DO-178C – Aeronautics Industry Moves To New International Software Safety Regulation

Embedded software in today’s aircraft is becoming continually larger and more complex. For example, the volume of embedded software in the A300 was a few thousand lines and it is in the order of 100 million in the A380. Moreover, a sizeable part of this software is safety critical. Hence, delivering certified code is one of the critical path design elements that is growing in significance. Continue reading

Don’t Call Them Blimps!

aeroscraft image

Courtesy Aeros

Many of us based in North America were glued to the screen recently to watch the annual Super Bowl event. Almost synonymous with this sporting extravaganza is the Goodyear Blimp. But this isn’t confined to the Super Bowl. You will find these lighter than air vehicles in the sky above almost any major sporting event around the globe. Not only do they add to the spectacle but their long loiter capability contributes significantly to the coverage we all enjoy. Continue reading

ANSYS Adds Aircraft Icing Simulation

aircraft icing simulationLast week, I was preparing for a visit to customers in the Washington DC area. This involves only a short flight from my office in New Hampshire. Then came winter storm Juno and with it myriad flight cancellations — and the end of my trip before it had even started. While these events can be frustrating at the time, the priority is obviously safety. It is because aircraft designers and airline operators follow strict aircraft certification guidance from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other regulatory bodies that air travel is as safe and reliable as it is today. Continue reading

What Does Stephen King Have to do With Systems Engineering and AIAA SciTech 2015?

Systems Engineering Simulator Photo credit: NASA

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

Why Antares Launch Failure Isn’t a Failure

NASA TV shows Orbital Sciences Corp.'s unmanned rocket blowing up

Photo: NASA TV, AP

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

When Universities Fly High – University of Naples

20140226_135427 (1)We are pleased to present a guest blog from Giovanni Paolo Reina and Angelo Della Sala at the University of Naples.

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

Aerospace at the Cutting Edge: From Drones to 3D Printing

commerical aircraft using ansysThe 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

The Convergence of Drones and 3D Printing

images of dronesDrones 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