Those of you familiar with the writing of Stephen King may find talk of being under the dome a little disconcerting. And this time we are talking about not just one dome, but two – an alpha and a beta. But rest assured, this is not a spooky science fiction story, this is science fact and the Systems Engineering Simulator facility, which contains the two test domes at NASA Johnson, is a very practical demonstration of the significant benefits to be gained by the application of systems engineering, hardware and virtual hardware in the loop simulation. Using these facilities, engineers and scientists can prove out design concepts and operations in a virtual environment before risking a mission in space. The benefits are clear and include risk mitigation, cost reduction and design cycle compression. Continue reading
Pushing the frontiers of space exploration is risky business. One thing that history has taught is that setbacks remain as inevitable as successes. Indeed it could be argued that the setbacks are a necessary component of the successes. That’s one indispensable truth we all can take away from Tuesday’s Antares launch failure on Virginia’s Eastern shores. It doesn’t dampen the exciting frontiers we envision when commercial interests, as well as policymakers, propel forward space exploration. Newscasters can play Monday morning quarterback on the failure of the Orbital Science launch, in which nobody was killed or injured, but they’ll be in a tough spot if they try to deny that this is anything more than growing pains in the emerging commercialization of the space industry. Continue reading
The weapon-aircraft integration is one of the most important aspects in military aircraft design and for the study of its performances. In particular store separation problems, i.e. problems related to the release of underwing bodies during the flight, are very critical because they occur during a flight operating condition. Continue reading
The aircraft industry is an exciting place to be today. The media is full of the potential for commercial drone applications. But in the here and now we have large commercial aircraft on the market made from over 50% composite materials. These aircraft represent decades of innovation and will make a significant and positive impact on lifecycle cost of operation and the environment. You may recall that we recently shared a case study from Terrafugia where they discussed the integration of composite materials into the airframe of a car-come-aircraft. Along similar lines, EADS Innovation Works have shared details of their experiences with ANSYS composite material design tools. Continue reading
Drones have been in the news a lot recently. The near miss between a commercial flight and an unidentified drone in Florida has been broadcast around the world and has opened lots of questions about how the issue of drones in civilian airspace will be handled as the number of drones increases exponentially. This has spawned discussion regarding the safety of aircraft in the event of a collision with a drone. What is for certain is that the FAA have got their work cut out to ensure the safe management of the exponential growth of the drone phenomenon. Continue reading
You’ve probably heard about drones. And this blog will give you a deeper insight of what it takes to develop the brain that controls the drone!
First, some background. Piaggio Aero develops aircraft (first one in 1922) and engines. One of their successful project is the P180 Avanti II aircraft, which is a small Italian design. The P180 can fly at 745 km/h and has a range of operation of about 2,795 km. It is known as the fastest twin turboprop aircraft in the world with a proven uneventful service record of more than 20 years and 800,000 flight hours. Continue reading
Recently, when I attended the AIAA SciTech2014 Conference, I was impressed by a talk about electric aircraft, with a focus on distributed electric propulsion, presented by Mark Moore, a Design Engineer at NASA Langley Research Center. After returning from the conference, I started to read more about these concepts — especially looking for the benefits, challenges and most importantly to see how ANSYS simulation tools can help address the challenges.
At ANSYS, we are continually improving our turbomachinery simulation capabilities. Some recent improvements are proving useful to engine manufacturers, enabling them to better understand the on-wing performance of their new fuel-efficient engines.
Fans in modern aircraft engines are very important in that they provide most of the thrust required by the aircraft. Their environment is very challenging though as they are frequently subjected to non-uniform inflow conditions. These conditions could be either due to flight operating requirements such as take-off and landing, the engine nacelle installation configuration, wake interference from aircraft fuselage or cross-flow wind conditions. Similarly, industrial land-based gas turbines in power plants can be subjected to inlet flow distortion due to upstream ducting or installation maintenance deterioration. Continue reading