CIVA Ultrasound Simulation Software

Numerical simulation is a powerful tool for developing highly accurate and reliable non-destructive ultrasonic inspection methods. The CIVA simulation software package is developed and continuously improved since more than ten years by the French Atomic Energy Commission Institute CEA-SACLAY.

Using computer simulation for studying the interaction of an ultrasound field with a sample allows developing adequate transducers and their application methods and increasing the reliability of the obtained results, while at the same time keeping the development costs low. In Europe and the United States such simulation studies have become a mandatory part in performance demonstrations.

CIVA Configurations

  • CHAMP-SONS: Calculates the ultrasonic field
  • MEPHISTO: Simulates ultrasonic flaw detection
  • PHASED-ARRAY: Simulation tool for phased array transducer design




CHAMP-SONS is used to analyze the influence of the sample on the propagation of the ultrasonic beam. For complex sample shapes the CAD data of the sample can be used by the software.

  • Transducer type: Immersion or contact type, dual element (TR array), phased array
  • Inspected materials: Isotropic and anisotropic materials, a specific anisotropic elastic modulus can be set in any direction
  • Inspected shapes: Sphere, cone, bow, nozzle, CAD data
  • Calculation ranges: Sound propagation through the wedge and the couplant, imperfect contact in case of contact type transducers, sound refraction, damping, backside reflections
  • Applications: Synthesis of the ultrasound pulse, calculation of the ultrasonic radiation (Rayleight integral), diffusion of a bundle of rays (ray pencil)




MEPHISTO is used to simulate the interaction of an acoustic field with a defect population defined by the user. It uses the sound field data calculated by the CHAMP-SONS module.

  • Transducer type: Focused or unfocused, immersion or contact type, dual element (TR array), phased array
  • Defect type: Single defect, multiple defects
  • Result display: A-SCAN, B-SCAN, C-SCAN, D-SCAN, TOF-Scan, Echo-dynamics
  • Inspected materials: Homogeneous isotropic materials
  • Inspected shapes: Planar, cylindrical, complex surface shape (CAD 2.5D)
  • Applications: Impact of the defect following the Kirchhoff Theory, sensitivity analysis by using the reciprocity theorem




This module can be used for phased array transducer design and the simulation of flaw detection with phased array transducers.

  • Shape of sensor head: Annular (concentric circles), linear, matrix, sectored
  • Sensor type: Immersion or contact type probes
  • Calculation range: Convergence geometry, depth of focus, focus geometry (spherical, bifocal, Fermat), refraction angle, delay laws for beam scanning
  • Applications: The PHASED-ARRAY results can be used as input in CHAMP-SONS and MEPHISTO