Out of This World Engineering

By Tom
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EXPERT Re-entry Vehicle Thermal FE Analysis - Courtesy Dutch Space

You may have read my earlier post about the End of a Space Shuttle Era – the Space Shuttle’s last flight, where I hinted at what NASA was going to do next. I thought I’d update you a little, sharing work from other companies using SIMULIA’s simulation tools on projects that could decide the future of space travel.

Most recently in the SIMULIA magazine – Realistic Simulation News, Dutch Space shared with us how they used Abaqus to analyze the new re-useable spacecraft test bed (EXPERT) being designed by the European Space Agency. They focused on testing their Thermal Protection System (TPD), which is fitted to the nose-cone, the area of the craft that’s subjected to the brunt of the heat during re-entry.

The nose cone TPS is a very challenging component to design. It has to be structurally strong as well as being able to withstand enormous changes in temperature. Because of this, it’s made up of two parts; a ceramic matrix composite (which handles the extreme heat very well) and a conical metal after body.

Abaqus is able to handle the complex virtual testing of this component, testing temperatures and forces that are very difficult to replicate here on earth

Inflatable Lunar Habitat - Coutesy ILC Dover

Inflatable Lunar Habitat - Coutesy ILC Dover

One of our other customer’s ILC Dover also shared their story. With the prospect of traveling further than the orbit of our planet always an option, ILC Dover is looking to help support our (relatively) fragile human life forms on other planets. They started back in the 50’s and 60’s by designing space suits for the Apollo missions, but have taken things one step further with inflatable habitats.

I guess you could consider this to be a really big space suit capable of looking after multiple humans, but the inflatable habitat is designed to be a home away from home for traveling astronauts. In this example, the inflatable house is pictured in a lunar environment, using Abaqus, however, has enabled them to test the environmental conditions and the inflation process of the structure in multiple scenarios for any atmospheric condition imaginable.

The habitat is designed to fold down into the smallest space possible for transportation and then inflate to become several times the folded size.

To find out more about these two exciting projects, check out the full articles here:

Dutch Space – Simulating Spacecraft Launch and Re-entry

ILC Dover – Camping on the Moon – or even Mars

Best,

Tom

@3DSTom




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