AS&M performs research to develop techniques to determine the response of structures to mechanical and thermal loads. The AS&M staff has demonstrated expertise in the application of commercial software (e.g., NASTRAN, EAL, PATRAN, ABAQUS, STAGS) and has supported the development of the new COMET, EZEDESIT, and SMART software for thermal/structural analysis and structural design.
The general-purpose finite-element codes we use can efficiently perform both linear and nonlinear structural analyses for sizing and weight prediction, global/local finite-element modeling, structural dynamics, and coupled acoustic/structural response. AS&M has an ongoing program to make these codes more accessible to potential users. We are developing user interfaces that ease the analyst's burdens for problem setup and data presentation through comprehensive Help Menus and interactive problem definition and execution.
AS&M's recent and ongoing research in structural and thermal/structural analysis includes the development of modularized procedures to improve finite-element analyses and enhance code efficiency using parallelism, improved I/O, and efficient equation solvers. Algorithms for global/local analysis, together with improved constitutive representation and special element formulation, have led to improved physical modeling of composite structures.
Studies have recently been completed on the thermal/structural ramifications of embedding refractory-metal heat pipes in carbon-carbon leading edge structures for hypersonic vehicles and in convection/transpiration-cooled panels for hypersonic propulsion systems.
AS&M provides the following services:
- Combined structural, aerodynamic, and performance optimization of fixed-wing aircraft & rotorcraft
- Static and dynamic analyses of structures using advanced software
- Design modifications to improve fatigue life
- Conversion of structural and thermal-structural analysis models from one software system to another
- Adding "user-friendly" interfaces to existing complex structural analysis codes
- Analysis, design, fabrication, and testing of heat pipes for thermal and thermal-structural applications