Spark3D

MULTIPACTOR AND CORONA ANALYSIS

Spark3D is a unique simulation tool for determining the RF breakdown power level in a wide variety of passive devices, including 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 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.

Multipactor
Spark3D Multipactor

The multipactor effect is a microwave breakdown discharge occurring in vacuum conditions caused by the formation of an electron avalanche. The avalanche is created when high energy electrons collide with the walls of the device, releasing secondary electrons. This results in the creation of an electron plasma which degrades the response of the component.

With Spark3D the user 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
Spark3D graph of corona results (power against pressure)

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 is created when electrons impact gas molecules, causing ionization. This results in the appearance of an electron plasma which degrades the response of the component which can, eventually, destroy it.

With Spark3D the user 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.