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.
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
Clean diesel continues to be the fuel of choice for transportation authorities in major U S cities, in spite of competitive options aimed at reducing emissions, according to a nonprofit agency that represents diesel engine and equipment manufacturers.
A panel at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas discussing upcoming FAA regulations for non-military drones brought out many of the issues that concern both industry and federal regulators.
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