CRESCENDO: tuning up the Behavioural Digital Aircraft

By Aurelien

Following up my previous post from Farnborough, I would like to further the focus on the passenger experience as an important trend of the future of the Aerospace industry. Now think about it: what could you experience with anything that is static? Not much, really. Any experience in real life involves interaction, and feedback on how your surroundings BEHAVE with respect to your interaction.

Well, it goes the same when it comes to virtual universes. A couple decades ago, a 3D Digital-Mockup (3D DMU) was fine to see how the whole product (say an aircraft in that case) would look like, yet that was pretty much static. Of course, virtual simulation (especially materials resistance) could be performed as well, but the processes were not really tied together. In order to get a holistic understanding of the behavior of an aircraft, you need to be able to design and simulate at the same time.

This combination is exactly the scope of a large European project, called “Collaborative & Robust Engineering using Simulation Capability Enabling Next Design Optimisation” aka CRESCENDO (now THAT’s what I call an acronym :o ). The project, coordinated by Airbus, gathers 59 partners (companies, research centers, universities — see the full list below) accross 13 countries to develop what Behavioural Digital Aircraft (BDA).

BDA focuses in particular on the following use cases:

  • Thermal Aircraft addresses the challenges of increasingly hotter equipments (e.g. electronics equipements, hot air exhausts), from the simulation of those equipments up to the global thermal trade-offs at the whole aircraft level
  • Powerplant Integration is a multi-disciplinary approach of the thermal and structural challenges of the propulsion engines
  • Energy Aircraft is about energy systems engineering from the preliminary tests up to final certification

If you’re interested in knowing more about CRESCENDO, check this out.

Many thanks to Delphine Zinck, A&D Industry Solution Experience Specialist, who let me know about this on-going project! :)

Live from Farnborough Airshow 2012: it’s all about Experience

By Aurelien

Hi! We’re live from Farnborough International Airshow, a major event for the Aerospace industry. For those of you not attending the event, we thought you might be interested in following a dedicated Farnborough newsroom we prepared for you using Netvibes technology :) You will find there live tweets, press articles and blog posts from the event. We’ll also come up with a few blog posts this week! :)

So today was the first commercial (Qatar Airways) in-flight display of Boeing’s “Dreamliner” 787:

Seeing the 787 reminded me of this interview where our own Aerospace VP Mich Tellier mentions Boeing’s focus on the “passenger experience” as a starting point of their approach:

What is new is how Boeing approached the customer experience. They said, “Okay, I’m not going to focus on what we’ve been doing for the past 30 years.” They were not merely going to improve the seat cost and availability model, which is the economic model for the airline. They said, “I’m going to look at passenger experience.” [...] They wanted to increase humidity and reduce cabin altitude to 4000 feet from its current 8000 feet. That would kill a metallic fuselage, which is one of the reasons they chose a composite fuselage.

Putting the consumer experience (e.g., increasing humidity in the cabin for improved comfort as aforementioned) at the heart of the innovation process has dramatic impacts on the way the aircraft and interiors are specified, designed, and tested. I’ll try to address some of those points in the upcoming posts.

What do you think? Would love to hear your thoughts about it.

 

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



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