Unusual two days at ECIO

Yesterday and today have been a bit unusual for me in attending ECIO. I have hardly listened to any talks these two days!

No, I haven’t been lounging by the beach….

My time has gone in some long discussions with the good folk at Photon Design, a company that makes numerical simulation software. We spent a long time discussing the modelling of band gap fibres, and how quasi-crystals could be modelled, as well as putting their new FETD software through its paces.

This new FETD that Photon Design are offering, allows for higher order elements (shape functions) to be used, and is applicable for both 2D and 3D problems. the claim is that though it takes slightly longer than FDTD (which is first order accurate) if you want higher accuracy, with this program, it is possible to increase the order and get higher accuracy. The mesh is conformal and irregular so it can be concentrated in regions where the field changes more rapidly, and a combination of these two factors make it better than FDTD (a bit faster, and more accurate) for more demanding problems. I would like to of course try the software out to verify the claim and see how it performs for my problems of interest.

But this underscores some of the things I tried to get across at CLEO in my short course:
– test drive commercial software before buying
– benchmark their performance for problems with known solutions of increasing complexity (finally comparing where only experimental results are available)
– look at the documentation on offer: is it comprehensive, easy to understand and does it also agree with literature

LEts see what tomorrow brings!


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