Most people occasionally have dreams of flying — without the aid of an airplane or other mechanical device — just soaring through the air on their own power. The thrill ends with dream, unfortunately. Closer down to earth, many of us enjoy the feeling of gliding effortlessly across the snow on skis or a snowboard, over the ice on skates, or on a surfboard cutting through the water. There is something about the effortless gliding sensation that can’t be approached by the more mundane act of walking — though walking has its pleasures too.
With a clear mission in mind, huge government funding and thousands of talented scientists, the early pioneers of space exploration were disrupting innovators, able to achieve what many thought impossible. Then organizations grew in size, and projects and goals multiplied while public funding was often in doubt. Despite other significant success, this led to a slowdown in the innovation pace. Now, another wave of innovators has come: Space 2.0 players.
With no history, no legacy of tools and processes and no constraints in workflow design, they were able in a few years to attract huge private funds and challenge the leadership of the big established players.
Both the old players and the newcomers rely on simulation, but I see a big difference in the results they get in terms of efficiency, costs and innovation pace. The secret is in how they implement it. Continue reading
Each year the University of Canterbury Motorsport (UCM) team in New Zealand pushes the boundaries of what can be achieved in racing; in 2016 they overcame their greatest challenge to date. After three years (2013-2015) of competing in the Australasian Formula SAE competition with an internal combustion engine vehicle , the team decided in 2016 to design and build New Zealand’s very first four-wheel drive (4WD) electric vehicle for the competition. The results were remarkable: UCM made history by becoming the first team with an electric vehicle to win a dynamic event at the Australasian Formula SAE competition.
From all of us at ANSYS, we want to congratulate the team of Emirates Team New Zealand who just won the 2017 America’s Cup. Wining the America’s Cup is a feat in sailsmanship, a feat in teamwork, but also a feat in engineering.
What I love during the America’s Cup season is that all of my colleagues and friends ask me about the competition as if I was an expert (Hint: as you can see on the picture, I am a more of a Sunday sailor than a high tech boat skipper). What I can talk about, however, is some of the technology behind the amazing boats that compete in the America’s Cup. Continue reading
I was reminded just how complicated and expensive it is to develop a jet engine when I came across a video describing GE’s recent $26 million Cdn investment to upgrade its Winnipeg test facility. That is on top of even bigger investments by Rolls-Royce ($50 million) and GE ($40 million) and in recent years. Physical testing is not only expensive, it is time consuming and can lengthen design cycles.
Meanwhile, it has become easier than ever to simulate engine performance prior to any physical testing. Improved techniques like harmonic analysis, turbomachinery-specific workflows and better validation coupled with faster, more capable high performance & cloud computing are quickly expanding simulation so engineers can be confident in their designs before the first prototype is ever built. While physical testing is not going away anytime soon, ANSYS is working on digital prototyping with leading turbomachinery companies and helping them to cut it down to size. Continue reading
Transient blade row simulations in turbomachinery are needed either to improve the aerodynamic performance predictions or because the flow interaction we are trying to resolve and predict is unsteady in nature such as aeromechanical, aerothermodynamic or aeroacoustic interactions. Because the blade pitch is not similar between the rows of turbine or compressor, a transient blade row simulation will usually require the modeling of the full wheel (or full geometry). This constraint renders these simulations not practical and in many cases prohibitive as analysis or design tools. Continue reading
Over the last six months, significant progress has been made to foster Transatlantic collaboration in the area of in silico medicine. I say significant because the collaboration is now being fostered beyond the technical level. It is happening at the regulatory and policy levels. On October 11th, 2016, the U.S. FDA spoke at the European Parliament as part of an inauguration event for the Avicenna Alliance, the association of predictive medicine, of which ANSYS is a founding member. Last week, the collaboration was reciprocated. The Avicenna Alliance was invited by the FDA and by the staff of Senator T. Cochran to discuss the role of in silico medicine in both a technical context at the 2017 BMES conference and also at the policy level on Capitol Hill. Continue reading
Who was it that said “Nothing in life is free?” Whomever it was, they were wrong. There are a ton of amazing things in life that are free — including our ANSYS Student Version products! Speaking from experience, there has never been a time I have appreciated something free more than when I was a student working my way through college.
In late 2015, we launched our ANSYS Student free download, and since then have released several updated versions. Just recently we made some exciting changes with our new Student Product page boasting two new ANSYS Student Products for Windows x64: ANSYS AIM Student 18 and ANSYS Student 18. Both are now renewable, 12-month product licenses with a shorter and simpler download process. Best of all, we’ve eliminated the need for you to fuss with a separate download key! Continue reading
Airlines and aircraft manufacturers are doing everything they can to lower their costs, including lightweighting every component possible, which can improve fuel efficiency. The industry spends more than a hundred billion dollars on fuel every year. While the price of oil is relatively low today, manufacturers and airlines must look ahead to the more than 25-year life span of the average airplane, assuming someday prices will rise again. Cost is a major driver, but the industry is also committed to reducing emissions during flight, and reducing fuel burn from the engine helps achieve this goal. Lightweighting, then, is one of the most important trends in the aerospace industry, and using composites, that can offer the required strength but at lower weight than metals, in manufacturing is a key strategy.
Many engineers are using powerful simulation software but are still not deploying HPC to the full extent. Case in point, I presume most of you have heard about the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. There is one starting June 17. I find it very exciting, not least because teams of three drivers per car compete to complete the most laps around the 13.629-km Circuit de la Sarthe in 24 hours! The race cars reach more than 320 km/h on the straightaway, spending most of the 24 hours at full throttle.
Imagine the roar of the engine drowning out the cheers of the crowds as you speed smoothly around the track in a finely tuned (thanks to simulation) race car. Now imagine the track is a country road or dirt road, not so smooth or speedy now, is it? Continue reading