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Electromagnetic design software aids superconducting magnet systems

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Advanced electromagnetic simulation software is helping a leading producers of cryogenic equipment to speed the development of application-specific superconducting magnets for research.  The software – the Opera 3D simulator – has been provided by Cobham Technical Services to Cryogenic. The package includes a suite of 3D electromagnetic design, simulation and analysis tools, plus a unique optimiser. This latter tool automatically employs multiple goal-seeking algorithms to eliminate the need for manual intervention when evaluating the best solution for a particular design.

Cryogenic designs and manufactures a wide range of superconducting magnets and associated measurement systems for laboratory research and industrial uses worldwide.

Generally, Cryogenic uses its own in-house software to design the basic mechanical layout and coil structures of a magnet, fine tuning its field profile with magnetic material to meet the customer’s specific needs. The shape and placement of the magnetic pieces are critical to the magnet’s performance, and are determined through extensive electromagnetic field simulation. Following the initial design phase, the company employs Opera's 3D Modeller to create a very detailed geometric model of the proposed design, from which is generated a mesh of finite elements for numerical solution using the static electromagnetic field simulator. Until the advent of the latest version of the Opera-3D Modeller, the finite element shapes were limited to tetrahedra, but can now include other shapes such as hexahedral, prism and pyramid elements as well.  Cobham Technical Services uses the term ‘mosaic’ to define a mesh which can include this mixture of element types.