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NASA Pushes the Boundaries of CFD With PowerFLOW
Posted Mon February 09, 2015 @10:20PM
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Application Exa® Corporation, a global innovator of fluids simulation (CAE/CFD) solutions for product engineering, today announced that NASA is expanding its usage of Exa's PowerFLOW® software for the simulation of concepts to reduce aircraft noise within NASA's Environmentally Responsible Aviation (ERA) project.

PowerFLOW predictions were successfully validated against high-fidelity wind-tunnel tests in 2013, and now, after the cancellation of a planned flight test due to budget constraints, NASA is using PowerFLOW simulations of a full-scale aircraft with flap and landing gear noise treatments to reach the original airframe noise objectives of the project.

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"We are raising the bar with full-scale simulations," remarked Mehdi Khorrami, Senior Research Engineer at NASA Langley Research Center. "This is challenging stuff, at the frontiers of computational fluid dynamics," Mr. Khorrami continued. "The simulations of the full-scale aircraft with noise reduction concepts will help recover a significant part of the loss of the flight test. In addition, the simulations provide valuable insight into the sources of airframe noise."

Radiated sound field
NASA is using Exa's software to simulate full-scale aircraft acoustics. Image shows the radiated sound field from a business jet with flaps and main landing gear deployed.

The reduction of noise generated by landing gears and high-lift wings is critical to meet the lower community noise targets of the future. Using simulation to test realistic noise reduction concepts is an extremely challenging task for CFD. It is difficult to accurately predict the noise heard on the ground the entire aircraft has to be simulated - due to complex interactions between landing gears, wings, and other parts of the aircraft. In addition, the highly complex geometry of the landing gears has to be represented exactly in the simulation since even small geometry details can have significant impact on community noise.

"We are pleased to expand our partnership with NASA and support this fascinating project, and are excited that PowerFLOW is meeting NASA's challenging requirements with regards to accuracy, geometric CFD model detail and turnaround time," commented Swen Noelting, Vice President Aerospace for Exa. "With these simulations - some of which are running on more than 10,000 cores - we are truly pushing the boundaries of CFD for industrial applications."

About Exa Corporation
Exa Corporation's visualization and simulation software helps designers and engineers produce better vehicles and equipment. As a design evolves, Exa accurately predicts the performance of that design while providing actionable insight to optimize the performance of the product. With Exa, the need for costly physical prototypes and expensive late-stage changes is reduced. Now, designers and engineers are freed from the risk of producing compromised products that do not meet market and regulatory requirements. Some of the most successful product companies in the world use Exa, including BMW, Ford, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kenworth, MAN, Nissan, Peterbilt, Renault, Scania, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo Trucks.

Founded in 1991, the company is headquartered at 55 Network Drive, Burlington, MA, USA

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