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Improving prediction tools

UDRI awarded $12.1 million Air Force contract to design and develop advanced modeling technologies

The University of Dayton Research Institute has been awarded $12.1 million from the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Aerospace Systems Directorate for research and development in the area of design and analysis technologies for aerospace structures.

Under the five-year program, researchers in UDRI’s Aerospace Mechanics division will design, develop and ultimately transition new computational modeling tools designed to better predict how aerospace systems will behave and react under the varied environments they experience during real service. Research disciplines to be investigated include aerodynamics, structures, fatigue and fracture mechanics, thermal management, electrical power and more.

Richard Beblo, research engineer in the division’s Experimental and Applied Mechanics group and principal investigator on the program, said current computational modeling and simulation technologies are typically used to evaluate systems and make predictions based on one discipline at a time. “Researchers may investigate how systems respond to temperature extremes, for example, and develop modeling tools around that discipline,” Beblo said. “Or they may perform analysis on aerodynamic structural loading. But in reality, aerospace systems experience loads from a variety of environmental factors at the same time, and those factors are never constant.  So the systems may experience phenomena and react differently under complicated environments than may have been predicted by a tool created to address only one discipline.”

“Our goal will be to perform analysis of systems under varied and complicated environments, and then develop improved computational, optimization and design tools better able to predict system behavior,” Beblo added. “Improved tools can ultimately lead to better aerospace vehicles.”

June 9, 2016

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