ANSYS’ simulation software recently took part in a galactic mission, helping to interpret weather data received from the Phoenix Mars lander by creating a virtual environment of the planet’s unique atmospheric conditions.
Via this simulation, a team at the University of Alberta was able to determine that heat and radiation from the lander itself could affect the daily weather readings, including atmospheric pressure, wind velocity and temperature. Well before the Phoenix spacecraft launch, the team developed the lander’s meteorological station (MET), which would collect key measurements that would complement other data critical to the mission. The university embraced a virtual testing process with ANSYS’ computer fluid dynamics (CFD) offering because design and calibration experiments were difficult and too expensive to perform. Based on their CFD work, the team was able to determine that under certain wind conditions, heat emitted from the spacecraft could cause a temperature sensor to show higher-than-atmospheric values. Because there’s only one shot at getting things right, the findings helped prevent any minor flaw that could have resulted in catastrophic losses for the space mission, including years of preparation and hundreds of millions of dollars.
During a teardown of the iPad Air and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 at the Medical Design & Manufacturing Show in Schaumburg, Ill., an engineer showed this "inflammatory" video about the dangers of maliciously mishandling lithium-ion batteries.
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
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