Press Release

Electro Magnetic Applications and Ansys Collaborate to Deliver Design-to-Validation Workflow for Spacecraft Charging

By SpaceRef Editor
August 9, 2021
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Electro Magnetic Applications, Inc. (EMA) and Ansys are collaborating to deliver an enhanced design-to-validation workflow to assess and manage risks associated to material charging in space plasma environments. As testing of spacecraft charging in orbit is nearly impossible, this workflow reduces the risk of mission failures by tackling the surface and internal charging analysis at the design phase.

Analysis of spacecraft charging due to low and high energy plasmas of GEO and LEO environments, solar wind and illumination, thruster plumes, lunar dust, and more, is a critical design step. The electric fields created between solar cells and busbars, between the spacecraft and the surrounding plasma environment, or within exposed dielectrics may be high enough to initiate arcing and cause permanent material damage or worse, a total mission failure.  

The new workflow, Ansys EMA3D® Charge is a robust, platform-level surface charging, internal charging, and ESD modeling solution that delivers an extremely streamlined approach to assessing and managing risks in space plasma environments. When used early in the design stage, Ansys EMA3D® Charge can empower engineers to quickly and accurately predict the spacecraft’s ability to mitigate charging, to radically reduce physical prototyping, and to cut development costs. 

“There is an increase in commercial interest in space, with new constellations of low-earth orbit satellites, space tourism, and a mission to the moon. All of these new vehicles must consider space environment effects in their design and verification. EMA3D Charge is the first commercial tool to provide support for this important engineering effort.” – Timothy McDonald, PhD, President of EMA.

“By coupling an optimized surface charging solver with a 3D full-wave finite element method (FEM) simulation for electromagnetic waves and a 3D particle transport tool, EMA and Ansys have developed the ideal charging and discharging analysis tool!” – Kevin-Druis Merenda, PhD, Staff Scientist at EMA. 

To learn more about this indispensable charging analysis tool by registering for the “Modern Approaches to Space Radiation Effects Problems” webinar during the SmallSat Symposium 2021 on August 10th, at 11am MST! 

About Ansys: If you’ve ever seen a rocket launch, flown on an airplane, driven a car, used a computer, touched a mobile device, crossed a bridge or put on wearable technology, chances are you’ve used a product where Ansys software played a critical role in its creation. Ansys is the global leader in engineering simulation. Through our strategy of Pervasive Engineering Simulation, we help the world’s most innovative companies deliver radically better products to their customers. By offering the best and broadest portfolio of engineering simulation software, we help them solve the most complex design challenges and create products limited only by imagination. Founded in 1970, Ansys is headquartered south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. Visit for more information. 

Ansys and any and all ANSYS, Inc. brand, product, service and feature names, logos and slogans are registered trademarks or trademarks of ANSYS, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States or other countries. All other brand, product, service and feature names or trademarks are the property of their respective owners. 

About Electro Magnetic Applications, Inc.:  EMA is a global leader in providing simulation, consulting and measurement services in the technical areas of electromagnetic effects. Specific specialties include lightning direct and indirect effects, high intensity radiated fields (HIRF), precipitation static (P-Static), electromagnetic pulse (EMP), EMI/EMC, spacecraft charging, RF interference, installed antenna performance and radar signature prediction. The company has been in business for over 40 years and is one of the pioneers in using the finite difference time-domain (FDTD) method to solve challenging EMP, lightning and HIRF problems for the aerospace market. More recently, these same techniques coupled with expertise in RF interference are being used to help the automotive community address the challenges of all-electric and autonomous vehicles. EMA is developing a space radiation and weather effects test facility in Pittsfield, Massachusetts that will allow customers to understand the impact of the harsh space environment on their spacecraft.

SpaceRef staff editor.