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Case Study Designing-in Certainty in an Uncertain World Thales Alenia Space Italia uses Isight to optimize and virtually test hypersonic reentry vehicle designs A seater sed enresting (CAE) tools become increasingly sophisticated, engineers can now refine ther designs to nealy tinal fr virtually Thay can also pusn physical prototype testing lator and later in the pro dovelopmant cyclo. While prototyping remains essential for most types of products, in some industries its impossible to croato atest environment that produces real-world congittons. Vacuum chambers ‘and wind tunnels can assess certain aspects of space travel, but i impossible 19 test forall condtione atthe samo time, ‘Such is tho ease for Thales Alenia ‘Space lala (TAS-), an Evropean space system solution provider, in its ongoing design of hypersonic reentry vehicles for the European Space Agency (ESA) ‘and other commercial and gavornment enlitias, As aresul, TAS-| engineers involved in tese efforts rely manly on ‘CAE trom start 0 frish of the design’ virtual testbuild process. Design exploration and process automation help optimize complex designs Cosmo Chaveli, had of asromechanics and propulsion unt at TAS spar of at2am charged ity designing and testing every agp ofthe company’s space rant vericlos on the data drawing board Given the complex physics of atmospheric roanty, this s 8 daunting analysis chalenge requting a mallickecolnary optimization {MDO) approach, The projects feast was demonstrated in the AaroThormodynamies Configuration tor Space Transportation (CAST) program financed by ine alan Space Agency ASH and conductod by tho flan Aerospace Resoarcn Center (CIRA) in ely 2007. Fast thereis the spacceratt’s stucture to consider: ths includes its geometry length and shape) and the dimensions ‘and material characteristics ofthe shel and thermal protection systom (TPS). Than there isthe trajectory, comprised ofthe 10 SIMULIA Community News May/June 2012 eof p ang increases fiction ‘anc hat, wie a shallow angle doos the oppose. Thermal conditions forthe vohiclo's windward, laoward, and nose zones also have to be taken into account, ‘along withthe aorothorodynam loads —sucn as pressure cistibutions ancl ‘aerothermal fkxes—that it encounters The final design makes allowance for al 1 these variables, with a focus on a ime window of aperoximately 150 saconds: the ical portion of reentry, To optimize their designs, the team ‘conducts a senavate simulation for each of the physics cscipines, They use a colection of sofware packages including six commercial ve proprietary, andl two ‘erooynamis codes. And they dive the analysis into seven major computational tasks" and 40 “sub-tasks,” many with their ‘ow input and outaut fe types (see Figure a tade-off study of soveral al software tools and st Isight to tun our optimization,” says CChiaral. “has features and! adc-ons that alow us to integrate a of the aiferent ‘20008 and itorfacos used for our physics sub-routines." Isightfacitates the creation (of flaxsle simulation werkclows and automates design exploration. With suc a vast design matix, TAS-| engineors have usad the software as a way to systematicaly evaluate the countless possible solutions, To conduct a feasibility etudy ofthe new optimization methodology, the engineering group—working in lose ‘association with Exempla, a value-added reseller for SIMULIA in haly—chose a ‘theoretical nyoorsonic reentry vahicle an appled simpltiad assumptions. Further stteamtning the process, they docicod to ‘optimize globally fr all vaviables comb thor than localy for each indvidual variable, Identifying minimized cost as the primary design targe, they applied Isight’s adaptive simulated annealing algorthm, an exploratory technique that helped them search tho envelope of design solutions this approach is one of many statistical mathods available in eight, incliding DDasign af Exparimants and Desiga for ‘Six Sigma. The SIMULUA Execution Engine was used to implement Isight process flows across company ‘compute resources and enalslod ‘he sharing of resus throughout the Performing two-huncied iteration ayeles in only a day, the analysis identtfed strong correlations between variables and arived at several designs that satisfied the requirements f the spacecraft, More important it demonstrated that the varous simulations could be integrated! ant that optimization could be suecasstuly apoliod to the resulting worktlow, sight played a key ole It helped Us unfy our process and savad a Considerable amount of time,” says Charel Design verification also benefits from automated workflows Having established a methodology to ‘optimize their designs, tne enginesting team now turned its attention to veriving ‘thatthe vehicle would actually function fs designed during the narsh concitions of reentry. As with their fist analysis, the vitual testing process involved consideration ofa large number of rlated vaviaolas —more than 25 parametors ‘associated with fight conditions needed to bo oxaminod while computing aorotnarmal loads during reentry —to evaluate the design and performance ofthe vehicle's all- important quidanco, navigation, ana control (GNC) and thermal protection systems