EMA3D – A General Solver for System Level EM

Finite-Difference Time-Domain Simulation Perfected

EMA3D has over 30 years of validation heritage from programs all over the world. It is the most mature FDTD solver on the market with all modern features included. EMA3D is a powerful 3D numerical solution of Maxwell’s curl equations based on the time-domain finite-difference method in rectangular coordinates. The code has application to nearly any EM coupling, radiating, or interaction problem. EMA3D’s FDTD approach is the only EM tool capable of capturing the detail of entire aerospace or ground systems down to individual electronics interfaces in a computationally accessible manner. Computational advances and parallelization allow for fidelity once only dreamed possible.

The current density versus time is shown in the animation of the plane surface

EMA3D Simulation of a HIRF Plane Wave Interacting with an F16

EMA3D Capabilities 
EMA3D includes all modern features that one would expect in a state-of-the-art solver along with some that are unique to EMA3D. This includes the ability to model thin wires, thin gaps, and thin surfaces that are smaller than the computational mesh size. Frequency dependent and anisotropic EM parameters are allowed. Also, there are a variety of boundary conditions, sources, and variable mesh sizes available. EMA3D has a sophisticated air conductivity model that considers the plasma fluid nature of air in high electric fields.

The surface color indicates the current density

EMA3D simulation of current in a carbon fiber coupon

EMA3D: Parallel Solver for Workstations and Computational Clusters 
A great deal of analysis can be performed on modern workstations and desktops. However, high-fidelity simulation of complex aerospace vehicles in computationally challenging regimes such as lightning simulation can be aided by parallel processing capabilities. EMA has a parallel version of our solver that can be run on computational clusters. The code scales to large numbers of processors extremely efficiently and has provided for large decreases in the computation time requirements of large models.

The surfaces of the helicopter are shown

Comanche helicopter shown in EMA3D’s CAD tool

EMA CADfix can Import and Prepare Models for EM Simulation
The EMA framework includes a customized version of the CADfix package from ITI Trancendata that is capable of importing geometry from all major CAD formats. The analyst can add salient EM features, such as seams, and mesh the geometry for EM simulation.

Learn more about CADfix Integration with EMA3D here.


Version 4 of EMA3D has now been officially released. Though there are many improvements, some of the most important are below:

  • Parallel computation – EMA3D now has the ability to run full aircraft simulations for lightning, HIRF or related environments with a 10 or 20 mm cell resolution.
  • Integrated MHARNESS – The transmission line solver is co-simulated with the 3D model to accurately capture individual pins of each avionics interface pin. This is required to model HIRF properly and aids lightning indirect effects predictions. (Requires a separate license for MHARNESS)
  • Gradual permittivity scaling – This technique allows for a speedup of 10 to 100 times for lightning and other transient simulations without sacrificing accuracy.