Phased array antennas are common in communications and radar and offer the benefit of far-field beam shaping and steering for specific, agile operational conditions. They are especially useful in modern adaptive radar systems where there is a trend toward active phased arrays and more advanced space-time adaptive signal processing.

The MathWorks provides simulation tools that are used broadly in the communications industry for mathematical algorithm development, digital signal processing (DSP), communication system analysis, and antenna design. ANSYS provides simulation tools that provide full-wave 3D electromagnetic field simulation coupled to linear and non-linear circuit simulation. The combination provides very broad coverage of applications needed for modern communications and radar.

In this application note, we discuss how Matlab from The MathWorks and HFSS from ANSYS can be used together to simulate phased array antennas. A new Phased Array Toolbox for Matlab enables engineers and scientists to simulate essential applications for phased array antenna systems. Details of electromagnetic coupling at the physics level is simulated in HFSS and circuit tools to capture effects of mutual coupling and nonlinear behavior of power amplifiers and other circuit components.