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JLR Abstract

Electromagnetic Simulation for Composite Materials

George de Bolla, Electromagnetic Simulation Engineer at Jaguar Land Rover

Advanced composite materials are becoming more common place in the next generation of electric vehicles. This is driven by numerous benefits that composites can deliver. Major improvements include a significant reduction in vehicle weight, which delivers an increase in EV range and reduces environmental impact. Another key benefit is the increase in stiffness and strength of the body, improving crash safety and delivering a more dynamic driving experience.

In modern vehicles there are a wide range of antennas installed to enable connectivity of the vehicle, for example cellular antennas to enable high quality mobile phone reception. Incoming electromagnetic waves strongly interact with the composite structures at certain frequencies. This can have the effect of blocking the energy from reaching antennas inside the vehicle, potentially causing dropouts in connectivity.

The properties of the composite materials must be well understood to enable accurate simulation of the electric and magnetic fields within the vehicle. They present some modelling challenges due to the non-isotropic electrical properties they exhibit. We will deep dive into two case studies to investigate these affects in some detail. Understanding the electric and magnetic field patterns is important to help us assess the best package location and performance of an antenna in that position. This reduces the number of tests required to validate the solution and helps deliver a right first time design solution.