Dynamic Python Plugin

Since many people still don’t know that you can write STK plugins in Python, I recently decided to create a plugin to promote that fact. The result is a Python phased array plugin that links multiplatform software tools together and adds new capabilities.

This plugin integrates Ansys’ HFSS, user created models, and dynamic scenarios within STK. In addition to showing far-field effects, the Python phased array plugin can also show near-field effects, which are not easily understandable or attainable through measurements alone.

HFSS is a 3D electromagnetic simulation software application used across many industries to simulate and evaluate electronic components. You can create antenna or antenna array models outside HFSS and then import them. This enables you to create and understand your models inside HFSS. You can plot these antenna and antenna array models to show their sets of far-field patterns.

The phased array plugin that I wrote links HFSS and STK. The plugin is dynamic throughout the scenario and computes the change in the antenna’s position, frequency, and pointing. The plugin can also use custom pointing angles or vectors to change the pointing position to look at different objects in the scenario.

These unique, dynamic STK inputs correlate with the data from HFSS. Then, the plugin loads dynamic outputs into STK and computes them for each time step in the 3D Graphics window; or you can find the dynamic results in the detailed link budget report.

For a demonstration, watch our YouTube video on integrating HFSS with STK using a Python plugin.

Systems Tool Kit (STK)

Modeling and simulation software for digital mission engineering and systems analysis.