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

Collaborating to Reduce Gas Turbine Fuel Burn

The pressure is on to reduce fuel burn for gas turbines of all types. The need is particularly acute for aircraft engines, in that fuel is a large component of operating costs of an airline, so much so that even the volatility in its price can mean the difference between profit and loss. So when airlines demand more fuel efficient aircraft, much of that requirement is passed along to the engine manufacturers. While reducing gas turbine fuel burn is a primary driver, carbon emissions are related, so reducing the fuel burn “kills two birds with one stone”. Continue reading

Simulation for Aerospace

image of CFD studyThe first issue of the ANSYS Advantage magazine for 2013 is now available for your reading pleasure… and it focuses on the aerospace industry. Our subject is especially timely, since the aerospace industry is poised to kick off another record year: OEMs (including Boeing and Airbus) as well as the supply chain (such as GE Aviation and Pratt & Whitney)  have record backlogs of orders. I’m proud to be involved in putting this magazine together. The publication involves a huge effort from our customers and our staff, so I congratulate and thank them for an excellent job. Continue reading

Simulation for Military Aircraft Ejection Seats

I’ve always been passionate about aircraft. When I served in the Air Force and took my pilot training, I learned a lot about how systems on military planes work. One of the most amazing components, to me, was the ejection seat, probably one of the most complex pieces of equipment on board.

image of parachute system

Drogue parachute system analysis with inset submodel of the critical area using nonlinear material properties. Courtesy CTC.

Even if the purpose of the seat is clear and simple — to provide the pilot a safe and immediate way out of the aircraft in case of accident — its job is a very tough one. The seat has to work in emergency conditions; it represents the last chance for a pilot to leave a severely damaged aircraft, maybe spiraling out of control. This system must be designed not to  fail despite the critical, varied and unpredictable conditions in which it will be used. That’s quite a challenge for designers! Let me give you an example. Continue reading

Boeing’s Revolutionary Dreamliner Woes Will Be a Blip in Its History

The headlines have been filled with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, a revolutionary vehicle hailed as the airliner of the future. The Dreamliner uses a phenomenal amount of electricity to power many of the systems on board — and that power is supplied by huge and complex lithium-ion (li-ion) batteries. This week, aviation authorities around the world ordered airlines to stop flying their Boeing 787 Dreamliners due to the fire risk associated with battery failure.

While experts everywhere are weighing in on the possible causes, solutions and consequences, we at ANSYS have confidence that Boeing’s engineering, research and technology teams will rapidly and thoroughly resolve the issues, and history will show that this was merely a blip in the overarching aircraft development process. Continue reading

This Week’s Top 5 Engineering Technology News Articles

Happy Friday Saturday, folks! This week’s roundup of interesting engineering technology news articles looks at some great gifts to buy the engineer in your life, a potential new way to power the US in the future and Boeing’s latest simulator technology.


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This Week’s Top 5 Engineering Technology News Articles

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!


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This Week’s Top 5 Engineering Technology News Articles

Happy Friday, folks!  For this week’s roundup of interesting engineering technology news articles, be sure to check out Disney’s video showing how their engineers celebrate Halloween and learn how one British company is changing the world of energy as we know it. Oh, and turns out Cinderella’s glass slipper could indeed support her weight as she dances the night away with her prince charming!


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Aerospace Industry Simulation Experts Gather in Milan

Last week, technical managers, IT managers and advanced users of CAE simulation software gathered at the Volandia Flight Museum in Milan, Italy, to discuss how aerospace industry simulation experts can effectively deal with the increasingly complex challenges they face.

ANSYS and Enginsoft, along with HP and Nvidia, came together to present a full overview that included not only software, but complete solutions made through a combination of software, hardware processes and knowledge. This event opened with Robert Harwood, Global Aerospace & Defense Director of ANSYS, discussing the trends in the aviation industry around the world. Continue reading

Technology AND Process Spin Offs from Space

The space industry has long been at the forefront of fielding pioneering technology and solving some of the toughest engineering challenges. It is not unusual to see technology spin offs appearing in everyday life, for example novel light-weight and insulating materials, miniaturized electronics and sensors that get embedded in systems we take for granted such as cars and aircraft. Often overlooked is the impact of high-end space engineering on human life. According to NASA, space shuttle technology directly contributed to a miniaturized artificial heart, a balance evaluation system to help treat stroke victims, bioreactors for the development of therapeutic drugs, diagnostic equipment for blood analysis, lighting technology to treat brain tumors and prosthesis material for artificial limbs. What I find most interesting is that not only has the space technology spun out into this diverse set of biomedical applications, but that each of them makes extensive use of physics-based simulation — see for example the case studies at the ANSYS Healthcare site. It seems that not only the technology but the design tools and processes have also spun out. This theme was recently explored in an article in New Space Magazine.