Out of This World Engineering

By Tom

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

End of a Space Shuttle Era – What Next?

By Tom
space shuttle endeavour atlantis NASA Dassault Systemes

Photo Credit: NASA/Tom Farrar and Tony Gray.

I think most people will have that nostalgic feeling about the Space Shuttle program and its thirty years of history. It’s had its fair share of ups and downs: from the Columbia and Challenger disasters to the Hubble telescope project success; those moments in time are fixed in our memory.

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So what now? The dramatic images of Atlantis touching down for the last time led most people to ask what NASA and the US space program plan to do next. The good news is they’re already working on something new. :D

Several solutions to replace the space shuttle have been suggested and the most interesting part is that many of these new rockets are from the private industry, rather than a government organization. The majority of the solutions favor an “Apollo style” re-entry capsule. This style of spacecraft will be launched atop a rocket (like the Falcon 9) and land with a splashdown in the ocean.

Abaqus Unified FEA from SIMULIA has the built-in Multiphysics capabilities to successfully predict how that splashdown will happen and the ability to accurately predict physical effects the impact will have on the capsule. Just to prove Abaqus is up to the job – check out this tech brief and video we’ve put together:

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You can also browse for more examples— Tech Briefs, Conference Papers and Customer References— on how SIMULIA’s solutions can solve real-world challenging problems at the SIMULIA Resource Center.

In the words of one very famous spaceman – “To infinity, and beyond!” :wink:

Tom

@3DSTom

Healing Broken Hearts on Valentine’s Day

By Kate

In honor of Valentine’s Day, a time when people celebrate the love in their lives, I’ve got a kind-of related blogpost to share.  We’ve must literally take care of our hearts in order to be around for those hugs and long-stem roses . . .    

Tim’s post focuses on “dedicated researchers [that] are helping to develop amazingly innovative and effective treatments that are truly capable of ‘mending broken hearts’.”  And they’re using realistic simulation software to do it. 

Please read more here

And Happy Valentines Day !

Kate



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