TROY, Mich. – May 8, 2012 – Altair ProductDesign
has been honored by the NASA Engineering and Safety Center for its contribution to the water drop-testing of the Orion Crew Module. The company, which serves as Altair’s multi-disciplinary product development consultancy, successfully developed modeling methods and performed dynamic water impact simulations to help improve the safety systems and structure of the module.
The Orion Crew Module houses NASA astronauts during space travel and allows them to safely descend back to Earth from orbit after mission completion. As the Earth water landing is a highly complex and dynamic event, the NESC engaged with Altair ProductDesign as part of its larger assessment team to develop critical simulation models for the Crew Module.
Using Altair’s own HyperWorks
virtual simulation suite, including HyperMesh
and the HyperWorks RADIOSS
solver, Altair ProductDesign built an accurate finite element model of the module from CAD data supplied by NASA, as well as a section of water and air that matched the conditions used during physical tests. The effect on the module’s structure during impact was simulated to gauge how well the results correlated with the physical tests.
“Preparing to take advantage of complex technologies requires exceptional teamwork and expertise,” said former lunar astronaut Thomas K. Mattingly II, who now is director of space enterprise for Systems Planning & Analysis, Inc. “As a mentor to the Orion drop-test team members, I know that the success of this project reflected the significant contributions of the Altair ProductDesign team, whose precision, speed, accuracy and insights in modeling and simulation proved to be crucial to our efforts.” (Mattingly
, a veteran of the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs, will deliver the keynote address at Altair’s HyperWorks Technology Conference
in Detroit, May 15-17, where he will offer his perspective on the significance of simulation in the earliest phases of design for the aerospace industry, the impact it has on the entire design lifecycle, and how the experts behind the technology make the ultimate difference in its implementation and results.)
The collaborative efforts of the Crew Module Water Landing Modeling Assessment Team proved so valuable that the NESC presented it with the Group Achievement Award on Nov. 1, 2011, in Williamsburg, Va., citing the team’s “outstanding accomplishments through the coordination of individual efforts that have contributed substantially to the achievement of the NESC mission.”
“The findings from this study will prove invaluable in ensuring accurate simulation data for the rest of the ongoing Orion Crew Module project,” said Mahesh Patel, NESC Crew Module Water Landing Simulation team member and engineering manager for Altair ProductDesign. “Moreover, now that the NESC is equipped with a tried and tested simulation methodology, it can be confident that the simulation results from future development activities are an accurate representation of real-world impact behavior, leading to the development of improved landing safety systems.”
The NESC Honor Awards are given each year to NASA Center employees, industry representatives, and other stakeholders for their efforts and achievements in engineering, leadership, teamwork, and communication. The awards formally identify individuals and groups who have made outstanding contributions to NESC’s mission, demonstrate engineering and technical excellence, and foster an open environment.
For more information about Altair ProductDesign’s expertise and success stories and to engage further with the company, visit the company’s website at www.altairproductdesign.com
Airfoil Public Relations for Altair ProductDesign