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AN-SOF Interface

Main Window and Menu

When AN-SOF is started, the initial screen contains the following components:

Fig. 1: The AN-SOF interface.

The title bar contains the name of the currently active project (.emm file).

The main menu bar contains the File, Edit, Draw, View, Tools, Run, Results, and Help menus.

The main toolbar contains icons that represent commands.

The tab sheets allow us to quickly switch between pages, from Setup to Results.

The workspace is the page where the wire structure can be drawn in a 3D space. The status bar contains information about the number of segments, connections, and ground points.

File Menu

Use the File menu to open, save, close, and print new or existing projects. This menu has the following commands:

New… (Ctrl + N)

Creates a new project.

Open… (Ctrl + O)

Displays the Open dialog box for opening an existing project (.emm file).

Save (Ctrl + S)

Saves the currently active project using its current name.

Save As

Saves the currently active project using a new name. Also saves a new project using a name specified by the user.

Import Wires

Displays the Import dialog box for importing a list of wires in either AN-SOF (.wre files), NEC, DXF (CAD files) or MM format.

Export Wires

Displays the Export dialog box for exporting wires to a NEC or DXF file.

Copy Workspace

Sends the project workspace to the clipboard as a bitmap image.

Print… (Ctrl + P)

Sends the project workspace to the printer.

Exit (Ctrl + Q) Closes the project that is open and then exits AN-SOF.

Edit Menu

Use the Edit menu commands to edit and handle wires and wire grids. This menu has the following commands:

Undo (Ctrl + Z)

Returns the project to the status before a command was executed.

Source/Load (Ctrl + Ins)

Displays the Source/Load toolbar for exciting or loading the selected wire. This command is enabled when a wire is selected.

Modify (Ctrl + M)

Displays the Modify dialog box for modifying the selected wire or wire grid. This command is enabled when a wire or wire grid is selected.

Wire Color

Displays a WindowsÒ dialog box for changing the color of the selected wires. This command is enabled when a wire or group of wires is selected.

Delete (Ctrl + Del)

Deletes the selected wire, wire grid or group of wires with all sources and loads placed on it. This command is enabled when a wire, wire grid or group of wires is selected.

Copy Start Point

Copies the starting point of the selected wire. This point can then be used as the starting point of a second wire, which will be connected to the first one. This command is enabled when a wire is selected.

Copy End Point

Copies the ending point of the selected wire. This point can then be used as the starting point of a second wire, which will be connected to the first one. This command is enabled when a wire is selected.

Start Point to GND

Draws a vertical wire between the start point of the selected wire and the ground plane. This command is shown when a ground plane is included in the model, and it is enabled when a wire is selected.

End Point to GND

Draws a vertical wire between the end point of the selected wire and the ground plane. This command is shown when a ground plane is included in the model, and it is enabled when a wire is selected.

Copy Wires

Displays the Copy Wires dialog box for copying the selected wire or group of wires. The copied wires can then be pasted in a different position. This command is enabled when a wire or group of wires is selected.

Move Wires

Displays the Move Wires dialog box for moving the selected wire or group of wires to a different position. This command is enabled when a wire or group of wires is selected.

Rotate Wires

Displays the Rotate Wires dialog box for rotating the selected wire or group of wires around the chosen axis. This command is enabled when a wire or group of wires is selected.

Scale Wires

Displays the Scale Wires dialog box for scaling the selected wire or group of wires according to the specified scale factor. This command is enabled when a wire or group of wires is selected.

Stack Wires

Displays the Stack Wires dialog box for stacking the selected wire or group of wires along the specified direction and according to the given number of wires in the stack. This command is enabled when a wire or group of wires is selected.

Draw Menu

Use the Draw menu commands to create and draw wires and wire grids. This menu has the following commands:

Line

Opens the Line dialog box for drawing a line or straight wire.

Arc

Opens the Arc dialog box for drawing an arc.

Circle

Opens the Circle dialog box for drawing a circle or circular loop.

Helix

Opens the Helix dialog box for drawing a helix or helical wire.

Quadratic

Opens the Quadratic dialog box for drawing a quadratic wire.

Archimedean Spiral

Opens the Archimedean Spiral dialog box for drawing an Archimedean spiral.

Logarithmic Spiral

Opens the Logarithmic Spiral dialog box for drawing a logarithmic spiral.

Wire Grid

Creates a new wire grid in the workspace. This option has a sub-menu with the following commands:

  • Patch: Opens the Draw dialog box for drawing a rectangular grid on the xy-plane.
  • Plate: Opens the Draw dialog box for drawing a plate or bilinear surface.
  • Disc: Opens the Draw dialog box for drawing a disc.
  • Flat Ring: Opens the Draw dialog box for drawing a flat ring or a disc with a hole at its center.
  • Cone: Opens the Draw dialog box for drawing a cone.
  • Truncated Cone: Opens the Draw dialog box for drawing a truncated cone.
  • Cylinder: Opens the Draw dialog box for drawing a cylinder.
  • Sphere: Opens the Draw dialog box for drawing a sphere.
  • Paraboloid: Opens the Draw dialog box for drawing a parabolic surface.

Tapered Wire

Creates a new tapered wire in workspace. This option has a sub-menu with the same commands as the wire options described above, but each wire can have a stepped radius along its length.

Tabular Input (Ctrl + T)

Opens a table to enter linear wires, sources and loads in spreadsheet format.

View Menu

Use the View menu commands to display or hide different elements of the AN-SOF interface, zoom the wire structure, and view additional information about the project and wires. This menu has the following commands:

Wire Properties… (Ctrl + W)

Displays the Wire Properties dialog box for viewing information about the selected wire. This command is enabled when a wire is selected.

Project Details

Displays the Project Details dialog box for viewing information about the project that is open.

Zoom In (Ctrl + I)

Increases the size of the view in the workspace (also roll the mouse wheel to zoom).

Zoom Out (Ctrl + K)

Decreases the size of the view in the workspace (also roll the mouse wheel to zoom).

Reset Zoom Scale

Resets the zoom and resizes the view of the structure in the workspace.

Axes (Ctrl + A)

Displays the Axes dialog box for changing the appearance of the axes in the workspace. Press F7 to switch between small and main axes.

X-Y Plane / Y-Z Plane / Z-X Plane

Shows a view of the xy-plane/ yz-plane/ zx-plane parallel to the screen.

Center

Centers the view of the structure in the workspace (double click on the workspace to center the view).

Initial View (Home)

Returns the workspace to the initial view.

Drawing Panel

Displays a panel to the left of the workspace that contains buttons for quicker access to commands for drawing wires and wire grids.

Tools Menu

Use the Tools menu commands to display 3D, polar, rectangular, and Smith charts and to check the wires. This menu has the following commands:

3D Chart

Executes the AN-3D Pattern application for opening 3D plot files (.p3d).

Polar Chart

Executes the AN-Polar application for opening polar plot files (.plr).

Rectangular Chart

Executes the AN-XY Chart application for opening rectangular plot files (.plt).

Smith Chart

Executes the AN-Smith application for opening Smith chart files (.sth).

Check Individual Wires

Checks the segment length, cross-section size and thin-wire ratio of each wire. Wires in warning/error will be highlighted in yellow/red.

Check Wire Spacing

Checks the spacing between wires. Wires in warning/error will be highlighted in yellow/red.

Delete Duplicate Wires

Deletes duplicate or overlapping wires.

Calculator

Executes the Microsoft WindowsÒ Calculator application.

Preferences

Displays the Preferences dialog box for setting up the preferred options for unit systems, workspace color, pen width, confirmation questions, etc.

Run Menu

Use the Run menu commands to run the calculations. This menu has the following commands:

Run ALL (F10)

Runs the calculation of the current distribution, far- and near-fields.

Run Currents and Far-Field (F11)

Runs the calculation of the current distribution and far-fields.

Run Currents and Near-Field (F12)

Runs the calculation of the current distribution and near electric and magnetic fields.

Run Currents

Runs the calculation of the current distribution on the wire structure. This command is disabled when the currents are already computed.

Run Far-Field     

Runs the calculation of the far-field generated by the currents flowing on the wire structure. This command is enabled when the currents are already computed.

Run Near E-Field

Runs the calculation of the near electric field generated by the currents flowing on the wire structure. This command is enabled when the currents are already computed.

Run Near H-Field

Runs the calculation of the near magnetic field generated by the currents flowing on the wire structure. This command is enabled when the currents are already computed.

Run Bulk Simulation Opens a dialog box for choosing multiple files in NEC format at the same time. The file extension must be “.nec”. AN-SOF will import these input files and compute the corresponding output results. The results will be saved as CSV files in the same directory as the NEC input files.

Results Menu

Use the Results menu commands to visualize the results from a simulation. This menu has the following commands:

Plot Current Distribution

Executes the AN-3D Pattern application for plotting the current distribution as a colored pattern on the wire structure.

Plot Currents

Executes the AN-XY Chart application for plotting the currents vs. position along the selected wire. This command is enabled when a wire has been selected.

List Currents

Displays the List Currents toolbar for listing the currents vs. frequency at the chosen segment on the selected wire. If the segment has a source on it, the list of input impedances, voltages, and powers as a function of frequency can be shown. This command is enabled when a wire has been selected.

List Input Impedances

Displays a table with the list of input impedances vs. frequency, including reflection coefficient, VSWR, return loss and transmission loss at the antenna terminals.

Plot Far-Field Pattern

This option has a sub-menu with the following commands:

  • 3D Plot: Executes the AN-3D Pattern application for plotting a 3D view of the radiation patterns.
  • Polar Plot 1 Slice: Displays the Radiation Pattern Cut dialog box for selecting a 2D slice of the 3D far-field pattern. Then, the selected 2D pattern cut will be plotted in polar coordinates by the AN-Polar application.
  • Polar Plot 2 Slices: Displays a dialog box for selecting two slices of the 3D far-field pattern. Then, the selected 2D patterns will be plotted in polar coordinates by the AN-Polar application.
  • 2D Rectangular Plot: Displays the Radiation Pattern Cut dialog box for selecting a 2D cut of the 3D far-field pattern. Then, the selected 2D pattern cut will be plotted in rectangular coordinates by the AN-XY Chart application.

Plot Far-Field Spectrum

Displays the Select Far-Field Point dialog box for selecting a point in space where the far-field components will be shown versus frequency. Then, the far-field spectrum will be plotted in rectangular coordinates by the AN-XY Chart application.

List Far-Field Pattern

Displays a table showing the total E-field and its components (E-theta, E-phi, E-right, E-left) at the grid of angles theta and phi specified in the Far-Field panel of the Setup tabsheet. This table can be exported as a CSV file.

List Far-Field Spectrum

Displays the Select Far-Field Point dialog box for selecting a point in space where the far-field components will be shown versus frequency. Then, this far-field spectrum will be listed in a table with different columns for the total E-field and the field components: E-theta and E-phi (spherical components) and the right and left polarized components.

Power Budget/RCS

Displays the Power Budget dialog box for listing the total input power, consumed and radiated powers, power densities, efficiency, directivity and gain vs. frequency. In the case of plane wave excitation, the Radar Cross Section (RCS) vs. frequency will be displayed.

Plot Near E-Field Pattern

This option has a sub-menu with the following commands:

  • 3D Plot: Executes the AN-3D Pattern application for plotting a 3D view of the near electric field components.
  • 2D Plot: Displays the Near-Field Cut dialog box for selecting a 2D cut of the near electric field pattern. Then, the selected 2D pattern cut will be plotted by the AN-XY Chart application.

Plot Near E-Field Spectrum

Displays the Select Near-Field Point dialog box for selecting a point where the near electric field components will be shown versus frequency. Then, this near-field spectrum will be plotted in rectangular coordinates by the AN-XY Chart application.

List Near E-Field Pattern

Displays a table showing the total near E-field and its components at the grid of points specified in the Near-Field panel of the Setup tabsheet. This table can be exported as a CSV file.

List Near E-Field Spectrum

Displays the Select Near-Field Point dialog box for selecting a point where the near electric field components will be shown versus frequency. Then, this near-field spectrum will be listed in a table with different columns for the field components.

Plot Near H-Field Pattern

This option has a sub-menu with the following commands:

  • 3D Plot: Executes the AN-3D Pattern application for plotting a 3D view of the near magnetic field components.
  • 2D Plot: Displays the Near-Field Cut dialog box for selecting a 2D cut of the near magnetic field pattern. Then, the selected 2D pattern cut will be plotted by the AN-XY Chart application.

Plot Near H-Field Spectrum

Displays the Select Near-Field Point dialog box for selecting a point where the near magnetic field components will be shown versus frequency. Then, the near-field spectrum will be plotted in rectangular coordinates by the AN-XY Chart application.

List Near H-Field Pattern

Displays a table showing the total near H-field and its components at the grid of points specified in the Near-Field panel of the Setup tabsheet. This table can be exported as a CSV file.

List Near H-Field Spectrum

Displays the Select Near-Field Point dialog box for selecting a point where the near magnetic field components will be shown versus frequency. Then, the near-field spectrum will be listed in a table with different columns for the field components.

Help Menu

Use the Help menu to access the user guide, request technical support, activate a license, or view the version of AN-SOF. This menu has the following commands:

User Guide

Displays the AN-SOF user guide in PDF format.

AN-SOF Home Page

Goes to the AN-SOF web page at www.antennasimulator.com in the default web browser.

Email to Tech Support

Executes the default e-mail client to send a technical support request to info@antennasimulator.com.

Chat to Tech Support

Goes to the live chat page in the default web browser.

Activation Key

Executes the AN-Key application to activate a license.

About AN-SOF

Shows copyright and version information.

Main Toolbar

The main toolbar has the following icons and associated commands:

Fig. 2: Main Toolbar.

New (Ctrl + N)

Creates a new project.

Open (Ctrl + O)

Displays the Open dialog box to open an existing project (.emm file).

Save (Ctrl + S)

Saves the currently active project using its current name.

Undo (Ctrl + Z)

Returns the project to the status before a command was executed.

Source/Load (Ctrl + Ins)

Displays the Source/Load toolbar for adding a source or load to the selected wire. This command is enabled when a wire has been selected.

Modify (Ctrl + M)

Displays the Modify dialog box for modifying the selected wire or group of wires. This command is enabled when a wire or group of wires has been selected.

Wire color

Displays a Windows(R) dialog box for changing the color of the selected wire or group of wires. This command is enabled when a wire or group of wires has been selected.

Delete (Ctrl + Del)

Deletes the selected wire, wire grid or group of wires with all sources and loads placed on it. This command is enabled when a wire, wire grid or group of wires has been selected.

Preferences

Displays the Preferences dialog box for setting up the preferred options for unit systems, workspace color, pen width, confirmation questions, etc.

Wire Properties (Ctrl + W)

Displays the Wire Properties dialog box for viewing information about the selected wire. This command is enabled when a wire has been selected.

Project Details

Displays the Project Details dialog box for viewing information about the currently active project.

Select Wire

Enables the selection mode where a wire can be selected individually by left clicking on it.

Selection Box

Enables the selection mode where a group of wires can be selected expanding a box with the mouse (left mouse button pressed).

Draw Line

Enables the drawing mode where a line can be dragged with the mouse (left mouse button pressed). This mode is enabled when the X-Y, Y-Z or Z-X view has been chosen. The coordinates of the starting and ending points of the line will be shown in the status bar.

Rotate around X/Y/Z

Enables the rotation of the view around the x/y/z-axis by moving the mouse.

Move

Enables the movement of the view by moving the mouse (left mouse button pressed).

Zoom

Enables the zoom of the view by moving the mouse with the left button pressed. The mouse wheel can also be moved to zoom the view of the structure.

X-Y / Y-Z / Z-X Plane

Shows a view of the xy/yz/zx-plane parallel to the screen.

Center

Centers the view of the structure on the workspace.

Initial View (Home)

Returns the workspace to the initial view.

Run ALL (F10)

Runs the calculation of the current distribution, far- and near-fields.

Run Currents and Far-Field (F11)

Runs the calculation of the current distribution and far-fields.

Run Currents and Near-Field (F12)

Runs the calculation of the current distribution and near-fields.

List Input Impedances

Shows a table with the input impedances vs. frequency. Reflection coefficient, VSWR, return and transmission losses at the antenna terminals are also tabulated.

Plot Current Distribution

Executes the AN-3D Pattern application for plotting the current distribution as a colored pattern on the wire structure.

Far-Field 3D Plot

Executes the AN-3D Pattern application for plotting a 3D view of the radiation pattern.

Far-Field Polar 1 Slice

Displays the Radiation Pattern Cut dialog box for selecting a 2D cut of the 3D far-field pattern. Then, the selected 2D pattern cut will be plotted in a polar chart by the AN-Polar application.

Far-Field Polar 2 Slices

Displays a dialog box for selecting two slices of the 3D far-field pattern. Then, the selected 2D patterns will be plotted in a polar chart by the AN-Polar application.

Export Results

Opens a dialog box to save the results displayed in the “Results” tab as a CSV file.

User Guide

Opens the user guide file in PDF format.

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