Large-Scale Methods in Computational Electromagnetics

D. S. Katz, A. Taflove, J. P. Brooks, and E. Harrigan

Cray Channels, v. 13(1), pp. 16-19, Spring 1991


The numerical modeling of electromagnetic wave phenomena can be a computationally intensive task. The design and engineering of aerospace vehicles has been the primary application driving the development of large-scale methods in computational electromagnetics (CEM). Efforts in this area have been aimed primarily at minimizing the radar cross section (RCS) of aerospace vehicles. RCS minimization enhances the survivability of vehicles that are subjected to precision-targeted ordnance. The physics of RCS is determined by Maxwell's equations and the constitutive properties of a vehicle's materials. The effectiveness and cost of state-of-the-art aerospace systems in part depends on the ability to develop an efficient engineering understanding of equations that describe the propagation and scattering of electromagnetic waves. Two algorithms are of primary interest in this field: the robust, traditional, full-matrix, frequency-domain integral equation method of moments (MoM); and emerging time-domain, grid-based direct solutions of Maxwell's curl equations. The author explains how both types of algorithm make efficient use of Cray Research hardware and software capabilities.