The aerospace and defense (A&D) industry focuses on building lighter, more efficient, safer and more survivable systems, from aircraft to armored vehicles to electronic equipment. Companies in this sector invest heavily in R&D - nearly 40 percent more than the average of manufacturing industries. Once reliant on physical testing for development, the industry pioneered computational methods to gain insight and trouble-shoot problems that arose during physical testing.
Researchers who design aerospace and defense applications must take into account a wide range of physics. For example, fluid dynamics is used to optimize cruise, take-off and landing aerodynamics. Pressure-based solution schemes and advanced meshing technology are used to design environmental control systems, fire suppression systems and thermal management. HPC is making simulation of airframe and engine noise more practical.
Automated contact detection and analysis, component mode synthesis, multibody dynamics and HPC make structural mechanics analysis fast enough to apply to vehicle structures, landing gear, wheels and brakes, gearboxes, and other components. Smart materials are optimized using finite elements for piezoelectric and shape memory alloys. Bird strike, crash and impact simulations are performed with explicit dynamics.
Automated adaptive meshing makes studies of EMI and EMC for antenna placement reliable. Hybrid methods based on integral methods enable optimization of electromagnetic performance, including radar cross section.