-consistent charged particle modelling, including space charge and relativistic effects
  • Rapid assessment of design variants
  • Multi-variable, multi-objective optimization


With Opera, the designer can predict and optimize:

  • Erosion groove profiles
  • Target utilization
  • Substrate coating profiles
  • Coating dynamics – for characteristics and quality
Marine Signatures and Cathodic Protection

From developing advanced modeling of electromagnetic signatures, cathodic protection systems and solving inverse electromagnetic sensing problems, Opera’s advanced electromagnetic simulation has proved an indispensable companion to marine engineers and designers.

Mitigation of electric and magnetic field signatures is an important part of the design process for a naval vessel. Opera has been widely used for many years as a simulation tool for both un-degaussed and degaussed signature assessment, showing high levels of accuracy in validation exercises and flexibility in optimizing positions of degaussing coils.

Opera users can easily modify models created for magnetic signature assessment to allow cathodic protection system modelling using the same Opera simulation module. Cathodic Protection analysis requires just a model of the exterior surface of the vessel, including impressed current anodes, sacrificial anodes, and painted and unprotected areas.

Opera’s results post-processing allows for the interrogation of many useful results, including:

  • Potential distribution on vessel, showing the effectiveness of CP system.
  • Electric field distribution anywhere in modelled volume of sea and sea-bed
  • Current density distribution anywhere in modelled volume of sea and sea-bed
  • Resultant magnetic field from currents flowing in sea and sea-bed



Motors & Generators

Opera is a powerful interactive Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software package proven to provide accurate electromagnetic field modelling for all types of machines, including axial flux topologies and linear motion devices. Electromagnetic and other physics solvers, that provide different levels of analysis complexity, are available to offer users the best tools for their requirements. Comprehensive material modelling options (including magnetization, demagnetization in service and full vector hysteresis material model) as well as easy definition of external drive circuits are all geared towards facilitating machines design. The integrated Optimizer provides an efficient route from concept to competitive product. The Machines Environment is an easy to use, template-driven development tool specifically designed for electrical machines engineers. Depending on the geometrical complexity and symmetry, users have the option of using either Opera 2D or Opera 3D.

Opera’s Static solver provides an accurate representation of the electromagnetic behavior of the machine. This is useful for certain types of machines where the fields can be considered as ‘frozen’ in time (as in the case of DC machines) or travelling at the same speed as the rotor (Synchronous Machines), Users can deploy the Steady-state (time-varying AC) solvers for machine analyses that include time varying fields, for example the induction machine or torque vs. slip characterization.

By using the Motion solvers, users can analyze completely the real-world performance of any machine. This also includes analysis of the effects of mechanical coupling. Losses Opera’s range of solvers allow users to evaluate Iron losses (including eddy current, hysteresis and excess/rotational components) for any type of machine. This can be done using post-processing methods, or directly during the solution from manufacturers curves. Users can calculate copper losses simply from the current flowing in simulated windings. Opera’s hysteresis solver gives users the ability to obtain hysteresis losses explicitly (including rotational component losses and eddy current losses). Any loss quantity can be used as a heat source in 2D or 3D thermal analyses.

Transformers & Reactors

The Opera simulation suite uses the finite element method to simulate the electrical, thermal and structural behavior of devices and systems. A virtual prototyping tool that can be used to explore design variants, optimize and refine designs, Opera offers test results that can be as accurate as physical testing.

With Opera, manufacturers of power systems and associated devices who design products to meet the demands of the modern world, can increase efficiency and develop a smaller footprint, with lower environmental impact. Opera meets these often competing requirements, enabling successful design of innovative and highly optimized products. As the conventional development process of design iterations and physical proto-type build/test becomes both time consuming and costly, designers are increasingly turn to Opera.

  • 3d device evaluation using advanced Finite Element simulation
  • Full non-linear and locally orthotropic material representations for both electromagnetics & thermal
  • Rapid testing of design variants
  • Test under real-world conditions (i.e. across all operating and under fault conditions)
  • Include the power supply and load
  • Include thermal and structural analysis
  • Integrated with Opera Optimizer


Standard results (dependent on solution performed) include:

  • Efficiency
  • Inductances
  • Saturation curves
  • Short-circuit analysis
  • Open-circuit analysis
  • Inrush current/load test
  • Switch on transients
  • Losses – copper, eddy-current, hysteresis
  • Stray field/shielding analysis (EMC/EMI)
  • Dynamic forces on coils