Student Space Systems Aims High With Liquid Rocket Engine

In 2014, Student Space Systems (SSS) began at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a high-powered rocketry group. In those early days, most of the rocket building was done simply with prefabricated parts. Since then, SSS has progressed to designing and creating its own rocket technology, including power electronics, telemetry and propulsion systems. One of its biggest goals — and challenges — has been to create a liquid-fueled rocket engine built with additive manufacturing techniques.

SSS members prepare Olympus rocket for flight in Mojave Desert Continue reading

Using ANSYS Super-element with GENESIS for Efficient Topology Optimization

Anil Kumar (Senior Engineer – ANSYS) and I thought it would be interesting to share information about integrating ANSYS super-element with the GENESIS structural optimization extension for ANSYS. With ever-increasing computational power, engineers can solve larger FE models in less time. However, optimization is still a serious concern because it is an iterative process and the FE analysis usually needs to be performed multiple times.

Typically, the parts that engineers choose to optimize are only a subset of large assemblies. For example, when optimizing the chassis, the engines and other components attached to it are not designed at the same time. It is not necessary to model all the details of those components not participating in the optimization.

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ANSYS AIM 18.2 Extends Fluid Flow Simulation to More Real-world Applications

In ANSYS AIM 18.2, several improvements have been introduced to the capabilities for simulating fluids. In this blog, I’ll highlight two of what I think are the most significant.

First: time-dependent fluid flow (including solid-fluid heat transfer). Time-dependent fluid flow enables the modelling of both applied physics conditions that change over time, and unsteady flow phenomena, for example varying inlet velocity and/or temperature in an internal pipe flow simulation; or vortex shedding from external flow around a cylinder, such as a chimney.

Second: particle injection (also known as discrete phase modelling, or DPM for short), where the injected particle could be a droplet, for example, a fire sprinkler system spraying water into air, or raindrops, but it could also be a bubble of gas into a fluid. Continue reading

Hey You, What’s that Sound?

I’m one of those people who get wound up by the sound of a rattle of the smallest type. Noise and vibration are more than just a bug bear though — or pet peeve depending on your geography — and simulation of acoustics is something can have a big impact on more than just the easily agitated (like me).

Systems that generate (undesired) noise are not efficient, some of the energy they use goes into making the sound.

A prime example would be a motor-driven gear train. The whine that motors emit and the noise from the attached gearbox could be a major source of noise in an otherwise quiet system. It is also a sign that things aren’t as they should be. Continue reading

The Need for Speed Drives NASCAR’s Richard Childress Racing to the Cloud

In the world of stock-car racing, finding even the smallest competitive advantage is the difference between winning and losing.

That’s why at Richard Childress Racing, we design and build our race cars end-to-end. We engineer and machine our own chassis and suspension components, we design and fabricate our own bodies, and we test and build our own engines. Everything is built from the ground up at RCR.

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A Very Different Kind of Startup

In the Pacific Northwest there is a very different kind of startup emerging in the shadows of Microsoft, Amazon and Boeing. Hardware is being built, software is being written, and deadlines are being made (and sometimes missed). But this startup in Tacoma, Washington is not fixed on competing with their friendly giant neighbors to the north. To the contrary, its “employees” aspire to work for them one day. That’s because this startup is no company at all. Rather it’s a high school that just completed its first year.

The School of Industrial Design, Engineering and the Arts, better known as iDEA, runs on an innovative concept that invites local businesses into the school as a partnership. Working as mentors or adjunct instructors, these “community partners” work directly with the students in a project-based learning framework. The projects may range from developing software apps, to wooden boats, to bicycles, to guitar pedals. One look around the reconfigured gymnasium packed with CNC machines, lathes, and countless other tooling equipment and it’s easy to see how serious they are. They are going to build stuff — lots of it! Continue reading

European Microwave Week on the Horizon

European Microwave Week 2017 is almost upon us. The 6-day event provides access to the very latest products, research and initiatives in the microwave sector. It also offers attendees the opportunity for face-to-face interaction with those driving the future of microwave technology. Our ANSYS experts have been attending this conference for a number of years, and I’m proud to say we’ll be there again this year.

From October 10-12, you can stop by our Stand 103 to get the most up-to-date information on our solutions for RF, microwave and communications systems. I’m personally honored to be presenting two papers this year that I hope you’ll attend. Continue reading

Proprietary ANSYS App Optimizes Duct Flow and Pressure

Effective design for almost any kind of product, from consumer goods to industrial equipment, requires taking a large number of factors into account. By making appropriate trade-offs using simulation for digital exploration and optimization, companies can quickly develop efficient and reliable products.

For example, industrial gas turbines burn gas to turn rotors to produce electricity, with substantial amounts of hot exhaust gases as a byproduct. Instead of just warming up the surrounding air, the heat contained in exhaust gases can be put to work by capturing it and letting it flow around tubes containing water, converting the water into steam. The boiler that contains the pipes and the exhaust gases is called a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG). The steam can then flow to a steam turbine to generate more electricity.

Typical inlet duct design point analyzed as part of digital exploration

Typical inlet duct design point analyzed

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Insider Tip: How You Can Get Into the 2018 ANSYS Hall of Fame

2018 ANSYS Hall of Fame CompetitionIt is hard to believe that the 2018 ANSYS Hall of Fame competition is upon us!

Every year, entries from around the world display the simulation skills of ANSYS customers. Simulation images and videos are submitted by every type of company — from large, multinational corporations to small startups that are run from the owner’s homes. Fascinating academic entries are provided by professors who use simulation for teaching and research, and by students who might be extremely skilled or very new to ANSYS software.All these entries represent the incredible challenges that are encountered and overcome leveraging the full range of ANSYS simulation software.

The submissions from every industry continue to astound me. If you have never entered the competition before, give it a shot! You may win the 9th Annual 2018 ANSYS Hall of Fame Competition. But, before you hit enter, here are some tips on how to separate yourself from others entering the competition. Because I have helped organize the competition for the past several years, I see all the entries and understand what the judges are looking for. Read about some of my favorite entries from past years and why I think they won.

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Leading the Electric Vehicle Charge

For every product powered by batteries — cellphones, hybrid and electric vehicles, implantable medical devices, drones, industrial equipment — there is an end user who is concerned about a battery’s longevity. Whether you are trying to find an outlet to check your emails before your cellphone dies, wondering how many miles your drone can fly before it falls from the sky, or hoping to delay the surgical procedure needed to change the battery in your implanted defibrillator, battery longevity affects us all at one time or another.

NEVS electric vehicle Continue reading