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! :)

Professor Plum with the Wrench? Abaqus FEA Knows

By Tim

No, it’s not the famous game “Clue”. It’s the use of realistic simulation to perform forensic studies of skull fracture.

While, for the average person it is a bit gruesome to think about, medical examiners and police investigators are often faced with the need to determine how and why skull fractures occur.

Was the head injury caused by an accident or was the injury caused with the intent to murder the victim?

Researchers at the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the University of Copenhagen, in cooperation with the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), are using using technology from Simpleware (a SIMULIA partner) to transfer CT-scan data into SIMULIA’s Abaqus FEA software.  This allows them to gain a deeper understanding of the mechanics and forces that cause severe skull injuries.

While the researchers consider their current studies as preliminary, these represent a critical step on the path to developing a general tool for supporting medical examiners with easy, achievable and accurate numerical simulation to support their judgment regarding the cause of death.

To get more details, check out the complete case study in the latest issue of INSIGHTS magazine  here.

Are you as surprised as I am that Abaqus FEA software (traditionally used to study the performance of mechanical systems in cars and airplanes) is being used in forensic head injury research?

Tim

Bad Knees? Good News!

By Tim

Tim's sister Sarah

In June of this year, my 57-year-old sister, Sarah, had double knee implants. She has the scars to prove it as you would not believe that she has dual knee implants just by looking at her!

In a previous post, I mentioned that my 82-year-old dad has also had both of his knees replaced (twice). So, you can bet that I am trying to take extra care of my knees (think: whirpool, massage, extra vitamins). However, due to genetics and sports injuries there is no guarantee that I won’t need a knee implant at some point in my life.

It’s no wonder that our knees wear out—they bear five times our body weight with each step we take. Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA), which replaces damaged or diseased joint surfaces of the knee with metal and plastic components, is performed about 580,000 times a year in the U.S. alone. It is currently the solution that provides the most relief to patients. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons calls knee replacement, “one of the most important surgical advancements of the 20th Century.”

Thankfully, researchers, like those at Smith & Nephew, are dedicated to improving the design of knee implants. Their goals are to make the artificial knees easier to implant while working better and lasting longer. In 2007 Smith & Nephew (the U.K.’s largest medical technology company) established the European Centre for Knee Research in Leuven, Belgium to drive TKA research and innovation. They have developed new knee replacements that have been designed to last 30 years, double the time of previous designs. You can view their commericial for their newest products on You Tube here.

Dr. Innocenti, Smith & Nephew

Recently, our communications team had a chance to interview the Centre’s project manager for Numerical Kinematics, Bernardo Innocenti, M.E., Ph.D. It’s pretty cool that they are using Abaqus FEA from SIMULIA to explore and improve their knee implant designs.

Dr. Innocenti kindly explained some of the details of their design and simulation process  to us. “When you replace a knee, you are trying to replicate the behavior of biological materials, like bones, cartilage and ligaments, with non-biological ones such as titanium, stainless steel and polyethylene. Abaqus FEA is fundamental in this game because it enables us to estimate rapidly and precisely the effects of different parameters in the design or performance…whether it is bone or metal or something more complicated like the viscoelasticity of soft tissues or polyethylene.”

This focused research and use of realistic simulation is certainly good news for people like my sister, my dad…and maybe even me! The report from my sister today (four months after surgery) is that she can walk through the mall to do her holiday shopping without the disabling knee pain, that is good news!

Check out the complete Smith & Nephew case study and many other customer stories on Realistic Human Simulation in the latest issue of SIMULIA INSIGHTS magazine.

Please join me  in raising a toast to better knee implants and pain free holiday shopping!

Tim



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