How to Perform a STOP Analysis with COMSOL Multiphysics®

Christopher Boucher November 5, 2018

Modern optical systems are often required to operate in harsh environments, including high altitudes, space, underwater, and in laser and nuclear facilities. Such optical systems are subjected to structural loads and extreme temperatures. The most accurate way to fully capture these environmental effects is through numerical simulation via a structural-thermal-optical performance (STOP) analysis. STOP analysis is the quintessential multiphysics problem. In this blog post, we show how to combine structural, thermal, and optical effects using the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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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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Christopher Boucher May 2, 2017

The release of version 5.3 of the COMSOL Multiphysics® software includes a new Ray Termination feature to simplify the setup and results analysis for optical simulations with the Ray Optics Module. Use the Ray Termination feature to remove rays that are no longer relevant to the solution, either because they have escaped from the geometry or their intensity is negligibly small. In this blog post, we’ll learn how to use this feature and see how it simplifies ray optics simulation.

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Christopher Boucher September 22, 2016

In the previous installment of this series, we explained two concepts needed to model the release and propagation of real-world charged particle beams. We first introduced probability distribution functions in a purely mathematical sense and then discussed a specific type of distribution — the transverse phase space distribution of a charged particle beam in 2D. Now, let’s combine what we’ve learned and find out how to sample the initial positions and velocities of 3D beam particles from this distribution.

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Christopher Boucher September 19, 2016

Previously in our Phase Space Distributions in Beam Physics series, we introduced probability distribution functions (PDFs) and various ways to sample from them in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software. Such knowledge of PDFs is necessary to understand how ion and electron beams propagate within real-world systems. In this installment, we’ll discuss the concepts of phase space and emittance as they apply to the release of ions or electrons in beams.

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Christopher Boucher September 15, 2016

In this blog series, we’ll investigate the simulation of beams of ions or electrons using particle tracking techniques. We’ll begin by providing some background information on probability distribution functions and the different ways in which you can sample random numbers from them in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software. In later installments, we’ll show how this underlying mathematics can be used to accurately simulate the propagation of ion and electron beams in real-world systems.

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Christopher Boucher June 23, 2016

A paraboloidal solar dish can focus solar radiation onto a small target or cavity receiver. Because solar energy is collected over a large area, the incident heat flux at the receiver is extremely high. This thermal energy can then be converted to electrical energy or used to produce a chemical energy source, such as hydrogen. Today, we discuss strategies for computing the distribution of heat flux in the focal plane of a typical solar dish concentrator/receiver system.

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Christopher Boucher June 20, 2016

With the release of COMSOL Multiphysics® version 5.2a, it is now possible to trace rays in unmeshed domains and even release and trace rays outside a geometry. The Ray Optics Module provides an entirely new algorithm that offers these capabilities and more, so that you can model your ray optics designs with ease and accuracy. Let’s investigate how this new algorithm affects your workflow when setting up a typical ray optics model.

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Christopher Boucher June 8, 2016

Static mixers are well-established tools in a wide variety of engineering disciplines due to their efficiency, low cost, ease of installation, and minimal maintenance requirements. When evaluating whether a mixer can be used for a certain purpose, it is important to determine whether the resulting mixture is sufficiently uniform. In this blog post, we will discuss the setup of an app designed to quantitatively and qualitatively analyze the performance of a static mixer using the Particle Tracing Module.

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Christopher Boucher May 6, 2015

Thin dielectric films are versatile tools for controlling the propagation of light. They can be used, for example, as anti-reflective coatings to reduce the amount of stray light in a system. They can also be used as low-loss reflectors or as filters to selectively transmit certain frequencies of radiation. Here, we’ll discuss some of the built-in tools that the Ray Optics Module provides for modeling optical systems with dielectric films.

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Christopher Boucher December 25, 2014

Optical devices such as monochromators and spectrometers can be used to separate polychromatic, or multicolored, light into separate colors. These devices have many applications in diverse areas that range from chemistry to astronomy. Using built-in tools in the Ray Optics Module, it is possible to model the separation of electromagnetic rays at different frequencies with a monochromator or spectrometer as well as analyze the resolution of such devices.

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