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
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.
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!
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!
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
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.
Defense budget reports from the West frequently mention cuts, fiscal constraint and reform. Although this is the reality today, and possibly for several years to come, focusing on headlines can mask some important underlying trends. It is true that a number of major military hardware programs have been canceled or drastically cut back. But we also see a shift in defense spending emphasis, particularly where electronic systems are concerned. Modernization plans are driving the need for more complex systems with a range of embedded electronics — such as digitized cockpits for the U.S. Army’s helicopter fleet, tactical communications networks down to the soldier level, an optionally piloted U.S. Air Force bomber, and the U.S. Navy’s next-generation electronic jammers. However, this increased prevalence of electronics brings an increased reliability risk. So on the one hand, we have an increased emphasis on the rapid development of novel, complex systems relying heavily on embedded electronics; on the other hand, there is increased focus on cost, quality and timeliness. How are best-in-class companies responding to these pressures and why are they likely to thrive in the current economic climate? Find out at EE Times.
As technologies in the aerospace and defense industry become ever more reliant on embedded electronics, system-on-chip (SoC) and individual component designers can no longer operate in isolation. More and more, the entire system and its subsystems need to be studied holistically due to tight interdependencies. An unmanned aircraft system is a prime example. The high density of electronic components demands a keen focus on power and thermal management — particularly as the aim of these systems is to remain aloft for days, and sometimes months, at a time. With this move up the systems hierarchy comes an increasing need for modeling and simulation tools that capture individual physics AND couple these effects together in a holistic simulation framework. Only then can we truly begin to move up the systems hierarchy and deliver product performance that industry demands. For more insight, read Ed Sperling’s article in Low Power Engineering about redefining systems around power.