Happy Friday, folks! Every now and again, we just have to toot our own horn. Pat ourselves on the back. Give ourselves two thumbs up. You get the picture. This week was kind of a big deal here at ANSYS — we released the newest version of our software,14.5. We also had some great coverage that talks about simulation’s role in the F1 racing industry. And don’t miss how supercomputers and simulation are helping researchers come up with a better helmet design for the military and athletes!
- Popular Science Announces Top Tech Innovations of 2012
- F1 Engineering and Computational Fluid Dynamics Explained
- Tech Powers F1 Cars in Austin
- ANSYS 14.5 Available
- Supercomputer Simulations Aid Study of Traumatic Brain Injury
Popular Science Announces Top Tech Innovations of 2012
The categories for this year’s top technology innovations for Popular Science’s 25th annual awards range from aerospace, automotive and engineering to security, recreation and software. Clearly, I (and I hope you, as well) wanna know what’s new and exciting in engineering technology!
There are 7 award winners in the engineering category: Pixel’s carbon-neutral office building that has the highest LEED rating ever and RapidBlocs’ Lego-like whitewater park system to name a few. But, as cool as those are, they weren’t the grand prize winners — that, my friends, goes to Dockwise’s Vanguard vessel that can carry double the payload of any craft before it!
“When a battleship needs repairs in the middle of the ocean, a semi-submersible vessel, like the Dockwise Vanguard, can provide an offshore dry dock. The 902-foot-long and 230-foot-wide bowless Vanguard—the largest craft of its kind by nearly a football field—can submerge its deck below the waterline and move its above-water towers aside, allowing mammoth marine vessels to float aboard before the Vanguard rides back up underneath them. The Vanguard can carry 121,254 tons of cargo and another 7,716 tons of food, fuel, and supplies; that’s almost double the payload of any such craft before it.”
If this isn’t engineering at its finest, I don’t know what is. I wonder what kind of engineering simulation software they use?
Cockrell School of Engineering
F1 Engineering and Computational Fluid Dynamics Explained
In a recent piece, Dipankar Choudhury, vice president of research at ANSYS, takes computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and breaks it down in layman’s terms and explains how it plays a starring role in the F1 racing industry.
F1 is considered by most to be the pinnacle of motor sports – their investments in best-in-class technology are substantial to give them an edge over the competition. CFD simulation is critical for teams to make little tweaks here and there that can earn even hundredths of a second in improved lap time.
In the months leading up to a race, engineers will collect loads of data about the performance of the car — one key area of experiment is turbulent drag, which is created by the downward force on a car and can slow it down. Engineers will also spend a good amount of their time optimizing a car in a different ways depending on the number of turns and straights a given track has.
In the long run — experts see CFD playing an increasing role in F1 motor sports and relying less on wind tunnel testing.
And in case you didn’t know, F1 is coming back to the US for its first race in 5 years to Austin, TX. They have a cool infographic that shows how much technology serves the modern F1 car.
ANSYS 14.5 Available
Remember when I said that thing about tooting your own horn? Well, on Tuesday, we released version 14.5 of our software. What’s interesting about this particular release is that the new multiphysics and HPC capabilities actually enhance our Workbench platform and make it even more streamlined.
Desktop Engineering wrote a great piece highlighting the new and exciting things in 14.5. For instance, the new parametric HPC pack that enables simultaneous execution of multiple (as opposed to one) design points with just one set of application licenses and the integration of recently acquired Esterel Technologies’ SCADE Suite to our ANSYS Simplorer.
For more detailed information, check out a 14.5 webinar on a functionality of your choice!
A group of researchers from Sandia National Laboratories and the University of New Mexico are using the power of supercomputers and simulation to improve military and sports helmet designs. I think we all know how much emphasis the NFL is putting on concussions and prevention, so I’m sure they’ll be appreciative of this research!
The researchers are studying blast waves on the brain as well as veterans in a clinical setting who have suffered from mild brain injuries to identify threshold levels of stress and energy. Sporting goods companies and the military can use this information to design better helmets.
This study, in its fourth (and final) year, is the only traumatic brain injury research that combines computer modeling and simulation of the physical effects of a blast with analyses of clinical MRIs of patients who suffer such injuries.
Researchers start with a computer model of a man’s head and neck and then add geometric models of the seven tissue types in the head (scalp, bone, white and gray brain matter etc.) to collect data.
In a typical blast simulation, 96 processors on Sandia’s Red Sky supercomputer take about a day to process a millisecond of simulated time and at least 5 milliseconds are required to capture a single blast event.
Paul Taylor, the research team’s leader, put it best: “I want us to be able to understand the physical mechanisms that lead to traumatic brain injuries. It would also be useful if we could make the connection between blast loading and blunt impact trauma. Once we understand that, we can be more comprehensive in how we protect both our warfighters and athletes against these sorts of injuries.”
Once again, engineering technology at its finest – working to protect our military and our athletes!